Save Money with Home Canned Tomatoes

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Home Canned Tomatoes

Home Canned Tomatoes Saves Big Money

I love to can my own tomatoes about as much as I love to can my own salsa.  It’s a simple process that yields many rewards, first and foremost being that you know exactly what is in the jars, and where the tomatoes came from.  If you can’t grow your own, search out a farmer’s market that has homegrown produce for some tasty tomatoes that beat the grocery store ones hands down.  I found one in my area that had half bushels of tomatoes (which is about 27.5 lbs or so) for only $7.99.  That’s about $.29 per pound and impossible to find in the grocery store.  So, of course, I picked up two bushels and set about canning them.

No Special Equipment Needed for Home Canned Tomatoes

I have a bunch of canning equipment that has been handed down in my family, but honestly, if you have a couple of big pots that will fit the jars you use plus an extra inch of water, you have what you need to can tomatoes.  A set of jar tongs would be nice, and only cost about $5, but honestly, if you have a decent set of kitchen tongs, you are all set.  The one thing you can’t skimp on is your jars.  I only use canning jars, not leftover mayo jars or pasta jars, as many times, these break in the water.  I have some jars that were handed down, plus some I’ve picked up in garage sales and at second hand shops.  Make sure they are freshly washed so you don’t have any jars go bad.  Fresh lids is also a must and you can pick them up at any grocery store for about 10-20 cents a lid.  There are two sizes, regular and wide-mouth, so make sure you get the right size.  With those lids, you need rings to hold them on.  I reuse my rings from year to year, as long as they aren’t rusty.  If you are purchasing new jars, all three come with that: jars, rings, and lids.  So, to sum up, you need a pot big enough to hold jars plus one inch of water, jar tongs or kitchen tongs, jars, lids, and rings.  Once you have all that, you are all set to get canning tomatoes!

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Save Money with Home Canning Tomatoes

Save Money with Home Canning Tomatoes


  • Tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Jars, lids, and rings


  1. Wash the jars and place in the dishwasher for a rinse and dry cycle to sterilize.
  2. While the jars are washing, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Pierce the tomatoes 2-3 times and place in the boiling water.
  3. When the skins start to split and peel, remove from the water and place in a cold water bath to cool them quickly.
  4. When cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes and cut out the center core. Quarter and place in a bowl.
  5. When the jars are done, fill the jars, packing the tomatoes in tightly and pouring off any juice into a bowl.
  6. Run a knife down along the side to remove any air bubbles.
  7. Add 1 tsp of salt to quarts and ½ tsp salt to pints.
  8. Clean off the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel.
  9. Heat 2 inches of water in a small saucepan to a boil. Add the lids and boil for 1 minute. This softens the rubber seal so the jars will seal tightly.
  10. Place the lids on the jars, seal side down, and top with a ring snuggly. (No need to make them super tight.)
  11. Place jars in a pot of boiling water, making sure the water covers the lids by 1 inch. Cover with a lid.
  12. Bring back to a boil and boil 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.
  13. Place several layers of bath or beach towels on a flat surface to let the jars cool. It should be without drafts and somewhere the jars can sit for about 24 hours.
  14. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water and place on the towels, leaving space between to let the jars cool evenly.
  15. Repeat with any remaining tomatoes.
  16. You can also process the juice the same way, using the same amount of salt and the same processing time. Strain out the seeds and any chunks before canning.
  17. 1 bushel of tomatoes equals about 25 quarts or 50 pints of processed tomatoes.

Keeping Home Canned Tomatoes

I keep my home canned tomatoes in my garage, where thanks to a hybrid water heater, the temperature stays about the same year round.  You don’t want your jars to freeze, but you don’t want them to get too hot either.  Keeping them out of direct sunlight helps too.  For many of my tomatoes, I have the boxes that the jars came in, which keeps the sunlight out nicely.  I have seen people use an extra refrigerator or freezer that’s not plugged in or a cabinet to keep their home canned tomatoes too.  Use whatever works for you.  Also, it’s a good idea to use a permanent marker to label the tops with what’s in the jars, as well as the year you canned them.  Right now, I am using up a batch that I found in the back of my shelf from 2009.  They are just as fresh as the day I canned them.   If you find yourself using ones like that, check to make sure the lid is still depressed and the tomatoes smell like tomatoes.  Home canned tomatoes will keep nearly indefinitely when properly processed.

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