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Everyday Cheapskate: Got a Big Harvest? Can It!

Mary Hunt on

Wide-mouth canning funnel. A canning funnel makes filling your jars simple, safe and tidy.

A non-metallic spatula. You want to avoid anything metallic coming into contact with your prepared food item, so use a non-metallic spatula, a long plastic knife or a chopstick to run through the filled jars and release trapped air bubbles.

Linens. You'll need a clean dishcloth to wipe the rims before placing the lids on the jars and a heavy dishtowel or absorbent mat to sit the hot jars on after removing them from the canner.

Rather than searching for each item individually, consider a home canning kit that comes with everything you need except the jars. Expect to pay about $40 online or in stores like Walmart and Target.

A GOOD TEACHER

When it comes to finding a great teacher, I have two suggestions for you:

Book. The book "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving," edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine, costs about $15. This book includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving methods, lists of required equipment and utensils, specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced canner.

Website. The Simply Canning website offers hundreds of recipes created specifically for home canning, plus lots of instruction, help, tips and tricks. This is a terrific site for beginners.

RIPE PRODUCE

The website PickYourOwn.farm will help you find local pick-your-own orchards and farms in your local area. Just log on and input your ZIP code.

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Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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