Prepared Society Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,004 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Answer: No.

I have reached the conclusion that canning produce is an "iffy" proposition regarding savings if you have to purchase the produce to can.

Last week I purchased a bushel of tomatoes to can. (My tomato crop was devastated by deer this year). I don't have to tell anyone here that canning is a lot of work. At the end of it I had seven qts. and one pt. of canned tomatoes. The following day I made tomato sauce using the roma tomatoes I also bought. They rendered exactly two qts. of sauce.

Cost to me for these tomatoes was @ $35 ( .75 per lb.) not including my time. For that amount I could have visited Krogers and purchased 35 qts of spaghetti sauce on sale, or a combination of sauce and canned tomatoes.

I can see canning if you have a bumper crop of something you grew yourself. But if you have to buy the produce, especially at going market price, the savings are nil. I'm fairly new to canning so this is a lesson for me. Live and learn!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I will agree with you. Thats why I wont buy to can. I grow what I need to can. If I have a bumper crop and get 75 qts of tomato juice and next year tomatoes dont do well, I am still ahead. I want to know what we eat. Why go through all the work and money to have to buy it to can it?
I can it cause I can grow 30 tomato plants for $2.00 (pack of seeds) and some work.
 

·
Rookie Prepper
Joined
·
4,106 Posts
Sorry to hear about your tomato crop.

I agree as well that if you have to buy the produce, it's probably a losing situation.

Commercial tomato sauces give me stomach problems so even if I had to buy tomatoes, I'd at least can some.

Out of curiosity, can you give an outline of your process? Nine quarts from a bushel seems low for sauce.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
growing our own, and we have an unbelievable abundance of product this year. We've figured out, that cost wise, even growing our own, we are probably break even... BUT, the quality and taste is a HUGE difference.

If you're cooking it down to make it thicker, just put in some tomato paste to thicken it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
True, there are no savings in tomato sauce if you don't raise the tomatoes yourself. And cooking it down long enough to thicken the sauce uses a lot of electricity or gas...so the addition of paste helps there.

There are some other things that are more cost effective...such as jams and jellies, if you make your own pectin and grow your own fruit.

As the price of groceries climbs, you may see more savings from canning your own homegrown produce.
 

·
Seeking The Truth
Joined
·
7,938 Posts
I got 14 qt.s plus a huge pot of spagetti out of it.if mmory serves me, paid $14 for the box of toms.
Then my own toms did very well this year so I got 14 qy.s out of them,plus froze some and made sauce' I don't use actual sauce,I use cut up tom.s for my sauce for everything,soup,chili,spageti,etc.I see no need in all that extra work'. I've neer used paste or liquid sauce in any of my recipes for tom.s .
I'd rather buy whole unprocessed tom.s although I'm sure they are hybrids,than buy big biz canned.
IMO,the less processed both at home and store bought the better.
 

·
Rookie Prepper
Joined
·
4,106 Posts
I got 14 qy.s out of them,plus froze some and made sauce' I don't use actual sauce,I use cut up tom.s for my sauce for everything,soup,chili,spageti,etc.I see no need in all that extra work'.
Meerkat - Do you have a juicer?

I have one like the picture below (with the electric motor option) and don't find it to be extra work. I just core and chunk my tomatoes (washed, but no blanching or anything) and drop them in the hopper. I run the skins and seeds through a couple more times which gives another 30% or so more juice.
I'm far from being proficient but can take a full bushel and do all steps in about 1.5 hours.

 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Zoom, that thing ROCKS. We just did 70 MORE pints of salsa. Used the course accessory grate. De-seeded the maters before sending them through the machine this time. Ended up with a much thicker product, but not sure it was worth all the extra work.
 

·
Rookie Prepper
Joined
·
4,106 Posts
Zoom, that thing ROCKS. We just did 70 MORE pints of salsa. Used the course accessory grate. De-seeded the maters before sending them through the machine this time. Ended up with a much thicker product, but not sure it was worth all the extra work.
Would you be willing to start a new thread with some more detail (including possibly a salsa recipe)? I don't want to hijack this thread any farther then I already did but I'm sitting on another 1-2 bushels that I'll need to do something with tomorrow. Salsa would be nice.
 

