Since I’m not sure whether we’ll have a decent harvest this year thanks to the cooler temperatures and the deer, I decided to stock up on canned tomatoes whenever I found a good deal.
When I did my rough estimate of my cost per pound for growing vegetables, I figured on $.25 to $.50 per pound. When our harvest is finished, our costs will be around $.25 per pound because I’ll be able to include the pumpkins, potatoes, apples, raspberries, acorn squash, and the fall planting of broccoli, snap peas, lettuce, spinach and greens.
If I go to my local produce place, plum tomatoes are currently selling for $.69/lb. Not a bad deal for someone who isn’t able to grow their own at home, but has the equipment or wants to buy the equipment and get started.
At my local grocery outlet (Amelia’s), I just found canned organic tomatoes for $.54/lb. Previously, these same canned tomatoes were selling for $.84/lb. Still a great price for someone without the time or supplies for canning.
If I go to my local grocery store (Genuardi’s for example), the store brand canned tomatoes are available for $1.16/lb. I found store brand tomato sauce without sugar (very hard to find) for about $1.25/lb. Granted, if one is able to do a lot of couponing, it is possible to get name brand canned tomatoes and sauce on sale for significantly less, probably closer to the cost of the plum tomatoes from the produce place. However, it’s much harder buying canned organic tomatoes with couponing and it’s equally difficult finding tomato sauce that doesn’t contain sugar and is low in sodium.
Given that tomatoes are not currently on the list of fruits and vegetables with high concentrations of pesticide, buying and canning plum tomatoes is a good option for someone like me who has the time and equipment to preserve food. Chances are my local produce place would give me a discount if I ask for it and buy at least a case of plum tomatoes. Another viable alternative for my situation is making regular visits to the grocery outlet and buying large quantities of the canned organic tomatoes whether they are $.54/lb. or $.84/lb; either one is a great deal for canned organic tomatoes.