Let me tell you, my canning isn’t always planned. If I just bought boxes of fruit and veggies at the local produce stand, maybe I could plan it better, but I don’t often do it that way. I usually can around what I find at the best price of free or darn close. Take my find last weekend of $2.00 boxes of corn. Listed as seconds, it was still in good shape, but needed some culling. Buying 2 boxes for $4.00 is in my price range and capabilities of sourcing. Yes, it took a whole day to process, with an early afternoon break to run to town and drop off some urgent mail, but this was so worthwhile. We had fresh corn on the cob for breakfast, I now have 20 pints of corn for the winter, 6 half pints of corn relish, and we had another meal with fresh corn on the cob. Not counting the fresh corn, that came to $0.17 a pint and oh, the taste! This stuff is local, from Sunny Farms own fields, and will be gracing our tables for the high holiday season.
So, if your local grocery or produce stand has a spot that they will set out seconds, be sure to check it frequently. Be picky and make sure it will be cost effective. It doesn’t do you any good if the cost per pint ends up being the same as firsts since you would be getting the same output but also using up your precious time. Feel free to haggle. If they have a lot of something that is worthwhile, see if they will take even more off if you take all of it. It never, ever hurts to ask!