We all know that fruits and vegetables can be canned, but did you know you can also can your favorite homemade soups, stews, and chili?  I have an awesome marinara recipe and can’t wait to can it when the weather gets a little cooler.  I love the fact that I will know exactly what is in the recipe, and that it won’t be full of sugars.

 If you want to start canning your own main dish recipes, start by making a list of the ingredients you’ll need.  Then, look for them on sale.  If this process ends up costing an arm and a leg, that Ragu, with all its’ preservatives and sugar, will start looking pretty good at $2 a jar!  On the topic of keeping this cheap, look for canning jars at yard sales.  You can even ask for them on Freecycle.

The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is considered to be The Bible of home canning. 51ApSW30KUL__SL500_AA240_It offers all types of recipes, but more importantly takes the beginning canner step by step through the process.  Most importantly, following the directions will help insure your food is safe from deadly bacteria.  As my friend, Barbara , said, “In canning, there are no shortcuts.”

One tip for your canning.  Determine how much of the main dish you ordinarily use for a meal, and then look for canning jars that contain about that much.  I hate it when I use half a jar of spaghetti sauce on a pizza, and then the other half collects mold in my refrigerator. 

Finally, I found a great article online, “Canning Made Easy.”  If you’re a beginner, it’s a good introduction.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2009 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. says

    My wife and I have discussed this a few times. We always end up doing the math however, and with a family of our size one meal ends up being several quarts! There's a down side to mom being such a darn good cook.

    The compromise we've come to is to store the staples in various stages of processing. For example the spaghetti sauce you mention. Or for one of our favorites: Chicken Noodle Soup. We don't need to make it ALL ahead of time. Canning broth with chicken chunks in it, then combine at meal time with noodles and dehydrated veggies from storage. Voila! We still end up with a fair amount of jars, but it's less than we would otherwise use.

    • says

      Now THAT is a great idea — chicken noodle soup is my daughter’s absolute FAVORITE, but she always makes way too much. Next time she makes it, i’ll catch her before she puts the noodles in, and we’ll put back 3/4 of what she’s done, LOL! In an emergency, i know she’d rather eat her own creation anyway.

  2. Barbara says

    Any time I make a meal that could be canned, like chili, I make double and can the leftovers. Second time around is just as good as the first. Shredded BBQ Pork or Chicken is a favorite as is Ham and beans. The kids, or lazy teens who are constantly hungry can just open a jar. Also, this is so nice if I'm away, or under the weather.
    It's part of my storage plan, just in case I'm not available to help my family except with what I did before it all fell apart. You never know what's in store.

    • says

      Barbara, doubling a recipe is an easy way to make sure you have extra for your food storage. Believe me, your family will appreciate your efforts. It sounds like even now those canned meals come in handy. :o)

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