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Is making your own jam way cheaper?

(24 Posts)
ZingSweetApple Wed 05-Feb-14 08:12:34

or is it not worth the effort?

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Feb-14 08:16:36

Depends. If you recycle jars and pick wild fruit for free (bramble jelly is lovely) you get a really good quality product for pennies. If you buy fruit, not so much.

Trills Wed 05-Feb-14 08:16:41

That's an either/or question where I don't agree with either option.

It's not "cheaper" unless you grow your own fruit or are given some fruit by someone who does buy it.

But that doesn't necessarily mean it's not worth the effort.

You might appreciate the warm fuzzy glow that you get from homemade jam.

Or you might think that your homemade jam tastes better than shop-bought

So it could be worth the effort even if it is more expensive or costs the same amount.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 05-Feb-14 08:42:02

Not sure it's always cheaper, or always worth the effort, but if you make it yourself, you know exactly what's in it.

I made orange and whisky marmalade for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago. Bit of a faff, but bloody hell it was worth it. I was dead chuffed with the result.

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 05-Feb-14 09:14:54

Almost certainly homemade jam is cheaper than really good shop bought, but it is more expensive than (e.g.) Tesco's Value Brand. That said, I have been known to run out of jars, and it is cheaper to buy a jar of "Value" jam, and throw away the contents, than it is to buy a new, clean, empty jar.

senua Wed 05-Feb-14 09:23:42

I agree that it is the wrong question. I make my own jam because I end up with a product that is exactly what I want, made to my requirements on tartness (I find most jams too sweet). Also, I know the ingredients - there are no weird acidity regulators or whatever.
The fact that I find damsons for free in the hedgerows is an added bonus.grin

Back2Basics Wed 05-Feb-14 09:27:22

I made amazing blackberry jam thanks to the blackberry hedges.

After buying sugar and jars (tesco value lemon curd) it would of been cheaper to buy cheap jam.

But my fruit content is 50% cheap jam is less fruit more sugar and added stuff.

Clutterbugsmum Wed 05-Feb-14 10:19:33

It is for me, but that because my mum and brother make it and we just eat the jam (pickles and chutney's as well) and I return the jars to be refilled.

WilsonFrickett Wed 05-Feb-14 10:36:16

It's not, as pp's have said, if you have to buy jars and specific fruit. But if you save up jars all year, get free or very cheap fruit (fruit that's just about to go a bit squidgy or out of date is fine for jam) then yes, it is cheaper. And you know how much sugar is in it too.

sixlive Wed 05-Feb-14 11:19:43

I think for jams the taste is worth it. I've given up on marmalade, 59p waitrose essential one nearly as good as my own and no effort!

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Feb-14 11:24:42

You do get to experiment when making your own too. I've made lavender jelly (basically crab apple jelly steeped in lavender flowers) which is lovely with blue cheese and I've made cider and red wine jelly (using Certo to set) which, again, is really nice on cheese and cold meats. Those kind of things you pay a fortune for in shops but are cheap to make.

JamNan Wed 05-Feb-14 11:26:18

You can buy fruit when there's a glut and it's cheap and freeze it until you have time to make some jam/chutney. Big bag of plums thawing in my kitchen as I write. We get lots of fruit for free because I have a vegetable garden or we go and find it in the hedgerows - wild damsons, sloes, blackberries, are free. Apples are let to rot on the ground in the orchards round us.

Yes I think it's cheaper and you know what's in it. It makes nice presents for Xmas or thank you tokens too. Ask friends and neighbours to save their jam jars and you'll soon have a stock.

JamNan Wed 05-Feb-14 11:34:19

ProfYaffle those jellies sound lovely. I made quince cheese this year and the fruit was totally free.

Hugh F-W and Pam Corbin have written an invaluable book River Cottage Handbook No.2 PRESERVES

zoemaguire Wed 05-Feb-14 11:41:50

We have access to several plum trees, a crab apple tree and as many blackberries as we can pick, and save jarsfrom honey etc. So for us it is virtually free - a fivers worth of sugar for maybe 40 jars of jam!

LadyInDisguise Wed 05-Feb-14 11:50:15

Agree about recycling the jars (honey, chutney etc...).
And picking fruits 'for free', incl blackcurrants from my parents garden, gooseberries, plums etc... (They are also frozen and used in crumbles in our house)

We also go and pick our raspberries and strawberries, which can be expensive (esp the raspberries). BUT I would challenge you to find as good quality jam!

LadyInDisguise Wed 05-Feb-14 11:51:53

And YY to buy fruit when they are 'a bit passed their best' on the market for example.
We found some lovely apricots like this to make jam.

Figis Wed 05-Feb-14 11:52:50

Grow our own fruit, recycle jars and make super cheap jam. Sod the money though, we do it for the tastesmile jam snobs here.

magimedi Wed 05-Feb-14 12:01:51

It's not cheaper in terms of Value Jam etc unless you get all your fruit for free, beg jars for free (off neighbours etc) but it is lovely to have & even better to eat! DH has just finished making 3 batches of marmalade, which will last all year. I make all our chutney & pickles & it is deffo more expensive, but 100 times more delicious.

It does take time & patience & be warned that you will have a big pan of very hot stuff on the stove for sometime (especially with chutney) that can not be left. I'm not being all 'elf & safety - just reminding you before you set out to make sure you have enough time spare to tend to it!

ProfYaffle Wed 05-Feb-14 13:18:09

JamNan I love that book, it's my bottling bible.

zoemaguire Wed 05-Feb-14 13:26:31

Homemade chutney mmm! Unlike jam, probably not cheaper than value supermarket rubbish, but pretty close actually if you wait until courgette season, round here there's always someone with a marrow or two that they're desperate to offloadsmile

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 05-Feb-14 14:08:29

Jam actually sets better if you use slightly under ripe fruit, rather than over ripe. The pectin breaks down when over ripe.

mrspremise Wed 05-Feb-14 20:26:09

Consider also making more unusual things like rhubarb jam which are amazing and that you just can't buy...

BikeRunSki Wed 05-Feb-14 20:30:18

It depends how many pans you burn....

ZingSweetApple Wed 05-Feb-14 20:45:09

lots of responses - kind of what I thought.

I keep nice jars anyway, it's the free/cheap fruit I'd have problem with.


I think you know that I don't have hours to watch hot pans!wink
but my mum used to make jam and I know the process and it's something I'd like to do one day as well as chutneys.

I like homemade things and agree that just because something is financially not worth it, making your own can be very satisfying, and worth it in many other levels.

thanks for replies, very helpful

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