Day 4: Canning insanity

Today was a record breaking day in the canning department: 41 quarts of tomatoes and 15 pints of salsa. We’ve never done that much in one day. We started at 9:30, and most of us worked almost all day. The kids escaped at 6 to go play soccer, but I didn’t pull the last jars out til 7 pm. Ugh. The good thing is that we now have 80 quarts of tomatoes and my pantry is looking pretty full. (I don’t even want to think of the 2 boxes of tomatoes not quite ripe enough to can today!)

I had to go to the store for more canning lids and jars. I’m not counting that towards this month’s total since we won’t be eating that food this month. I did buy $35 worth of other groceries: potatoes, onions, canned salmon, baking powder, chocolate chips, and brown sugar. I also bought paper plates, napkins, pretzels, ketchup, and koolaid for a picnic this weekend. That means I’ve already spent $152, more than half my total for the month. It’s time to get serious about eating what we have in our pantry and freezer, or I’m going to go way over for the month. Yikes.


Breakfast: homemade yogurt, toast, bananas, and orange juice

Lunch: Leftover lasagna and soup from yesterday, plus rice and grapes

Dinner: It was supposed to be chicken with apricot sauce and baked potatoes, but the chicken took longer than expected in the crock pot, so I ended up feeding the kids peanut butter sandwiches along with their baked potatoes for dinner. Ah well. I guess we can have the chicken this weekend.

Also today, my 15 year old son made chocolate chip cookies, and my almost-14 year old daughter made 5 loaves of french bread. Our kitchen– and all of us– had quite the workout today! But we have play planned for tomorrow!


Note: Some of you were asking if you should add a new link to Mr. Linky each time you put up a post. That isn’t necessary. I will post a new Mr. Linky every Wednesday, and at that point you can share the link to your most recent post. Of course anyone can check in with you between times if they want.

Have a good weekend, everyone!!


  1. Oh my goodness! I am just counting the hours it would take to run that much through the canner….YIKES! That is a lot in one day!

  2. I used to can and garden more, but after baby #5 that all just fell apart. I miss it though!!!

    My meals plans are set for the week and I have my hubs on board with me on this challenge! With all the expenses of raising a large brood, this will sharpen our skills a bit.

    Mary, I like that you planned this in the fall, right before the holidays. It helps us clean out the excess in our freezers and cabinets, but it also gives us a clear mindset about what we really NEED, as we approach a period of ‘consumption’ during Thanksgiving/Christmas.

    I got your $75 dinner book Wednesday, it’s already all cluttered up with bookmarks, etc. I needed some fresh ideas!

    Having fun with this,

  3. Since you didn’t include the cost of jars and lids in your weekly budget, do I count the fruit I bought to make jams for Christmas gifts? (I’m hoping you’ll say no – peaches are .99/pound this weekend and I’d like to stock up!) 🙂

  4. I’ve got a bushel box of apples still to work up and put on the dehydrator and now I have the bright idea of wanting to go to the u-pick place for blueberries, and another place for peppers and tomatoes.

    and I’ve already blew this week and not much left for the month

  5. Chicken with apricot sauce sounds lovely, is that in your book? I still wish I had it already to read! The library seems to take forever to order a new book. I think this weekend I’ll make pancakes and freeze them for daughter’s breakfasts. I am not buying Pilsbury or Eggo frozen ones this month 😉
    Have a super Saturday.

  6. Denise, Yes the chicken with apricot sauce is an adaptation of a recipe in the cookbook — Pork Chops with Apricot Sauce!


  7. I agree – time to get serious and use the food we have – even if I do find amazing deals – that’s where I struggle, knowing when to stock up and when not to. Anyway here’s my post for the week – part 1!

  8. Your day sounds almost identical to mine…except you got waaaayyyy more done! I’m about to put the 2nd load of salsa in the canner and the rest of the tomatoes will just have to wait til Monday. I’m tired, how ’bout you? 😉

  9. Just an fyi – my grape jelly is about to come out of the canner. I didn’t realize how many jars I would need, so I came up a bit short. But I put the jelly in clean jars, and will store them in the fridge. Does that sound like a good solution?

    Thanks so much