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Frugal Canning Tips

Yesterday I canned 2 pints and 6 half pints of salsa from home grown tomatoes and jalapenos.

You can save money several different ways when it comes to canning. Jars can be picked up at garage sales, auctions, estate sales, and thrift stores. Check craigslist, freecycle, and posts on bulletin boards such as church bulletins.

A large stockpot with lid can be used for a water bath canner. In my opinion, buying a true water bath canner is cheaper than buying a stock pot, so unless you happen to have a large stock pot already or find one used, go ahead and buy a true canner.

I already had 1 case of half pint, 2 cases of pint and 2 cases of quart jars. I just needed to buy a box lids. Lids should not be reused. Rings can be if they are not bent or rusty. A box of 12 lids will cost around $2. A box of lids with rings is less than $4.

The only thing I have not been able to find is my funnel and tongs. I learned my lesson yesterday. Never again will I try to do any type of canning without a funnel and tongs made for canning.

When I stopped at Wal-Mart to get more lids I picked up this:

It's the best $6 I've spent in a long time!

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What's your favorite frugal canning tip?


  1. I can't even remember the last time I purchased canning jars new. I already had quite a few, then early in the spring Shane got several cases of them free from someone on craigslist.

    Lately I've seen quite a few coupons good for either Ball or Kerr brands. I didn't need more jars, but some of the coupons were for just the lids and/or rings.

    Also, Big Lots sells complete jars/lids/rings fairly cheap this time of year.

    Two more tips:

    1) if you give your canned goods to family or friends, ask them to return your jars if they don't mind

    2) although the flat lids can't be reused for canning, I keep them anyway and reuse them ONLY for things that aren't canned, like temporarily storing soup in a jar in the fridge or storing things like pasta or rice in jars in the pantry. You can easily tell by looking at the sealing compound whether they've been used or not, but I try to mark them some way just to be sure.

  2. We bought the jar lifter and the magnetic lid lifter at the Mennonite store this spring. we LOVE them!
    We've made lots of salsa, I think 5 qts and 34 pints this summer. I also did some tomoatoe juice and lots of green beans. so these tools came in handly.
    The husband has been doing the cold packing in the garage on his camp stove to keep the heat out of the kitchen!
    Happy Canning.

  3. Hi Lisa.. I came across your blog via one of my followers blog (did i say that right?lol)
    Anyway I wanted to introduce myself, my name is Karen from http://glassofsweettea.blogspot.com/
    I have enjoyed looking over your post(s) and will be back to visit again regularly. Hope you will get a chance to stop by and visit me as well
    Have a blessed day.. Be talking to ya again real soon..

  4. Annie I didnt even think about Big Lots! Thanks for the tip.

    OB Quilter I've never owned the magnetic lid wand until now, it keeps your fingers from getting burnt! I love it.

    Karen thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I will certainly be by to check your site out.

  5. nice, I'll have to get me one of those. I also grow tomatoes and chiles and WOW am I surprised at how many tomatoes my plants grow and they are so easy to grow. It amazes me that not many people grow them.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    I was trying to become a follower yesterday along with my comment but it wasn't letting me for some reason. You have a cute blog, thanks for commenting on mine. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better! Have a blessed evening.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    Can you share your recipe for salsa and how you can it? I've made tomato sauce but it's fully cooked so that was easy. How do you can fresh salsa?

  8. Maria tomatoes do produce a lot..... usually all at once! lol

    Jill sometimes blogger doesnt like to play well. I hope you were able to follow now. Thanks for stopping by.

    Jenny our salsa recipe is different every time we make it due to we use what we have grown and have on hand. When canning salsa everything is cooked and I cook mine down for about 3o minutes, bring it back up to a boil and then fill my hot jars, and process in a water bath for 20 minutes. Here is a link that is almost identical to how we make our salsa. I do not use banana or green peppers in mine (remember hubby hates green peppers)I use extra jalapenos and gypsy peppers. I don't like vinegar in it and I dont add it. This year I didn't put any sugar in it. My tomatoes were sweet enough for us and we don't need the added sugar in our diet. We love cilantro in ours. I use fresh if I have it, if I don't then I will add about 4 tablespoons of dried.

    On the vinegar thing, they say to add it due to the canning process needing the acidity. My salsa really doesnt last long enough to worry about it. I've been making it this way for the 18 years hubby and I have been married. Lots of canning rules have changed in the last 15 years. The vinegar does change the taste to me. But they do say to add it. Take it for what it's worth.

  9. Jenny WOOPS! the link didnt paste. lol here it is: http://www.newlyweds-blog.com/2009/05/26/homemade-salsa/

  10. Living the frugal life sure is pretty awesome, especially when you want to save a lot of money for your future. With simple things like preserving your food or using the coupon method to for groceries are totally helpful. But when there's a sudden emergency, it is good to have a South Dakota payday loans backing you up to keep you safe.