I'm using the cost of one tank of gasoline to put things into perspective.
The prices will vary of course, depending on vehicle types and usage, but for us, it costs $70.00/week to fill the family car. For us, that's approximately $3,640.00 spent on gasoline in one year.
We can't change gas prices, but we cut corners when able, and home canning is a solution to financial strains. Your greatest expense is in the beginning: purchasing the equipment; but even still, it's cheaper than you may think. Check around for prices on canning equipment and start gathering canning jars a box or two at a time. Take good care of your supplies (a couple hundred bucks for basic supplies, depending on how they are accumulated) and supplies might possibly last a lifetime. I'm thinking a full set of canning supplies, plus a year's supply of home canned tomatoes is still less than a year's worth of gasoline!
You're on to something, here!
Honestly, I don't remember what a can of tomatoes from the store cost, so I consulted Google for a few price comparisons. The majority of what I found were in the general price range of $2.69 to $3.89. Walmart's Great Value brand were the least expensive canned tomatoes.
- A 15 ounce can of crushed organic tomatoes by Eden Foods cost $2.89. This is about the same for other brands of tomatoes on the market.
- Walmart had their brand of 28 ounce whole canned tomatoes for $1.24. This is the cheapest I've found on the market. However, my home canned tomatoes take first prize; in more ways than one!
Here is a breakdown of our expenses for home canned tomatoes in 2012.
- 6 five-gallon-buckets of tomatoes from a local U-Pick farm: $48.00
- Canning lids: $7.84
- 2 bottles of lemon juice: $4.74
- 1 box of salt: $0.89
- Total: $61.47
- That comes to approximately $1.10 per quart (32 ounces of fresh home canned tomatoes), and $0.55 per pint (16 ounces of fresh home canned tomatoes).
Not only are tomatoes more affordable to can at home, they taste better. Home canned tomatoes are packed in their natural juices; there's no water added, which means you get more tomatoes per ounce.
So here you have it!
- A one year supply of home canned tomatoes averages $61.47
- A one year supply of commercially canned tomatoes averages $150.28
- A years worth of gasoline: approximately $3,640.00