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Thursday, September 2, 2021

No Garden Tomatoes for Canning Salsa? Canned Tomatoes Work Just As Well

Canned tomatoes are also easier to use, as they are pre-peeled. The sensitive skin on my hands thanks me for using canned tomatoes, too.

I buy the institutional-sized cans of whole peeled tomatoes at our restaurant supply for $3.39/can. But they're also available through other outlets like Costco Business and Sam's Club or online through Webstaurant Store. 

Of course, smaller cans could also be used. The large #10 cans that I buy contain the same amount of tomatoes as about 7 1/4  14.5-oz cans of tomatoes sold in grocery stores. So, the price on a #10 can works out to about 45 cents per 14.5 ounces (or 80 cents for the larger 28-oz can). Our local Walmart sells the 28-oz can of diced tomatoes for 96 cents and the 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes for 92 cents each. Those would also be a relative bargain for making salsa. 

The least expensive salsa at Walmart is 6.6 cents/ounce. A pint of salsa at that price comes to $1.06. The cost for my homemade salsa, using canned tomatoes, homegrown garlic, oregano and cilantro, purchased jalapenos, chili powder, red pepper flakes, vinegar, onion,  and salt comes to about 53 cents per pint of ingredients, plus another 10 cents for new lids each year and a couple of pennies for the stove, or about 65 cents per pint jar. For reference, a #10 can of tomatoes makes 8 pints of salsa, using the recipe in this link.

I make 3 batches of salsa each year (total of 24 pints). My cost is about $15.60, total. If I'd bought that amount of salsa at Walmart, I would have spent $25.44. My savings compared to buying the least expensive per ounce salsa at Walmart is a total of $9.84.

It takes me about 30 minutes of actual work per 8-pint batch of salsa. The salsa is tasty. And I find it satisfying to home-can something and save money.


  1. We make salsa occasionally from extra tomatoes we have. However, we haven't figured out a good compromise recipe since some of us don't like onions and others of us don't like hot foods. Some day when there's nothing else to do, we can experiment some more. I will remember that canned tomatoes work well.

    1. That does present a problem for your household, doesn't it Live and Learn? Yes, canned tomatoes really do work well in salsa. I used to make our salsa from garden tomatoes, but it was so much work that I just didn't want to make it. I also have used excess garden tomatoes in pasta sauce with success. But I don't peel those, instead pureeing them peel and all in the food processor before cooking. We're satisfied enough with the result.

    2. I've been pureeing tomatoes in the blender to make tomato sauce, also. I blend it, add a few spices and cook it down in the crock pot before I freeze it. I've also cooked and run the tomatoes through a food mill, and blanched, peeled, and frozen the tomatoes diced. But it is a lot of work to do the last two methods.

    3. I agree on the work involved in blanching and peeling. I am more inclined to simply dice and freeze un-blanched, unpeeled tomatoes. But I like pureeing and cooking down into sauce better. Just think of all of the wonderful garden grown pasta sauce or tomato soup base you know have ready to use in your freezer!


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