I know enough about canning to be dangerous. Thankfully, my mom & sister know enough to be productive. Together we make a great team, washing jars, stirring pots, and filling pints with jam and quarts with vegetables. We also do our fair share of laughing, sharing, and eating along the way. At the end of the day, we split up the finished jars, heading home with that happy exhaustion that comes from a productive day.
This year I have peaches, pickles, and tomatoes still on my canning to-do list. Just the thought of row after row of jars filled with brightly colored fruits & vegetables gets me excited. Am I weird? Please tell me some of you feel this way, too.
I think it brings out the pioneer woman in me. And I’m not talking about the multi-million-dollar-author-and-blogger-kind of (although who doesn’t love her?). I’m talking about the living-from-the-land kind. The kind that puts up her own fruits and vegetables to get her family through the hard winters to come. The kind that kills her own chickens and bakes her own biscuits. The kind… Ok, ok, so I live in the middle of Gresham where hard winters are rare and grocery stores are plentiful, but I’m still living the dream in my own little way.
If you’re planning to do some canning of your own this year, you’re going to need some supplies. Supplies cost money. The great thing about that initial investment, though, is that you will be able to re-use most of it for years to come. The jars and rings can be used over and over, meaning once you have a good stock built up, you’ll only need to buy new lids every year. Garage/estate sales or Craigslist are good options for finding used canning supplies. You could also check with friends or relatives who no longer do their own canning. See if they would be interested in getting rid of their supplies. You could agree on a price or even barter goods & services.
If those options don’t work out for you, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and buy your own lids and rings and jars. Ball and Kerr have been releasing some great B2G1, $1/1, and $3/2 coupons in recent inserts.
Sometimes it can be tough to know where to use these to get the most bang for your buck. I spent some time running around town this week, checking out prices in the Portland-metro area. Just print off the list and stash it in your purse. Wait for a sale, dig out your coupons, compare prices, and get the best deal in town.
CANNING SUPPLY PRICES IN THE PORTLAND-METRO AREA, AUGUST 2010:
Kerr brand (unless otherwise noted)
REGULAR MOUTH / WIDE MOUTH PRICES
Winco – $1.36 /$1.98 (Ball brand $1.44 / $2.09)
Walmart – $1.50 / $2.12
Fred Meyer – $1.79 / $2.59
Safeway – $2.29 / $2.99
12 Lids with Rings
Winco – $2.68 / $3.93
Walmart – $2.96 / $4.06
Fred Meyer – $3.69 / $4.89 (Ball wide mouth $5.59)
Safeway – $4.29 / $5.79
12 Pint Jars (includes 12 lids & rings)
Walmart – $6.70 / $8.76
Winco – $6.98 / $8.49 (Ball wide mouth $6.98)
Bi-Mart – $8.49 /$8.99 (Ball)
Fred Meyer – $9.19 / $10.29
Safeway – $10.79 /$12.99
12 Quart Jars (includes 12 lids & rings)
Winco – $7.56 / $7.98 (Ball wide mouth also $7.98)
Walmart – $7.70/ $10
Fred Meyer – $10.89 /$11.79
Canner with Jar Rack
Walmart – $18.97
Any other ideas on good places to find/buy canning supplies? What are you planning to can this year?
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