On Planning and Canning: A Little Help in Tough Economic Times

Lehman's Canning Supplies

Shop Canning Supplies at Lehmans.com

The news is full of bad economic reports, more layoffs,and more budget cut backs. Many of us have to juggle more than a little to make ends meet.

One way to help your family economy is to plan for the future – and I am not talking about stocks and bonds. I am talking about planning a garden and starting to store up the canning supplies you will need to stretch your harvest.

Many times we can purchase packets of seeds we need for our gardens from family and friends or even the change we clean out of our purses or pockets. But canning supplies have gone up in price along with many of the other needs our families have.

Ball Dome Lids and Bands

Ball Dome Lids and Bands

You can offset some of this expense by not waiting until the harvest season to purchase these supplies.This year I have already cleaned out my pantry as part of my spring cleaning. I have inspected each of the jars of preserves, tomato sauce, etc., on my shelves for safety. I have followed a strict law of “When in doubt, throw it out!” The contents have been emptied into a compost pail and sent out to the garden to work its magic with the earthworms. The lids thrown out (never reuse them); jars closely inspected for chips or cracks, and if found ,thrown out; this may be why they didn’t seal correctly the last time. Then the jars with their rings are placed into the dishwasher, washed and then stored. This has cleared a lot of wasted shelf space, probably saved my family from poisoning and let me know roughly how many supplies I will need to purchase for this year.

Beginners Home Canning Kit

Beginners Home Canning Kit

I try to remember to get at least one box of lids a week as I do the household groceries. I also try to get 2 boxes of new jars sets each month starting with March – especially the pint and half pint, as I never have enough for chowchow, pickles, jellies and jams. The entire process of gathering the canning supplies quickly becomes a family project. My children are grown and my granddaughter has the blessed memory of youth.They watch for sales, displays, coupons or anything else that can assure yummy treats from the garden on the table all winter long. Many times they will pick up a box of lids or jars as they notice them – knowing that if they wait, they may not be available to find when the harvest is ready. Anyone who has canned and worked with tomatoes knows they do not wait for you – you have to be ready for them!

This planning ahead can really save a great amount of cash expense having to be worked into the already stretched family budget all at one time. It also helps get your family involved in the process and allows more chances to pass down the ways of those who have gone before us. Many a family has been fed through the tough times, from the harvest in the pantry.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.