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Friday, February 28, 2014

Going Organic on a Budget: Food Preservation

I mentioned last week that I preserve a lot of what I buy locally or get from our CSA. Basically what that means is that I either freeze or can a lot of it to use later. Doing this during the summer saved me tons this fall and winter because I didn't have to purchase canned or frozen veggies in the store. I'm just now getting to the point where I will have to buy canned green beans from the store.

Using the pressure canner my husband got my for Christmas

That's pretty easy to do during the summer months when locally grown produce is aplenty. But, now not so much.

So, I take advantage of buying things when they're on sale. When I made this tomato sauce, tomatoes happened to be on sale at my local grocery, so I bought a bunch, enough to make 5 pints of tomato sauce. Not only did I save money on tomatoes, but I saved by not buying tomato sauce in the store, which is more expensive. An added bonus is that my sauce has no sugar and tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. Something else I've canned is my own white beans and black beans. I buy the bagged dry beans in the store for super cheap, then soak, cook and can them. Yes it takes forever, but saves me in the long run. 


I've talked about canning before, but something to note is that you can can using either a water bath or with a pressure canner. I started out this summer using a water bath because that was all I had. However, it's not safe to can things such as green beans in a water bath because the temperature doesn't get hot enough to kill bacteria. Things with a high acidic content, such as pickles, tomatoes and peaches are fine in a water bath though. Or, if you don't want to can, just freeze them. Super easy!

Another thing I would like to mention is that I don't buy all fruits and vegetables organic. I stick to purchasing the dirty dozen organic and the clean fifteen conventionally. While I would love to buy all organic, I am on a budget!

Stay tuned next week when I talk about couponing organic foods!

6 comments:

  1. This looks really good Holly! My mom is all about canning but I haven't tried it yet.

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  2. We've just recently gotten down to the last of our frozen/canned goods from Seton. If you don't count pickles. We have tons and tons of pickles!

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  3. My aunt cans all the time but I never had until last summer. It was something I had always wanted to but just never did. Now I love it!

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  4. I have a magnet on my fridge that lists the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen. It makes for a great reminder when I'm making my grocery list.

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  5. I want to try canning. I would love to make my own preserves, pickles and pasta sauce. I am terrified though! All the boiling and cleaning and sanitizing. It would be a disaster!

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  6. It's really not that difficult. There are lots of canning recipes online and if you purchase a canning kit for like $10, it helps with minimizing the mess and keeping things sterile. A water bath is super easy, even though you can do as much with it. I was more scared of my pressure canner exploding than anything else the first time I used it :-)

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