(WXMI) — We're spending a lot more time at home, so why not pick up a new hobby?
Canning and food preservation could be something fun to do and if money is tight it could also be an effective way to save.
“In a year I would say, probably [save] a few hundred dollars at least,” says Whitehall resident Cheri Hentschel.
Hentschel has been canning food since she was young, saving by her estimation, several hundred dollars a year.
From canning grapes to preserving meat, she documents her process on her YouTube channel, Flannel Acres.
Hentschel says it’s quite the process to do it right, but you can save money and eat healthier than you would purchasing canned food from a grocery store.
“Be willing to learn. You know, especially in times like this when saving money becomes a necessity. Just the willingness to learn new things and learn new skills and getting to know the people around you. So you can pick up on new things as well,” Hentschel added.
Food preservation is a science and there are resources which can help you learn how to do it safely.
“The popularity of gardening is increasing. We're also seeing that people are starting to stock up on canning supplies from the stores. And we want to make sure that if you're going to preserve food that you're doing it safely,” MSU Extension Educator Lisa Treiber said.
Beginning next month, Michigan State University Extension Program will be offering home food preservation classes online for a low cost.
“Iif you've been canning for years, and you want to brush up on your skills, this would be a good thing to do. For if you're brand new, this also would be something to watch,” Treiber added.
“We want to make sure that by taking these classes are watching these webinars that we're going to be doing that you're picking up the safest techniques and following the guidelines that are recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture and doing things the right way,” she explained.
To check out Cheri’s YouTube and watch what she’s up to, go to www.youtube.com / flannel acres.
To look into MSU’s Home Food Preservation online class, click here.
One thing that’s important to note, you do need proper equipment to preserve food, so that could cost you some money up front, but experts say to reach out to friends, family and neighbors and see if they have anything you can use to save on those costs.