The supplies needed to start canning (water-bath method):
I went onto Freecycle (or you could try Craigslist) in our area and asked if anyone had any mason jars they would like to get rid of. I was inundated with emails of people who were more than happy to get rid of their mason jars. One woman gave me so many that the boxes barely fit into the back of my car. The only expense was gas to drive 12 miles to her home to pick them up. I got over 100 mason jars for free!!
Because I had used jars, I didn’t have the lids needed to seal the food inside the jar. In the spring, I have found that Dollar General and Family Dollar both have little boxes of these lids. They are $1 for 10-12 lids. I have found these lids to fit all of the mason jars I have: quart, pint, and some odd brand names that I’ve never heard of. I had the ring to put on the lids from some of the jars that were given to me, so those weren’t necessary.
I found a great deal on all of the tools I could ever need for canning on Amazon for less than $13! They were perfect and exactly what I needed to start my journey into canning!
Another item I found on Amazon was a plastic basket. This basket enables you to process (cook) 4-5 half pint jars or 2 quart jars at a time. This is not the type of equipment for those who are looking to can hundreds of jars of food a year, but it was perfect for my 50-60 jars of homemade jams, applesauce, and pie in a jar! This cost less than $12, and it even came with 3 pint jars along with canning recipes inside.
While canning with the pint jars, I used a stock pot that I had available. When canning using the water-bath method, you want to have a couple of inches of water over the top of the glass jars. This is easy to do with the pint jars; however, I borrowed a huge stock pot (turkey fryer) from my dad to can the quart jars.
This is all you “need” when it comes to canning!
The initial cost is less than $30 (even less if you use SwagBucks like I did!) I am so excited to start canning again this year!
Have you ever preserved your food by canning?
If not, would you like to learn how?