Preserving Foods {day 24}

Preserving foods to save money doesn’t have to be like the old days of carrying meat to a smoke house or standing over a hot canner on a stove for hours on end. Canning all my vegetables is something I have missed the past 3 summers since we don’t have a garden spot. Even without a garden, I still manage to do a little canning. Not having a garden and fruit trees or vines doesn’t mean you can’t preserve foods for your family.

Preserving Foods doesn't have to be dependent on a garden or and orchard. You can preserve store bought items for future use. 3 ways I preserve foods. {day 24} 31 Days of Homemaking Series l frogslilypad.net

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Preserving Foods

I’ve mentioned buying in bulk several times in the past. When our local grocery store has certain produce in the special fill a bag for $10, I fill that bag slap full of what I’m needing. Twice in the past two months they had all colored bell peppers in the special. Around here orange, red, and yellow bell peppers are anywhere from $2-3 a piece. The last time we bought a bagful we ended up with 20 bell peppers in the bag.

My 3 Favorite Ways to Preserve Foods

Freezing – our biggest way of preserving right now is freezing. I have several bags of diced and julienned sliced peppers from my past sale finds. Anytime I buy meat on sale, I freeze it. In fact, if I buy a large container of ground meat for several dishes, I cook it all at once and then separate it into bags to be frozen. Baking ingredients like flour and yeast can be placed in your freezer to keep over time.

Canning– while I don’t get to can as much as I would like, I am still able to put a few things in the canner for use later on. When I catch canned tomatoes and tomato sauce on sale, I stock up and make homemade salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and enchilada sauce.

  • Jelly – Did you know you can make homemade jelly from a bottle of store-bought juice? You can and you can’t tell the difference either. In fact, it’s a whole lot easier than juicing your own fruits. For me, I normally by Welch’s grape jelly because it’s pretty inexpensive here, but if I have a hankering for apple jelly, I’ll make my own using bottled juice. While I haven’t used Pomona Pectin, I have read some really good things about it, like it will gel plain water. It’s being added to my grocery list because I have a sneaky feeling about some of their jelly recipes being tasty.

  • Pickles – my sister told me how she buys cucumbers, slices them and puts them in store bought pickle juice. After a few days, they become pickles. On my next shopping trip, I am planning on buying a jar of pickles and cucumbers to give this a try. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Even making homemade pickles are easy now days because of the quick method pickling from Ball. You don’t even need a pressure canner to make pickles, a water bath canner is all you need.

Drying – one of my favorite ways of preserving foods is by loading up my dehydrator my husband bought me. I love this thing! Dried banana chips are my favorite. Dried sweet potatoes are my little Mickey’s favorite treats and they are healthy for him too. Hopefully this year, there will be deer to turn into jerky for my jerky loving men. Eww! not me - jerky that is, not deer.

Just because you don't have a garden and orchards, you can still preserve foods for your family. Do you preserve foods and what are your favorite methods?

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31 days of homemaking