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canning jars

 
master gardener
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I walked into a farm store the other day, and no name wide mouth quart jars were $20.   I know prices are high, but this struck me as pretty extreme.  Is this a common price?  Thank goodness I have plenty of jars already.
 
pollinator
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Each? Or for a whole flat of them?  I could see $20 for like a dozen with lids, it seems high, but they do last forever.
 
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They are running high here too. The farm store has a dozen wide mouth quart for 18.00.... I am finding cheaper ones to buy, but they are still higher than I like. I think I paid 14.00 per dozen wide mouth quart today. What I'd consider a "normal" price in the past was 10.00 a dozen.
 
John F Dean
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Yes, $20 a dozen with lids.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Pearl,

Yes, that was my experience.   I haven’t really priced them this year. Over the 50 years I have been gardening,  from sales, auctions, etc. I probably have in excess of 1000.   I have bought when they drop below $8.00 for a dozen new with lids. But $20 for generic struck me as over the top.  The town I was in tends to have higher prices.  I will keep my eyes open in the future.
 
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My mother always complains that we have too much stuff and then brings up my canning jars.  I just sent her a link to this thread.  I also never pare down my clothes if they are just over or under my current weight for the same reason.   Prices never go down.
 
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Prices for lids have gone up, as well. After the last couple of years of shortages, we’ve started buying 2-3 packs of lids every time we find them available in a store. (This allows us to have a stock in hand,  without wiping out inventory for everyone else.) Prices went down a little after the initial shortage of 2020, but they’re now hovering right around $6 a dozen. For lids. Yikes.

I do have a stash of the reusable ones as well, but the wide-mouth ones fail out of the canner so frequently that I don’t use them at all for canning. The failure rate for the regular-mouth ones in storage is also higher than for metal lids, so I make sure we use them up first. (Yes, I do follow the directions for those reusable lids and know that they’re different from the metal ones.)
 
John F Dean
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Hi Shawn,

Maybe 10 years ago I was in a store with weird collection of new junk.  I bought several rolls of lids ( maybe 300 a roll).  I think they came to around 5 cents a lid).  Only on rare occasion do I buy lids now. Yes, those cheap lids seem to work fine.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I ordered a few of the 300 rolls a couple years back, I'm still holding lots. I have seen the prices, whoa Nellie! I'm really glad I got a lot when I did.

I too have some reusable lids, I use them only for certain things, I definitely don't use them on anything I might give away. I had a learning curve with them when I first got them, but then got them down to behaving, but I agree, I don't trust them long term. I use them for my quick use stuff, I often eat lentil soup for breakfast, I tend to run a canner full at a time, and put reusables on them, knowing they will be eaten within a couple of months.
 
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Here are some discount codes I found for lids and rings…

Denali Canning
15% off discount for every $75 order.
Discount code SPENDNSAVE

https://denalicanning.com/?sca_ref=1764075.IEWK7IkGcD


For Jars (they sell lids and rings)
5% off
coupon code Modern10

https://forjars.co/?sca_ref=2195304.2kwlXXZ7Yw

 
John F Dean
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I just checked in a different town,  Name brand wide mouth quarts are $15.
 
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John F Dean wrote:I just checked in a different town,  Name brand wide mouth quarts are $15.



That’s what we have in south Texas. We bought a lot when they were around $11. Then they went up to $14.
 
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So this isn’t officially approved, try at your own risk….
Last year, my mother tried the reusable tattler lids. She had a high failure rates, as mentioned here.
So she took used metal lids, the single use kind, and reused them with the rubber gaskets that came with the reusable plastic lids. Very few failures.
I tried it this year with the same result. My theory is that the thickness of the plastic lids makes it hard to screw the bands on loosely enough without the shaking loose in the canner.
Also just discovered, while looking at elderberry jam recipes, that the us and canada are the only places where water-bath canning of jams is insisted on. Blew my mind…
 
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So, also not at all Ball Blue Book approved, but I reuse the metal lids as is, without anything extra. You just have to roll them on your countertop to make sure there aren’t any divots around the edges, and they work more than 95% of the time on the reuse. Of course you check all your jars for seals after canning, and if one comes off, store it in the fridge and use first. But it does work - my mom even does this now. Obviously don’t do it if you’re gifting the canning or entering it in the fair, but if you have a teenage boy who consumes obscene amounts of strawberry jam annually, it’s a good way to cut down on costs, and one less thing you have to regularly replace.
 
Lina Joana
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Gina Capri wrote:So, also not at all Ball Blue Book approved, but I reuse the metal lids as is, without anything extra. You just have to roll them on your countertop to make sure there aren’t any divots around the edges, and they work more than 95% of the time on the reuse. Of course you check all your jars for seals after canning, and if one comes off, store it in the fridge and use first. But it does work - my mom even does this now.



