Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cost Comparison {Store Jam vs Homemade}

I thought it would be interesting to look at the cost comparison between making your own jam versus buying it in the store. I have not figured out the cost yet so as I write this will find out. I do not think it will be cheaper but knowing what is in my jam makes it worth all the effort.

We normally buy jam at Costco or Trader Joe's. I unfortunately cannot find receipts from either of these stores when I have purchases jam. So my guesses for these stores will be just that, a guess.

Costco strawberry jam: 2 32 ounce jars for $5.00 We do not purchase strawberry jam at Costco anymore as it has HFCS in it.

Costco NW Marion berry jam: 2 32 ounce jars for $6.89. This is what we have been purchasing. No HFCS and locally grown berries.

Safeway Organic Strawberry $2.89 11/oz I took this price off of the website and it is the club card price.

Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Jam: $3.49 no idea on jar size. I asked on Facebook if anyone local knows the price and a friend thought it is around this price. So again another guess.

Our jam:
I am going to estimate that we used about 45 lbs of berries to make the jam yesterday. We made 5 double batches so 10 total batches of jam. So each batch used 4.5 lbs of strawberries. At $1.25 a pound that's $5 per batch for the strawberries.

No/Low Sugar Needed Pectin was $2.12 a box and one box is used for each batch.

We buy Organic cane sugar at Costco for about $10-13 (guessing here and may be low) for 10 lbs. I can't find the receipt so I will use $12 for the comparison. I used about 1/2 cup of sugar for each single batch. We will use 2 cups = 1 pound for the comparison. Though with sugar it could be plus or minus a little. So 20 cups of sugar equals 10 pounds. If my math is correct that is $0.60 per cup.

I am not including jars, bands of lids in the comparison. Jars can be found free on craigslist or super cheap at yard sales and thrift stores. I know our local Goodwill sells them for 29 cents each.

The final tally:
Berries: $5
Pectin: $2.12
Sugar $0.60
Total: $7.72 per single batch. I made 5 double batches so $15.44.
Total I had 29 pints, 8 half pints, and 1 almost full pint. For ease in division lets say 34 pints divided by 5 batches is 6.8 jars per batch.
Not bad!! $2.28 per pint (16 ounces) for homemade strawberry jam.

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