My food preservation techniques are not limited to just bottling but it is a favourite. I recently came across 7 doz large Agee jars being sold cheaply - I didn't hesitate to purchase them. I try to buy a box of 12 Agee lids every shopping day. The screw bands (I have dozens) are reused and are taken off and wiped and stored after the jar has cooled.
My favorite implements for preserving is my very large aluminium pot and mueli. The pot holds this very old recipe from pre war days (still in pounds and ounces) and I can trust it to bubble away without burning its bottom.
Taua's Tomato Sauce
2lb Cooking Apples
1 pint Vinegar
Chop up all ingrediants and boil for 3-4 hours, strain (I use a mueli) and bottle.
This recipe can be bottled but I reuse large size plastic vinegar bottles which don't have to be washed after they have had vinegar in them.
Preserving this way is easy and cheap while being nutritious and wholesome. I preserve soups, fruit, relish, jam and onions. I use re use seal-able jars (like coffee jars) to dry preserve soup mix, lentils and beans with food grade oxygen absorbers in each one.
Can honestly say we dont preserve anything at the moment, unless saving seeds can be included in this. We grow throughout the year and eat seasonally. Our production is closely matched to our sales so we have little excess.
Permaculture teacher at Agrifutures.