My mom did this for years too! But the. Some wore out and she had to get some new ones - and those, for whatever reason, had a high failure rate on reuse. Don’t know if it was the batch, or if all new ones have issues.
 
pollinator
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We reuse lids too.
*We only reuse them for boiling bath canning - pressure canned items get new lids, as the time and energy investment in pressure canning is not worth the higher failure rate others noted.
*We open lids very carefully - we have found an angle that works best with our can opener to minimize lid damage
*We inspect the lids before use for bends, etc. Small divots/dings on the edge can be rolled smooth and are not an issue.  Most of our failures in storage are due to acid eating through the lid, so be sure to check the white enamel on the inside for rusted spots - a sign that they are likely to fail, especially if used on pickles.
*Any lid that fails to seal right out of the canner is either put in the fridge for immediate use (and the lid thrown in the recycling) or gets a lid change and goes into the next canner to get processed again.  
We went through our pickles in storage yesterday, in order to be sure our freshly processed ones go in back.  We found about a dozen that are 6 years old (oops).  2 that the lids failed, the rest are still good to go (and these were used lids, with multiple years noted on them.  We had some at dinner last night, even though "fresh" refrigerator pickles are in season now, just to get them used up.

As for jars, I find them occasionally when dumpster diving and we have received most of the family hand-me downs, and I watch for them at garage sales and thrift stores.  In my mind, I think of a single new jar as costing $1... so if I see used ones for 50 cents, I'll consider purchasing.  We generally use quarts, pints, and half pints.  3/4 pint are OK, 1/4 pint are a waste of time and space in our minds.  We also have a few oddballs that have appeared over the years - ones that probably held coffee grounds in the 1950s, or mayonnaise in the 1990s, or pasta sauce in the 2000s.  They take a standard lid/ring so are fine for boiling bath.

Lina Joana wrote:

Gina Capri wrote:So, also not at all Ball Blue Book approved, but I reuse the metal lids as is, without anything extra. You just have to roll them on your countertop to make sure there aren’t any divots around the edges, and they work more than 95% of the time on the reuse. Of course you check all your jars for seals after canning, and if one comes off, store it in the fridge and use first. But it does work - my mom even does this now.



My mom did this for years too! But the. Some wore out and she had to get some new ones - and those, for whatever reason, had a high failure rate on reuse. Don’t know if it was the batch, or if all new ones have issues.

 
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None of the stores around here that usually sell canning supplies is carrying anything. I've found a few at thrift shops, but they tend to think of them as "antiques" and price accordingly. Typical online sellers are asking around $30 for a case of 12 jars with lids, but I finally found them at the Tractor Supply Co. website for under $15 a case. So that might be an option if you can take advantage of their free in-store pickup.

I haven't tried re-using metal lids, but after reading all your tips, I'll give this a try.

Tattler lids. I use these almost exclusively now. I did have a lot of fails early on, but gradually figured some things out and rarely have failed seals anymore. I usually try to post information on Permies instead of linking to my blog posts, cuz' that seems kinda spammy-ish. But I gotta get out to critter chores and have a full day of picking and canning ahead! Still, maybe it will help at least someone who feels stuck with a bunch of Tattlers - https://www.5acresandadream.com/2021/10/tips-for-canning-with-tattler-reusable.html.
Staff note (Leigh Tate) :

And here's the thread on Permies with lots of pictures
https://permies.com/t/189944/kitchen/tips-successful-canning-Tattler-style

 
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I want Leigh Tate awarded multiple apples for her very useful post, especially the blog post to which she links.
 
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This thread is refreshing. Sounds like I'm not the only one collecting food preservation suitable jars. A quality canning jar is an investment in comfort, well-being, and health. With inflation how it is, good canning jars pay measurable dividends for years to come.
 
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Casie Becker wrote:
I also never pare down my clothes if they are just over or under my current weight for the same reason.   Prices never go down.

I'd like to add that quality has been going down horribly.  15-year-old clothes still look great.  1-year-old have lost their shape and the fabric is becoming see-through.
And it's not just clothing that's losing quality, but almost everything you can think of.
 
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Just to chime in here.....

Jars:

Uline carries Ball product -- https://www.uline.com/BL_8192/Ball-Glass-Canning-Jars?keywords=Canning
And here -- https://www.uline.com/BL_2621/Standard-Glass-Canning-Jars?keywords=Canning+Lids

Lids:

Uline also carries the lids.
webstaurantstore.com -- https://www.webstaurantstore.com/search/canning-lids.html

Just keep your eyes on the shipping.

