Rising Cost of Canning Supplies

Have you noticed that since more and more people are canning at home the cost of canning supplies has gone through the roof?

Just a couple years ago a case of canning jars was found in most place for $5 or less. Now in many stores those same jars are running almost double that price. Canning jar lids have always been pennies each and just the other day I needed large mouth lids in a pinch and the only place I could find them was in a local grocery store and they were priced at $3.89 for a box of 12. That right there is price gouging! As more and more canners start scouring for deals on used jars and other supplies and turning to reusable canning lids it has been hard to find a good deal anywhere!

I have observed large chains like W@lm@rt keeps lots of canning supplies in stock all year long but lately finding canning jars on any of their store shelves has been impossible. In the height of summer when jars are plentiful I tend to stock up but sometimes I still run out of jars. If I am given a large amount of produce and can’t find jars to put it in I have to freeze it until a later time. Freezer space is at a premium around here and reserved most often for meat, fish, poultry, etc. I have on occasion been able to find off season jars at various dollar stores. Thank you Dollar General and Family Dollar!!

Jars purchased half price clearance last fall.

I have decided I am not going to play ball with the makers of Ball canning jars and other products. I have been buying the Golden Harvest jars. Guess what? Ball, Kerr and Golden Harvest are all made by the Jardin Corportion which is the umbrella of Ball. Grr!!

Other brands of jars on the market are Penley – made in China, Better Homes and Garden – made in China, and Mainstays – made in China. I make a huge effort not to buy made in China goods. 🙁

There really isn’t a place to turn for alternative canning supplies!

Except commercial processing jars and I am not sure if those jars are really made for multiple uses in high pressure canning.

Lehman’s is carrying a line of bulk canning lids but I haven’t been able to pin point where they are made. The price of sleeve of these lids is far better than the Ball 12 pack lids. Locally if I purchase the ball lids in the little boxes I pay about .28 cents per lid. Buying the sleeve of lids in bulk from Lehman’s reduced that cost to about .18 per lid. Not a great price but still better than the cost of the Ball lids.

I also use Tattler lids but those are only for jars that will be used by me. I don’t use those for anything that I might give away. They are reusable but they too are expensive initially. The replacement of the rubber gasket is the iffy part of that equation. They should last for several rounds of canning but the replacement cost of the gaskets are .22 in bulk which is still right up there with the expense of one use dome lids.

I have become aware of many who use commercial jars and lids. I have even used some of those one piece safety seal lids but not with great success. I am still uncomfortable using those. I have seen people reuse commercial canning lids from grocery store purchased jar foods but the food those jars terrify me to near death. When I hear someone’s family has a ‘stomach bug’ and everyone has it my mind immediately files through to a flash photo image of those home canned jars with spaghetti sauce and pickle lids on them exactly like a scene from CSI.

If you do that and have occasional stomach issues …. I don’t need to say more. I won’t even get started on the unsafe canning practices being shared on popular Facebook pages. You can’t tell people anything … until they get sick as a dog and even then they are less apt to believe it was their own unsafe canning techniques.

So, as I continue to ramble here on the cost of home canning and how the craze sweeping the country is costing us more and more, I need to get to the point.

I don’t have a point other than to say I have started buying my lids in bulk at the cheapest prices I can find. Sometimes that means a large lot of lids on ebay and sometimes it means buying the sleeves of lids from Lehman’s.

What are you doing to help keep costs down?

12 Responses to “Rising Cost of Canning Supplies”

  • I know what you mean about the prices of canning supplies. I’ve wanted to learn my whole life and for my 41st birthday (July), my husband went and bought the whole set up for a gift: the water bath canner, the whole nine yards. Our good friends bought me two dozen quart jars. I taught myself how to can pickles. I was addicted. Luckily, for me, around here where I live, we have great yard and garage sales that I have been able to pick up many supplies. My mother died 14 years ago and my dad used to can all the stuff from his garden. He’s getting up there in years and can’t do it anymore. I’m the only one out of 9 kids who has expressed an interest in it, so I was fortunate enough to inherit ALL of my mom and dad’s supplies…I can safely say that, other than buying lids and some occasional rings, I’m pretty set as far as canning supplies go and was even able to spread the wealth to my best friend, who lives next door, and we can like fiends. The catch to all this? We are both full-time RV’ers!! If you’ve never canned using an RV propane stove or used a camp stove and the side burner of a BBQ, I highly recommend it!! LOL! I have not bought jam, pickles, applesauce, relish or the like in over 3 years and I love it!

