.... in the vicinity of $700 in chilli products alone!
As you know from previous posts, we grow and preserve most of our food for year round eating right here on our ordinary suburban block. In addition to all the varieties this year, the Shearer planted 50 chilli bushes of more than 10 varieties. This might sound excessive, and indeed I thought it was, but when you preserve the harvest and do the sums, it's a very wise and fruitful thing for our household.
Louisiana Style Hot Sauce
So far he has fermented more than 4kg of chillies into a Tabasco style sauce. This makes approx 9lt of sauce, some of which will be given as gifts but much will be gradually consumed over the next 12 months.
Given that the commercial sauce sells for $6.60/100ml, that means ordinarily if we purchased 9lt it would cost us $594.00.
The total cost of the ingredients was about $12.
A saving for the year of $582.00
In addition to the sauce he also pickled 7 pint jars/ approx 500g each of jalapeno peppers with more to come. We use these on our pizzas every Friday night. The commercially canned ones sell for a unit price of $1.89/100g which works out so far to about $66.00. The cost to make these jars was a mere couple of dollars at most for ingredients and probably the same for rubber rings. So the savings have us way out in front.
A saving so far for the year of $62.00
Even if you were calculating savings for just harvesting and eating fresh chillies the savings are enormous given that they sell on average for $20-$25/kg. We have even been harvesting the jalapenoes at the mid stage and chopping them into chunks and eating them steamed alongside our other vegetables. They have a slight bite but still a fresh capsicum flavour.
A saving of let's say $25
And I have also made several jars of chilli paste too but I think you get the idea...
While chillies may not be everyone's cup of tea, if you were to add up all the chilli condiments you might purchase over a year you might be surprised.
At a conservative estimate we have saved ourselves $669.00 just in chillies alone. Perhaps the Shearer is not as mad as I thought him to be. By learning to preserve your harvest and value add to create product, you save hundreds with every crop variety that you grow.