Honestly, the only thing store bought Jam/Jelly has over homemade is that it's convenient. To me, that is not a good enough reason to not make my own. The perks of homemade anything is that you know what is in it and more importantly what is NOT in it! I first experimented with homemade jams/jellies last spring and fall when berries were plentiful on the bushes. On my first jam/jelly maiden voyage, I read and reread the recipe to make sure that I had all my ducks somewhat in a row and I was somewhat confident of each step. The first batch I was nervous that I would mess something up and it wouldn't turn out. Which was completely silly because as I completed each step I realized how simple it really was.
My sister got me the Canning book "Balls complete Book of Home Preserving". Along with some canning tools. Little did I know that they would come in handy with jam and jelly making. However, if you do not have a canning book, no problem, there are websites like home-canning.com and blogs such as foodinjars.com out there to guide you with recipes, hints, and tips.
My recommendation is start simple, get your feet wet, build confidence with an easy recipe and work your way to more difficult, time consuming recipes.
Perks of homemade jams and jellies:
* You know what is in them and what is NOT in them!
*It is cost effective when you watch for the berries to go on sale or
if you pick them yourself and freeze them for later use.
* If you get real good at it your friends will want to buy it from you. :)
* The variety of jams/jellies you can come up with is endless! Today I made mango-strawberry jam because it's the kind of berries and fruit I had on hand.