·
Seeking The Truth
Joined
·
7,938 Posts
Meerkat - Do you have a juicer?

I have one like the picture below (with the electric motor option) and don't find it to be extra work. I just core and chunk my tomatoes (washed, but no blanching or anything) and drop them in the hopper. I run the skins and seeds through a couple more times which gives another 30% or so more juice.
I'm far from being proficient but can take a full bushel and do all steps in about 1.5 hours.

No juicer but that sounds like a good idea if I ever need juice or paste.:wave:
So far I like to use only tomatoes with little processing as possible.
My next adventure with canning will be meat. :scratch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
we just got one of those sauce makers and it makes short order of the work. we have made salsa and tomatoe soup and spaghetti sause is next. we dehydrate the extruded pulp to make tomato powder to add to whatever.

to answer the initial posting....this is the first year we are really reaping from our garden. the first two years was a lot of learning which was the whole point. to be able to sustain ourselves. be of good courage you will be so impressed with the taste and that you have the ability to harvest and preserve your food, some of it anyway.
 

·
performing monkey
Joined
·
4,230 Posts
I haven't actually bought seeds in years, this year we used seeds from 2 years ago (we still have seeds from last year's crops) with no noticeable shortfall of plants. Has anybody else here planted from their stores instead of buying seeds and if so, how old were the seeds?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,660 Posts
Answer: No.

I have reached the conclusion that canning produce is an "iffy" proposition regarding savings if you have to purchase the produce to can.

Last week I purchased a bushel of tomatoes to can. (My tomato crop was devastated by deer this year). I don't have to tell anyone here that canning is a lot of work. At the end of it I had seven qts. and one pt. of canned tomatoes. The following day I made tomato sauce using the roma tomatoes I also bought. They rendered exactly two qts. of sauce.

Cost to me for these tomatoes was @ $35 ( .75 per lb.) not including my time. For that amount I could have visited Krogers and purchased 35 qts of spaghetti sauce on sale, or a combination of sauce and canned tomatoes.

I can see canning if you have a bumper crop of something you grew yourself. But if you have to buy the produce, especially at going market price, the savings are nil. I'm fairly new to canning so this is a lesson for me. Live and learn!
But even with all you posted ... when you can it yourself you know what went into it. (A biggie for me)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,897 Posts
I usually grow all my own tomatoes but there have been a few years that I had to buy tomatoes due to a cold summer and hubby blowing the grass out of the lawnmower toward the tomatoes instead of away and they all got the blight really bad...
But even then I get half bushel(that is about 25 to 30lbs depending on the type of tomato) for any where from $5 to $7..
And if you know the grower (friend from high school's parents own the farm) you can sometimes go out and pick your own seconds(or what ever is left basically) for $4 to $5 a half bushel.(around here they do not sell by the full bushel as the tomatoes get crushed.. I think it is a local thing tho)
I shudder to think that you all are buying tomatoes by the pound and out the A$$ like that.:gaah:
For my sauce (which I do cook down thick) I get about 8 to 9 quarts and a couple pints and sometimes a little 1/2 pint out of every 1/2 bushel.
For stews I get much more as they are not cooked down as much and have all their fiber still. I usually get 12 to 14 quarts.. but I tend to can more pints and half pints of the stewed tomatoes as I like them in my scrambled eggs.. I figure I can open two jars if I have more company coming.
Whether or not it is cheaper.:dunno:( I think so) Just think organic canned tomatoes and tomato sauce is over $3 a 15oz can. If I can them, even with the cost of gas and lids and it comes out cheaper than that.. I still win.
I personally have done the math(would have to find it ) one year and it was by far cheaper than buying it and I know what is in there. I canned over 35 quarts of sauce for daughters wedding supper and kept track of every penny.. I'm pretty sure that each quart came out to .87¢ in 2008. That is just for the lids and celery and a few other little things that I couldn't grow. Our gas that year only went up about $10 more the two months I was canning.. and I canned more than just the wedding stuff that is also with the stuff I canned for us.(by the way... got so many compliments on my sauce that my head spun! lol)
The jellies and jams and pie fillings and fancy pickled things like cauliflower and asparagus save much more money than the tomatoes. A jar of pickled asparagus goes for over $6 here.. costs me less than a buck.

