How To Frugal Foodie’s Guide to Preserving Summer Produce Read the Article Open Share Drawer Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Written by Chelsea Dehner Published Aug 29, 2012 5 min read Advertising Disclosure The views expressed on this blog are those of the bloggers, and not necessarily those of Intuit. Third-party blogger may have received compensation for their time and services. Click here to read full disclosure on third-party bloggers. This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice. The content on this blog is "as is" and carries no warranties. Intuit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content on this blog. After 20 days, comments are closed on posts. Intuit may, but has no obligation to, monitor comments. Comments that include profanity or abusive language will not be posted. Click here to read full Terms of Service. Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further Sign up for Free The idea of standing over a hot stove during the last days of summer may not sound too appealing, but it can do wonders for your grocery bill. We’ve mentioned more than a few times that it’s best to buy seasonal produce because the excess quantity drives down prices. Summer is the cheapest time for strawberries, peppers, peaches, tomatoes and a long list of other produce. Home cooks who figure out how to preserve their haul with homemade jams, jellies, sauces, pickles and other goodies can take those savings well through the winter. Plus, they can do it using less sugar and without the chemical preservatives of store-bought versions. Just how much can you save? Frugal Foodie used peppers from her garden this year to make half a dozen 8-ounce jars of pickled jalapenos, for just about $2 worth of ingredients. That’s how much it would have cost to buy a similarly sized jar at the supermarket. Steven and Lina Zussino of www.GroceryAlerts.ca did their own test, making a batch of strawberry mango daiquiri jam (recipe below) for $2.65 per 8-ounce jar. That’s roughly half the price of gourmet jams, although some single-fruit store brands can be as cheap a $2 per jar. The recipe factors in the cost to buy the canning jars, so home cooks reusing jars can save even more. But preparing canned goods to store at room temperature isn’t a feat to tackle without a little research first. One wrong variable, like a poorly sealed jar, can lead to spoilage. Before you get started, read the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s canning guide, and then follow recipes to the letter. (You might also consider a few freezer- and fridge-stored preserves that don’t require actual canning.) We asked chefs, food bloggers, home cooks and other experts for their easiest home preserving recipes. Here are nine to try: Tomato Jam Kathy Catlin Davis of “Lessons From Cooper” tweaked her tomato jam so it’s less sweet. Use it “on toast with eggs and bacon; on a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich in place of the tomato, basically anything that involves bread and tomatoes,” she says. Zucchini Relish Tired of zucchini bread? If you’re faced with an excess of squash, this spicy zucchini relish recipe from Karen Ciancio of “Cooking Nook” uses a whopping six pounds of the summer vegetable. Strawberry Mango Daiquiri Jam The Zussino family’s recipe uses strawberries, mangoes and lime, but the secret (and optional) ingredient is a half-cup of rum. Strawberry & Rhubarb Pie Filling Rhubarb isn’t in season very long, but Ashley Walkup of www.embracingbeauty.com has a canned pie filling that can be used year round. (She suggests doubling it to make enough for several pies.) First, prepare jars for canning. In a non-reactive pan, combine three peeled and chopped Gala apples, a tablespoon orange zest, a quarter-cup freshly squeezed orange juice, seven cups sliced rhubarb and two cups granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, boil gently and stir frequently until rhubarb is tender. Add four cups hulled strawberries and return to a boil. After it boils, remove it from the heat. Add hot pie filling into jars, leaving an inch of head space. Clean the rim of the jar, put the lid on, and screw on the ring (but not too tightly). Process in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and let the jars remain in the bath for an extra five minutes before removing. Summer Squash Pickles Instead of the usual cucumbers and white vinegar, Julie Grice of “Savvy Eat” subs in squash and white wine vinegar in this recipe. Canned Apple Pie Filling This recipe from Marybeth Hamilton of “Baby Savers” makes it easy to pre-prepare pie filling for later in the season. “It offers an alternative to applesauce for preserving the harvest, and it’s incredibly versatile,” she says. Sweet Chili Sauce Ciancio suggests using this sauce as a flavorful topping to hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as a mix in for meatloaf and other dishes. Honeyed Peaches Not all honey is created equal: Grice taste-tested several varieties before finding one that paired well with summer peach preserves. Strawberry Lavender Jam Fresh lavender plays a key role in Walkup’s jam. To make, wash, dry and hull a pound of strawberries. Put them in a bowl. Lay 10 of the lavender stems atop the strawberries. Cover with a pound of sugar and let the mix rest in your refrigerator for one day. When you’re ready to cook, put your canner bath on stove so the water can begin to heat. Discard the lavender from the strawberry and sugar. Sugar will stick to the lavender but with a simple shake, it should fall right back into the bowl. Place the strawberry and sugar mixture in a large non-reactive pan. Take 10 more lavender stems and use one of the stems to tie the others together. Add the lavender to the pan. Add a third-cup of lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, then continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the gel reaches 220 degrees F. Skim any foam from the top. Discard the lavender. Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized jars, wipe the rim of any excess jam, put the lid on, and screw on the ring (but not too tightly). Process in a canner bath for 10 minutes. Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie http://www.twitter.com/mintfoodie. Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further Sign up for Free Previous Post 12 Ways to Fight Off Frugal Fatigue Next Post MintStyle with Rachel Weingarten: Getting Older, Letting Go, and Updating… Written by Chelsea Dehner More from Chelsea Dehner Browse Related Articles Saving 101 How To Save on Groceries… By Growing Your Own Saving 101 Eat Well, Spend Less: Summer In-Season Produce Saving 101 10 Tips on Growing Your Garden Without Growing Your Exp… How To Spring Gardening on the Cheap Saving 101 Healthier, Tastier, Cheaper: Homemade Sauces, Jams and … Financial Planning Frugal Food to Get You in the Mood Saving 101 How to Make Blended Coffee Shakes for $0.40 How To The Best Spring Produce for a Frugal Food Budget Financial Planning Frugal Foodie’s Top Picks for the Best Spring Far… Financial Planning Does Frugal Grocery Shopping Allow for Healthy Eating?