Fresh fruit and vegetables always taste so good this time of year. Maybe that's why autumn is my favourite season. It's all about the food! Even though you can now buy anything you want all year round, if it isn't in season, it doesn't taste as good and costs so much more. That's why this frugal tip is preserving the harvest.
Right now when fruit and vegetables are plentiful and cheaper, it's time to buy in bulk and freeze or can. That way you have food in the winter that is cheaper and tastes much better. Some things make financial sense and some don't. You can figure that out by what types of food your family likes, what's expensive in your area during the winter and what types of food can be preserved. Basically you are able to can or freeze most anything but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily want to. For example, I find mushrooms go rubbery when they are frozen and there's only so many recipes that call for duxelles. Also we are able to get mushrooms grown locally in the winter so the price isn't bad.
I always make several types of jam each year and definitely, chili sauce. That is a family favourite. Even if you've never done any preserving (canning) before, it's easy and very satisfying.
While frozen peas and corn aren't terribly expensive in the winter, I grew the peas myself so it was definitely worth freezing them and the corn was cheap this summer and tastes so amazingly good in winter (not at all like store-bought frozen). I freeze berries and tomatoes (grown in the garden) and peaches and rhubarb. Basically at the start of the winter, my freezer is jam-packed (just not with jam). It makes me feel rich when I know I could get by for a couple of months without buying anything but eggs and milk. Definitely worth the little bit of work for the savings and the taste. xo Jules