Canning Like Whoa

I recently started canning. It was something I always intended but never got around to. My relocation to DC and complete lack of employment has given me the chance to finally try my hand at it.

Over the past five days, I have canned (in no particular order):

Canned productEstimated value
Peaches in syrup, 12 pints$1.76 per = $21.12
Apple butter, 2 pints$1.25 per = $2.50
Apple jelly, 2.5 pints$5.12 per = $12.80
Superspicetastic habanero jelly, 2.5 pints$4.67 per = $11.68
Superspicetastic habanero jam, 0.5 pints (the leftover after straining the juice for the jelly)$4.67 per = $2.33
Peach marmalade, 2.5 pints$4.96 per = $12.40
Boozy blackberry jam, 3.5 pints$4.16 per = $14.56
Pear-ginger-lime marmalade, 2.5 pints$4.96 per = $12.40
Roasted apple-rhubarb puree, 4 pints$1.28 per = $5.12
Pear compote, 2.5 pints$4.96 per = $12.40
Roasted pear-parsnip puree, 3.5 pints$1.28 per = $4.48
Hot salsa, 3.5 pints$1.99 per = $6.97
Dried Asian pear chunks, 3 cups$2.33 per cup = $6.99
"Sun dried" tomatoes, 2 cups$3.99 per cup = $7.98
Total generic value of canned products: $133.73

The estimates of most of the products come from average price per ounce from Giant grocery store's Peapod service. Prices of products from other websites are linked--pear compote and habanero jam are just kind of winged. Which pretty much means the funky-freshness and organicality of my products aren't reflected in the prices. I'd probably add a couple of bucks on top of most items, ratcheting up the market value of these products to about $160 or so, I'd wager--farmers' market value would be even higher, likely around $200.

That's not a terrible price. And I had a bunch of apples and pears that weren't used in these products.

Now let's check out the expenses:
Total cost for canned products: $229

Not included in the expense report are spices (that were already available or used in cent-quantities) and the hour value of my work (about 22 hours over 4 days could add up to several hundred or several thousand dollars, depending on how much I think my time is worth). Certain items, such as the jars and water bath canning kit, will not have to be repurchased, so future expenses will not include them. Taking those out, the total is about $169 for the stuff I made. Which, I guess if you factor in the organicosity and supercoolness of the recipes, it's totally worth it to me. As long as I can buy in bulk for cheaper produce (I really took a hit on those "on sale" blackberries from the supermarket), I'd say this is a pretty good use of my money.

Now I just need to figure out what the heck to do with all of these goodies!

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3 Responses to Canning Like Whoa

  1. WOW...that is a lot of stuff! I have seen where you can also can meats...for use later in casseroles, etc. Keep on keepin on! :)

  2. Congrats on the new skill! I find that sometimes, yes, it's cheaper to do store-bought, but after awhile averaging the cost of equipment out it's no issue, and you can't put a price on fresh, made at home stuff! I can't believe you dove into this so soon after moving back, you move fast LOL! Just this year I jumped into pressure canning and it's almost limitless what you can can there, stews, soups, meat, etc. Definitely a valuable skill and good use of your money, have fun with it!

  3. I've only canned stuff I got for free this year - cherries, plums and apple sauce. The only thing I had to buy was some sugar - I get plenty of yoghurt jars from my mother, and my "canning kit" consists of my largest cookpot with a folded dishtowel in it to keep the jars from bouncing, and a potholder to lift out the hot jars. Then again, the money I saved there was instead spent on a dehydrator.

    But I also have the problem with figuring out what to do with it - I love to make stuff, and then forget to eat it!


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