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Canning season is almost here, are you ready? Getting started with canning can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be if you know where to find cheap canning supplies.
Cheap Canning Supplies
I’m so excited…it’s almost that special time of year, canning season! Of course, even though you can save so much money by canning your own fruits, vegetables, and meats, there is still the added expenses of having to buy new and updated canning items.
Unfortunately (Or maybe, fortunately? It depends on how you look at it.) we live in a time when canning is very trendy so canning supplies can be hard to come by.
Today I’m going to share with you a few tips I’ve learned over the years on how to find cheap canning supplies to help you make the most of the canning season. Please make sure to share your best tips in the comments section!
Pressure Canners and Water Bath Canners
Save money on pressure canners and water bath canners by looking for used models or getting older models from family members or friends that may no longer be canning.
Water Bath Canners are easy to find used at garage sales or thrift stores. With those, you will want to make sure they aren’t rusted and look to be in good overall shape. I used a traditional style water bath canner for a long time (the speckled black or blue ones) and now I use a heavy-bottomed stock pot so I can use it for other things as well.
With Pressure Canners, you want to be a little more careful. If you purchase a used pressure canner, first take it into your local hardware store and purchase a new seal. Then take it to your local Extension Office (or anywhere local that tests gauges, possibly the hardware store as well) and have them check that the pressure gauge is working correctly.
If you want to purchase new, I recommend a Presto 23 Quart Canner. It’s not as fancy as some of the other ones that you hear recommended but it does the job and it’s half the price. I’ve had mine now for almost 10 years and my mom has been using the exact same one for over 25 years.
Lids and Rims
Lids need to be purchased new every year when you use the standard metal lids. I’ve found the best deals for these in bulk at Amish Bulk Stores or at local hardware stores during late summer when they start to have sales on canning supplies.
Rims can be used year after year until they are rusted. I’ve had great luck with finding more rims at auctions and garage sales. Once I found a huge box of wide and regular mouth rims at an auction (probably with over 200 rims) that I paid $5 for! Basically, you never know when you might find a deal on these so when you do, stock up and save them for later when yours wear out.
You could also save money in the long run with purchasing Tattler Reusable Lids. I have had decent luck with these (although there is a learning curve to using them) and I love that you can use them over and over.
Canning lids have been difficult to find for the last couple of years so I put together this blog post on Where to Buy Canning Lids to help you find even more places to look.
Other Canning Supplies
Things like jar lifters should be purchased new to save the most money on them in the long run. I bought mine several years ago brand new and they hold up just like I purchased them yesterday. You may be able to find these items used at a thrift store or rummage sale but only buy them if they are in perfect condition or you will end up buying them again soon.
If you do plan on buying new, I’d recommend this set from Norpro. Mine lasted for so many years before I lost several of the pieces in various moves and had to replace them.
My favorite canning book? Putting Food By! It has hundreds of canning recipes and tips and it’s my go-to book for all things canning. If you have ever wondered about times and temps for various fruits and veggies you will love this book.
Where do you find cheap canning supplies?
This blog post on Cheap Canning Supplies was originally published on Little House Living in May 2013. It has been updated as of June 2022.