With my allergies I have to watch and read every damn label so canning my own is still cheaper than going to the ER with Anaphylactic Shock due to eating something I'm allergic to.
Bpa liner in tomato cans bothers me too.. any acidic food leaches that out of the liner... at least if I have to have BPA it is only on the lid and the food isn't touching it. I garden organically and with heirloom tomatoes so the flavor is much different than canned stuff. Sure it is a bit different each year depending on the types of tomatoes but it sure is good anyways.. lol
I also haven't had to buy many jars.. once you let family know you want to can I would find boxes of jars in my car, on my deck, and several in the mail box one day.. who knows where they came from.. I still buy a few here and and there tho those big 1/2 gallon ones are awesome for storing stuff in the kitchen.
 

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
3,312 Posts
It would definitely not be cost effective for me to buy food to can, unless something were to be on a good sale. (I do can and/or dehydrate meat that's at a good price.)

Like others have said, it's more about canning from the garden for the sake of having the skill set to can (my family's lives may depend on it in the future), and also for the sake of knowing what goes into what we eat.

Even in the garden, it hasn't been cost effective this year. But this year was about learning (not to mention stocking up on supplies) - and I now have a big list of how to do it better next year. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,897 Posts
It would definitely not be cost effective for me to buy food to can, unless something were to be on a good sale. (I do can and/or dehydrate meat that's at a good price.)

Like others have said, it's more about canning from the garden for the sake of having the skill set to can (my family's lives may depend on it in the future), and also for the sake of knowing what goes into what we eat.

Even in the garden, it hasn't been cost effective this year. But this year was about learning (not to mention stocking up on supplies) - and I now have a big list of how to do it better next year. ;)
Goshengirl-that is so the point with gardens and canning and stuff now!! lol better to learn how to do this now when there are still grocery stores to run to in case of mistakes or bad learning curves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,104 Posts
Answer: No.

I have reached the conclusion that canning produce is an "iffy" proposition regarding savings if you have to purchase the produce to can.

Last week I purchased a bushel of tomatoes to can. (My tomato crop was devastated by deer this year). I don't have to tell anyone here that canning is a lot of work. At the end of it I had seven qts. and one pt. of canned tomatoes. The following day I made tomato sauce using the roma tomatoes I also bought. They rendered exactly two qts. of sauce.

Cost to me for these tomatoes was @ $35 ( .75 per lb.) not including my time. For that amount I could have visited Krogers and purchased 35 qts of spaghetti sauce on sale, or a combination of sauce and canned tomatoes.

I can see canning if you have a bumper crop of something you grew yourself. But if you have to buy the produce, especially at going market price, the savings are nil. I'm fairly new to canning so this is a lesson for me. Live and learn!
\
Now, you get it--a can at Aldi's is .55 cents......a craigslist had tomatoes for1.50 a lb.:eek:!!!!!but today a neighbor told me Aldi's entire section of canned tomatoes was empty...this I find strange.

Add the cost of jars and lids too--don't forget the electricity also!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Mostly we can from our garden. But there are things we can't grow that I purchase from a farm in Lousianna already picked, shelled and frozen in 10# bags. I simply thaw in hot water and process accordingly. Last week I was able to get whole chickens from our local grocery for 69 cents a # . Bought 6 and canned 7qts of meat, 8qts of broth, & 7qts of dogfood from those 6. I am always on the lookout for bargins. Like the time I found GG peeled baby carrots in the marked down produce buggy of our local grocery for 50 cents #. Bought all 20#s and canned them.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top