  • Rachel says:

    I’ve been fortunate to inherit a number of jars from friends who’s grandparents used to can, but the kids don’t. I’ve also run into a bunch of great deals on jars on Craigslist and at garage/estate sales. However, jar prices in Texas have been climbing steadily since I started canning about 4 years ago. A dozen large mouth quart jars are $10 here! Outrageous! I do tell people when I gift things in jars, “when you finish what’s inside, bring the jar back. Otherwise you don’t get anything next time around!” It sounds stingy, I know, but if they’re not a canner, it’s just going to get pitched or used as a water glass! Usually, my jars do make it home, and then those people are on the lookout for jars for me, too! I reuse some jars from mass produced stuff, namely jars made for prego spaghetti sauce that people bring me. There’s only a certain size that works right with the ball lids; the other sized have too small a mouth. I use my ball ring and lids with them, though and I’ve never had a problem with them.

  • Prices have gotten outrageous. Thankfully whenever we give canned foods as gifts, everyone is kind enough to return the empty jars to us. I think they are just hoping for a refill. A neighbor buys a local commercial brand of pickles and always passes the empty jars to us, these I don’t mind using because they are ball canning jars. My favorite jars are the Golden Harvest, they are the least expensive and I have have success with them. This year we got extremely lucky we have a local radio show that does a “Swap Shop” each morning, my husband was listening and a lady was offering free canning jars. We ended up with 8 totes full. Some we can’t use, they are too old or chipped, but most just need a good washing and we will be in business. The other place we seem to have good luck finding jars is at estate sales and going to one is just plain fun and entertainment even if we do not come away with anything.

  • Jackie Smith says:

    What hubbby and I found here late last yr just as were finishing our pickles and getting ready for apples and pears was that is was “Harvest Season” (or so I was told at the Wally World and the 3 hardware stores) Harvest Season for marijuana (sp). Who the devil would have ever guessed that? Well, I was mad as a wet hen, and when the jars came back in to the Wally World and the Hardware Stores despite the costs, I bought all they had, yep, I did. I will happily sell, give or share with my fellow canners for cost as I have a few cases now but at least the harvesters had to wait on me this time….. Grrr.

  • Jackie, wow have never heard anything like that. But talk about bringing the war on drugs home. I am still trying to figure out why they would need canning jars, thought all that was done in plastic baggies. Are you planning a raid on the stores again this year? Good luck and I think what you did was wonderful.

  • debbie childs says:

    I have been home canning for about 30 years, this past year I have been trying my hand at pressure cooking, so far so good :-)I also find jars at estate sales, craigslist and yard sales. And you are correct Jackie, I have become aware of pot growers using the jars because they are air tight. My brother in law picked some up for me at a yard sale and they had that definite smell, I ran them through the dishwasher and they were fine. I just found this site and so far I really like it, thanks 🙂

  • Amy Barr says:

    I have a small Amish community near by, I buy a sleeve of lids for $40. It works out to $.11 each.

  • Alyssa says:

    Amy Barr, where is that Amish store and what is it called? I have read SO MANY TIMES about people that have local Amish stores that sell bulk lids at a better price. I live in WA state and I don’t know of any Amish communities here, at least not on our side of the mountains. I’ve heard rumors that you can contact some of these Amish stores by phone and have them ship canning lids to you. I’d like to try with your store if possible!

  • Jennifer says:

    I have found Ball lids that are .14 cents a lid if you buy in bulk which I do because I can hundreds of jars a year. We do not have an Amish store in our area. I also ask around for jars that people are no longer using. We have a local radio station willing to run ads for anyone who wants to buy and sell things. I have been posting regularly that I am in need of jars and through that I have received dozens of free jars and screw rings that locals no longer want.

  • JJ says:

    Be cautious of Mainstay. Many reports of jars breaking during canning process or on removal from water.

  • JJ says:

    I too have an Amish and Mennonite store near(kY) and have cardboard boxes full of lids.

  • Lennie Leitz says:

    Audio began playing when I opened this web site, so annoying!

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