The best deals on canning lids in my view is to buy entire sleeves (300 ct) in the winter. That way I know I am ready for next year.
 
john mcginnis
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Rose Dallal wrote:Casie Becker wrote:
I also never pare down my clothes if they are just over or under my current weight for the same reason.   Prices never go down.

I'd like to add that quality has been going down horribly.  15-year-old clothes still look great.  1-year-old have lost their shape and the fabric is becoming see-through.
And it's not just clothing that's losing quality, but almost everything you can think of.



Hah! Don'tja know it! I am wearing a short sleeve shirt that is at least 20yo old and is still going strong. They could probably bury me in it.
 
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Oh one other thing. You know the best source for canning jars? Why the supermarket. ??? Yes my local emporium does carry empties by the case. But that is not where I get them generally. I get most of my canning jars of the shelf in the food section. What?

Yep. The downside is most already have food in them. :) I can buy Classico sauce for about $2.50 or house brand for $1.75. Did I do a good deal? Well I think the sauce is better and I get a 24oz canning jar for .75c. I can tomatoes and pickles in them. Salsa, pickles, mayo I am able to find in glass rather than plastic. We just need to look.

This also can be a philosophical point in food. If we were to choose products stored in reusable canning jars over plastic eventually food purveyors will  adjust. Its the power of the market in play. Over and out.
 
Thomas Dean
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We don't buy enough "canned" groceries in jars to do this.  My wife makes pasta sauce (although I prefer store bought with all the HFCS... I'm stupid addicted to sugar, but I eat what she makes, so it's generally the home-made stuff - better for the wallet and the health), the mayo we buy comes in plastic jars (which we DO reuse), and we have not bought pickles in forever (home-made all the way).
My biggest frustration is that many of these products don't use standard lid/ring size.  However, when one of those jars comes into the house, it does go with the canning jars.  We are not willing to monkey around with all the non-standard lids though.
But I agree - buy in reusable jars when able, and reuse them!

john mcginnis wrote:Oh one other thing. You know the best source for canning jars? Why the supermarket. ??? Yes my local emporium does carry empties by the case. But that is not where I get them generally. I get most of my canning jars of the shelf in the food section. What?

Yep. The downside is most already have food in them. :) I can buy Classico sauce for about $2.50 or house brand for $1.75. Did I do a good deal? Well I think the sauce is better and I get a 24oz canning jar for .75c. I can tomatoes and pickles in them. Salsa, pickles, mayo I am able to find in glass rather than plastic. We just need to look.

This also can be a philosophical point in food. If we were to choose products stored in reusable canning jars over plastic eventually food purveyors will  adjust. Its the power of the market in play. Over and out.



 
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Thomas Dean wrote:
My biggest frustration is that many of these products don't use standard lid/ring size.  However, when one of those jars comes into the house, it does go with the canning jars.  



Encountered this recently, noticed a jar of soup actually had MASON molded into the glass. Thought, Whee a free canning jar! Nope, non standard lid:-( Will save for honey since those kind of lids are available in a wide variety of sizes.
 
Shawn Foster
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On the infrequent occasion that I buy sauce, etc. in a store, I too look for reusable packaging. I did find a resource that can be helpful for the odd-sized jars—Fillmore container. They carry a number of sizes of lids a even tell you how to measure your jar to know which one to get. Food in Jars has a great tutorial on home canning with lug lids instead of two-piece lids. Of course, this means a supply of lids that don’t fit anything else…

Someday, I’m going to find a way to make manufacturers compete to have the most reusable packaging, including label removal.
 
Pearl Sutton
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This just bounced in through my email:
Fillmore containers-Superb Lid
Good company, I have bought from them before. Neat looking lids!  

Edit: ha! Just saw the post above this links to the same site :D
They really are a good resource.

 
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In my area wide mouth canning lids are running between $4.99 and $5.99 a 12 pack.  
Wide mouth  quart canning jars are $15.00 to $19.00 a 12 pk.  

I have been squirreling lids and jars for years.  My mother in law loves shopping at yard sales and thrift stores so and she picks up jars for me when she finds them cheap enough.  I do miss the days when you could find sales, clearance, and coupons for canning jars and lid.  I once scored boxes of regular sized ball lids for $.17 a box when our local Lowes discontinued them.  

I recently bought bulk packages of lids through Lehmans.com   They are US made and heavier duty than Ball canning lids.  While not the cheapest they do come in large bulk packs if you are looking to stock up.  
 
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I switched to using Harvest Guard lids which are the same as Tattler last year and I love them.  I've got chicken stock I canned over a year ago and the lids are tight as canning day. There is a trick to using them, however. I've learned that when I put the lids on the jars before putting them in the canner, I put my index finger in the center of the lid with light pressure and then tighten the ring until the jar turns under my finger. Then, when they come out, I crank those rings down. I think I've only had 2 failures since I started doing this.
 
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