How a Pressure Canner can save you A LOT of Money

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately (and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you have) you have probably noticed the increase of price in just about everything.  Preserving food can save you money, but I’m going to share with you exactly how a pressure canner can save you money.

Pressure canning

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I’ve considered purchasing a pressure canner for years, but always decided against it because to me it was this ticking time bomb in my house.  I was nervous that if I bought one it would basically explode in my house.

This year, after talking to some friends who use pressure canners I decided it was time to get over my fear.  And now that I have one I’m really wondering why I waited so long to get one. 

First of all, they are quite easy to use and are very safe if you use them according to their directions.  I would say they are a lot safer than they used to be. Secondly, I’ve already seen how it’s saving me so much money.

BUT WAIT, CAN’T A WATER BATH CANNER DO THE SAME THING?

Well, no, it can’t.  I own a water bath canner as well, and it has it’s place for sure.  I use it to preserve jam and jellies.  However, there are many things that you can’t safely can in a water bath canner that you can in a pressure canner.  For years there were many things I couldn’t preserve just because I didn’t have the right tool for it.

If you can food in a water bath canner that shouldn’t be canned without a pressure canner, you can end up with botulism, and that really isn’t anything to play around with.  To avoid botulism you always want to be following safe protocols when it comes to canning.

But, I don’t want you to be scared of getting sick.  If you use the right tools, it’ll be just fine.

Enter, the pressure canner.

The pressure canner will allow you to can things like vegetables, broth, soups, legumes, and more.  And you don’t need to have a full garden to benefit financially from a pressure canner.

In a minute I’ll talk about what you can pressure can to save money, but first, let’s answer the million dollar question:

Is a pressure cooker the same as a pressure canner?

No, it is not.  A pressure cooker allows you to cook meals quickly under pressure.  One popular type of pressure cooker is the ever popular instant pot.  But it is advised that you don’t use a pressure cooker for canning as a pressure canner has additional tools that help monitor the pressure in the canner, such as a gauge and weights.

So, bottom line, don’t try to can in your instant pot!

 

 

WHAT CAN YOU PRESSURE CAN?

Broth.

You can make broth from chicken or beef bones.  Once you’ve made it you can toss it in your pressure canner, follow your canner’s instructions, and now you have shelf-stable broth that you didn’t have to buy at the grocery store.

Legumes.

Things like black beans or chickpeas are a lot cheaper in dried form, rather than buying the cans.  However, It takes a super long time cook dried beans.  Like, hours.  No one really wants to do that every time they need a cup or two of beans.

With a pressure canner you can cook up a whole bag of beans or chickpeas, and then can it.  Whenever you need some beans for a meal you can just pull a jar off your shelf!

Soups and Stews.

Make a huge batch of soup or stew and toss it in the pressure canner.  Next time you need a quick meal, or maybe aren’t feeling well and need some easy soup, it’ll be ready and waiting for you.

Vegetables

You can’t can vegetables in a water bath canner.  You need a pressure canner to can vegetables.  It isn’t just a surplus from your garden you can preserve.  If there is a deal on vegetables at the grocery store you can stock up and preserve them.  

Recently I had a bunch of carrots from a grocery store in my fridge and they were starting to go bad.  In the past I would have just thrown them out, but instead I was able to pressure can them and now I have a bunch of jars of carrots on my shelf!  

Meat

Canning meat can only safely be done by a pressure canner.  While I haven’t done this yet, I will be soon as we have half a cow coming to fill our freezer and we aren’t convinced we will have enough room.  I don’t need to worry about it because I am able to can some of it.

If meat is on sale at the grocery store you can stock up on it and preserve it as well!

HOW MUCH IS A PRESSURE CANNER?

I’m not going to lie, they aren’t cheap.  But it won’t take long for it to pay for itself in all the money you will save.  I was able to buy a Presto Canner for about 300 dollars, but the All American brand is a lot more expensive.  Many people love the All American Canners and swear by them, by I love my Presto Canner and am very happy with it.

I will suggest you pay the extra money though and get the bigger one.  This allows me to stack cans if I need to so that I can preserve more in one shot.  It also means I can preserve food with the quart-sized jars as well.

Aside from the actual canner, you’ll need to purchase mason jars.  

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CANNING

What are the advantages and disadvantages of canning?  Well, while I’d love to say there are no disadvantages, some may disagree.

DISADVANTAGES

Time Consuming

One disadvantage is that it is time consuming.  If you are going to be canning, expect to be working in a hot kitchen, (undoubtedly always on the hottest days of the year) sweating over a steaming hot pot while you prepare a lot of food.

Can make you sick if done improperly

Another disadvantage is that if it isn’t done safely, it can make someone sick.  However, I want to encourage you to not be scared.  Just follow the instructions and you’ll be okay.

ADVANTAGES

Can save you money

As I shared already, canning can save you a lot of money if done right.

Healthier

Foods you canned at home won’t have a bunch of added preservatives in it with ingredients you can’t pronounce.  You can feel better about what you are eating.

HOW CAN YOU PRESERVE FOOD?

So, you can preserve food with pressure canning and water bath canning, but is there any other way to also preserve food?

You can freeze food.  

This can be a good option if you don’t have a canner or dehydrator and also want to preserve food quickly.  The downside with preserving food in the freezer is that if you suddenly lose electricity for an extensive period of time you could lose some of your food.  However, some people avoid this with a generator.

You can dehydrate food.

I recently bought a dehydrator and I’m able to preserve food like herbs, vegetables, fruits, and beef jerky this way.  I have been dehydrating tomatoes this summer because I discovered I can make tomato sauce from dehydrated tomatoes.  I can’t wait to use these tomatoes for that purpose this year.

You can also make fruit leather with a dehydrator which is perfect for hiking, camping, or even long car rides.  It’s a great snack for kids!

LESSEN THE PAIN OF INFLATION WITH PRESSURE CANNING

I don’t think it matters where you live in the world right now, most people to some degree are feeling inflation.  So many things are out of our control when it comes to an increase in prices for things like food, gas, and other things.

However, what is in our control are little ways to save money.  Our grocery bill is a great place to reduce costs with things like canning and preserving our food.  The less food waste we have, the more money we will save.  Multiple methods of preserving food prevents us from throwing out as much food as maybe we found ourselves doing before.

Consider purchasing a pressure canner to save money in the long run.  This long-term investment will eventually pay off!

 

 

 

 

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