Is canning your own food really worth it?
We get this question asked a lot here and so I think it's time to address the subject in the form of a blog. I've done my research on whether you should continue to buy canned food for your food storage or jump on the trend of canning your own food. Stick around because the results might just surprise you!
COST OF CANNING EQUIPMENT
When I was younger growing up, my mom used to can food and it seemed like at the time, the price of those jars was not very much. But through the years, the need for canning has gained an interest in the family household. Mason jars on amazon are a whopping $30 for a case of 12. But this also includes the lid and the screw on top. As a bonus, most of the ones that are selling now, come with labels to make them easier to store. They are super durable and will do the trick when canning. When you divide the $30 by the number of cans you have, it comes out to about $2.50 a can. I know of some older people who are still using cans that are 15-20 years old, which makes your cost of canning jars way cheaper! Another plus, you can often get used canning jars from friends, family, neighbors, garage sales, and thrift stores, bringing the cost of them to almost pennies. When purchasing used jars, make sure you run your finger over the rim of the jar to make sure there aren't any nicks or cracks, which cause them from sealing properly.
HOME CANNED FOOD VS. STORE BOUGHT FOOD
When deciding which method is cheaper, you'll want to compare the item for what it's worth, but there are also other factors that you need to keep in mind. If you plan on canning vegetables, you will need a pressure canner. Check out this link here to find the best one that might fit your needs. Don't be afraid to spend a little more on a canner, as you'll most likely have it for a long time, canning TONS of jars. For example, if you get a pressure canner for $100, divide that by 12 months, it is a little over $8 a month. Then you have to keep in mind the number of jars you'll be canning and BOOM, the cost is a penny per jar for the pressure canner. When you count up how much you'd spend out going out to eat over a year, that pressure canner is paid for and then some.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO CAN FOOD AT HOME?
Canning does in fact take time, but the amount of time varies by food, processing time, and method. Since canning can take a while, you will want to make sure that you have time set aside for something like this! In some cases, it's actually faster to can (going down to your food storage and opening some things that are actually prepared) than it is to cook all of those items fresh at meal time.
SO, IS IT WORTH IT TO CAN FOOD AT HOME?
Again, it all depends on what your preferred method is but when looking at all the positives, canning your own food is the way to go(if you keep in mind all the other factors) and does benefit you and your family in the long run. Having shelves lined with already prepared food that isn't dependent upon a grocery store, is a feeling like no other. It definitely comes in handy knowing that if a real emergency were to happen, like bad weather or a power outage, you can literally go straight to your food storage and get what you need from the comfort of your own home. Plus, on a busy night, with no fast food or worrying about dinner, you can open a jar and have a homemade home-cooked meal on the table in less time than you would be waiting while eating out.