*How Many Canning Jars?*
By: alaskana
25 September 2004

Planning on making your garden a source of ongoing yearly food supply? How many jars should you store?

First, look at meal planning and jar sizes. For a family of four, usually quart jars of fruits, juices, and vegetables are good. For jelly and jam, as long as you have refrigeration, use pints. (Homemade jellies have no preservatives and will mold, once opened, unless refrigerated.)

Canned fish and meat may go in either quarts or pints, but I generally use pints.

For a couple or a single person, consider canning fish and jelly in ˝ pint containers (like tuna cans), vegetables and fruits and meats in pints, and juices in quarts.

Now figure out how many jars you will need each week.

Fruits: 1/day, except in season= ~300

Vegetables: 1/day, except in season= ~300

Juices: 2/week= 100

Jelly and jam 1/week= 52

Fish 1-2 per week= 100

Meat 1-2/week= 100

So, if you are going to can for one fruit and vegetable a day, and have some juice, fish and meat each week, you are already talking 1050 canning jars each year!

A family of four will need 800 quarts, and 250 pints.

A single person or couple will need 100 quarts, 700 pints, and 250 ˝ pints.

Another thing to consider is how much you make in extras. I trade my jellies for smoked salmon and fresh salmon, and give many away as thank-you’s and gifts. For me, that is another 200-300 ˝ pints a year. I also give a case of quarts to my church for Sunday brunch, etc, (Another dozen or two of quarts.) Canning jars, especially smaller ones, are good for medicinal salves, for dried herbs and vegetables, and for herb vinegars, etc.

I have found that I need to buy canning jars in thrift stores and garage sales year round- there’s no way to afford new ones every year except for special projects. Sales of canning jar tops are to be watched for, too.

Canning is a great form of saving food because it does not need electricity to store. Freezing is easier and faster, but requires electricity on a regular basis. So, if you are planning to make canning a big part of replacing your foodstuffs, either by choice or necessity, please think about these jar numbers!

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