Homemade Strawberry Jam and Syrup

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

My two younger boys and I spent the morning at an organic u-pick strawberry farm a couple weeks ago. The boys were amazingly good and even helped, so I kept picking and picking. Tip for any parents who want to take their kids strawberry picking: Bring a wagon, put a bucket of strawberries in it, and let them have at it.

We ended up with five 5-lb buckets plus I threw in an extra 5-lb box to make a total of 30 pounds of strawberries.

We ate one bucket, made one and a half into jam, made half of one into syrup, froze two, and dried the last 5 pounds.

First Son helped by eating strawberries.

I didn't plan very well in advance, so we picked up some packages of low-sugar pectin and some canning jar lids at the grocery store on the way home one day. Next time, I'd like to use Pomona Pectin because I've heard good things about it, and I'd like to give these reusable canning lids a try.

Strawberry Jam Cost Summary

To make 8 pint jars of jam, I spent...
  • $21 on strawberries
  • $7.50 on low-sugar pectin
  • $1.44 on lids
  • $1.44 on sugar
Total = $3.92 per jar

Jam in the same size jar costs $5 from my farmers market, and the Whole Foods brand is $4.50 (adjusting for jar size). So it ends up being a money saver, but not a crazy amount of savings.

If I had prepared in advance, I could have gotten cheaper pectin and lids, but it definitely saves to use the low-sugar pectin. For local readers, the strawberries from Vollmer Farm are AMAZING, but my friend Lina told me about Whitted Bowers Farm, where the strawberries are a little bit cheaper. All in all, I think I could get the price down next year to about $3.25 a jar.

I'm hoping these cost summaries aren't turning anyone off of preserving their own food, because I am enjoying it. But I think it's also interesting to see whether or not it's really saving money, rather than just assuming it is because I want it to.

I'll tell you something else...Dehydrating foods is not cost effective AT ALL because we eat them so fast!


You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!


twofroghome.com June 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

That jam looks delish!

I love Pomona's Pectin. It's the only pectin I use when I use pectin, these days. It will gel anything whether or not you use sugar and you get so many more batches per box than the other stuff.

Kathryn Ray June 5, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

i'm new to your blog and like the $ break down.

The priceless piece though, is the fun you had together and the fact that home made usually tastes way better than store bought.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 6, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

@twofroghome - I'm definitely going to try the Pomona's Pectin next time.

@Kathryn Ray - That's the truth! I like how our homemade jam tastes less sweet so it tastes more like strawberries. It's not going to last long!

Marie,  June 7, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

Last year we went Hilltop to Vollmer's on Mother's day. I've since put up 8 jars of preserves, 8 quarts frozen, and of course ate a lot! Is Pomona's available locally?

Thanks for info on Whitted Bower's Farm. I'm always hunting for local organic farms.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 8, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

@Marie - I keep meaning to look at Whole Foods but haven't remembered yet. It might also be at Harmony Farms on Creedmoor.

Eco Yogini June 9, 2010 at 9:24 PM  

YUM love strawberry jam. Thanks for the link for the alternative pectin! :)

cheap viagra April 26, 2011 at 2:02 PM  

thi jam tastes incredible! thanks for the recipe! Hey try this one with cherries, it tastes better.

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