As a military child, I moved around a lot. My mom was my main caretaker, and I love her dearly. But. . . she was not the best of cooks and was crafty at all. I know, ironic huh? My dinner's mainly consisted of blue box mac & cheese and Ramen with Spaghetti sometimes. As I got older, we switched to MacDonald's and Sonic. Safe to say, I had a lot of bad habits to break when I had children.
That was part of the reason I began my degree in Nutrition. I wanted to know how to cook properly and to make casseroles and ice cream from scratch, not a box. I wanted those life skills that I didn't get when I was younger.
So when I visited the store and found strawberries on sale for $1.50 a lb, which is usually up to $5, I snatched up as many as I could without getting in trouble by my husband. : ) I've been working the past two days to can as much for Christmas Gifts. That is the beauty of this process. Not only is it cheaper than buying the 20+ family members each a $10 gift, but it's unique and will be used.
Just so you know, jelly is just made from juice; jam is made from the fruit; and marmalade is made from the fruit and peel.
In all I spent $25 for cans, fruit, pectin, and lids (jars that I'm reusing and cooking pots not included) for 24 jars of Strawberry Lemon Marmalade. That's about $1 a jar! Not to mention that's it's very green by reusing the jars and there are minimal artificial preservatives that are found i mass produced store brands. It tastes much better, too!
I also love knowing that I'm teaching my children that sometimes it is worth it to take the time to make it yourself. Sure, you can go buy jelly, clothes, plants from the store, but cooking, sewing, and growing are more satisfying and give you that feeling of ownership. You'll appreciate everythign more knowing what goes into making an item.