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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home Canned Green and Wax Beans

As promised over the next few posts intermingled with other posts I will share what I did with the goodies from my foodie road trip. If you have been following this blog some things you will have already seen so just click on the link to get to the recipe and method. Other things will be new with recipes and methods in that post.

canning jar lidsCanning Jar Lids

I go through a lot of canning jar lids, well over 1,000 in a normal year. Canning jar lids cannot be re-used for canning however used lids can be used for vacuum sealing dried foods and other storage. As any home canner will tell you finding lids at a descent price is a must for any high volume canning. Pictured is my stash of canning jar lids bought from Dollarama at $1 per box for the standard lids (red) and all but the top 4 wide mouth (green) were a $1 but then the price went up to $2 for the wide mouth so the last 4 were $2 each. There is 34 dozen (408 lids) of standards and 13 doz (156 lids) of wide mouth. I use a lot more standard lids than wide mouth lids.

How does this compare to regular store prices? The standard lids work out to 8¢ a piece as does the wide mouth lids bought for $1. Those bought for $2 are 16¢ a piece. The current price for standard lids is $1.64 on sale (reg. $2.19) at Home Hardware so that works out to 14¢ to 18¢ per lid. The wide mouths are $2.57 (reg. $3.49) This price is comparable with other stores in the area. The dollar store price is considerably lower! At 1,000 standard lids my cost is $80 with lids bought from the dollar store compared to $140 - $180. That reminds me I do need to stop there again to replenish what I used this past weekend.

home canned green and wax beansHome Canned Beans

My general rule of thumb for processing any fruit or vegetable is to pick just after the dew is dried and have it canned before lunch. Quite often I have all the equipment set up so the time from picking to canning is basically the prep time. However, a foodie road trip is different because you have travel time involved. By the time you get home you're tired so canning or freezing produce doesn't sound all that enticing. In this situation it is necessary to decide what needs immediate attention and what can keep for a day or two.

Friday night I canned up the green (pictured in previous post) and the yellow wax beans. My experience has been that beans need to be canned as soon as possible after picking or they start to go limp. Normally I would not buy beans for canning but beans are a no go in my garden this year due to late planting. The couple of bean plants might possibly produce but I'm not holding my breath! The variety of beans is important when canning. The best varieties are Blue Lake or Kentucky Wonder.

I used the entire amount of beans purchased for canning. The total cost of the beans bought at two different orchards was $7.50 with a yield of 9 jars. The total cost per 500 ml jar including electricity and lids was 71¢ or .00142¢ per ml. Now this is coming quite close to grocery store prices so it is important to realize home canned gives a higher quality product. Think of a foodie road trip as a bulk food purchase. For example our bulk beef purchase works out to $2.35 across all cuts of meat so 1 lb of ground beef costs $2.35 but 1 lb sirloin tip also costs $2.35 so it ends up being a considerable savings. When purchasing produce on a road tip there will be one or two things that you will not realize a savings on however on other home canned products there will be a greater savings so if you take the total amount spent on produce plus your gas used minus the cost of produce used fresh then divide by the total number of jars canned for an average cost per jar. Remember that this applies only to the produce not any additional ingredients you used. Overall, the cost per jar should come out well under grocery store prices but remember canning is not always about cost savings. It is about getting a high quality or unique product that you can't find in the stores.

1 food lovers commented:

cassandrasmom said...

Your beans in the jars are so pretty. What a great job!