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Food Safety: Keeping Food Fresh Ideas relating to canning all types of foods, can also cover freezing for preservation, long term storage, avoiding spoilage and other safety concerns.

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Old 02-13-2002, 08:08 AM
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is canning really frugal?

I know that's a loaded question lol! I'll have a good sized veggie garden this year and will definetely be canning a lot of stuff, if only so I know exactly what we're eating. But is it really any cheaper than just buying canned vegetables when they're on sale?

And can anyone tell me if you really NEED a pressure canner? The books I have say yes but the only person I now who cans all the time says no. Help! If I want a canner, I need to start saving for one NOW, and I'd like to know which one I need. TIA
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Old 02-15-2002, 08:39 AM
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Frugal Canning

In my area the cheapest (not neccessarily the best) canned green beans at the store are $.39 per can on a great sale day and then there are quantity limits. For $1.85 I can order my favorite variety of green bean seed, grow them with free rain and sunshine, and maintain and pick them with my free labor. I will harvest many jars- worth of beans and can them in jars I already own to pull out on a winter's day to enjoy. Jars can sometimes be found at flea markets or yard sales. Sometimes folks will advertise jars to give away in the newspaper or check with your local recylcing center. They sometimes try to find good homes for perfectly good canning jars before moving them on to the big glass melting-pot in the sky. After the investment of jars you only need to replace the lids after each use. I pay approx. 7-1/2 cents per lid at our discount grocery. Try finding organic produce at these prices anywhere but in your own backyard.

As for your canner, low acid foods such as beans, corn, veggie soup etc. require pressure canning to assure a seal that will keep botulism at bay. Water bath canners have worked well for many people for many years but not for everyone all of the time. Many people have become seriously ill and have died from botulism. Children are especially susceptable because of small body mass/ low body weight. Check with your local county extension office for materials on canning at your altitude. They have publications on canning all sorts of foods, complete with recipes. Good luck on your gardening and congratulations on all that great home-grown produce in the making.
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Old 06-27-2002, 05:53 AM
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I just read your post and thought that I would reply even though you may already be in the middle of your veggie harvest. I count it as frugal and really cheaper to can & freeze certain things from our garden based on the fact that I know exactly what we are eating (What has been added and how it was handled). Canning is one of the most labor intensive, but even more rewarding activities that I know. I have been canning and freezing fresh produce for over 40 years and while I don't do as much now as I did for years, I guess that I will do some each year until I can no longer lift the canner. As was stated in the last post a pressure canner is an absolute necessity for some veggies. I found a nearly new canner, water bather with ladle and filler and a lot of jars at a moving sale for only $50. The canner was like new. Yard sales, garage sales, moving sales and estate sales are really good sources for reasonably priced canning supplies as are some secondhand and resale shops.

There is a canning discussusion group called Creative Canning Cusine. You can subscribe at:
[email protected]
I think that you just send a blank email.

You will find some canning links at

A good newsletter is Just Jeanne and you can subscribe to it by sending a blank email to
[email protected]

I hope that your garden has been as productive as ours. We have given away probably 10 times more than what I have put up for our own use.

God is so good to us.

To see God, Look to Jesus
When things get tough, always remember....
Faith doesn't get you around trouble, it gets you through it!!
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Old 06-27-2002, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the info! I'll be checking those links out for sure. I was able to get a water bath canner cheap at a yard sale, but pressure canners are hard to find--this is a farming community, and EVERYONE does their own canning lol! I've met some of my neighbors from around the block, and have gotten loads of advice.

Jole, unfortunately, I live in Zone 5--my veggies are just now getting blossoms. Lots of 'em, though! I made stuffed squash blossoms for lunch and didn't make a dent in the amount on the plant! I figure if I can't can this year--I can freeze most of it and try again next year.
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