Everyone who cans has their tried-and-true method for saving money on canning jars. And with fall quickly approaching, I thought I’d share mine!
Here are a few rules I follow when it comes to buying canning jars.
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1. Buy new canning jars at retailers like Menards, WinCo, Walmart, and Target.
Where you live will determine where you can find cheap mason jars. If you live near a WinCo, their prices are hard to beat. On the other hand, if you’re a Menards shopper they usually have the lowest prices in town. National retailers like Walmart and Target make it easy to find cheap mason jars regardless of where you live.
During 2020, nobody could find lids anywhere. Even at the beginning of summer 2021, canners were freaking out about supply. The good news is, you can find lids all over the place now. Phew.
- Pint jars: $0.84 each
- Quart jars: $0.97 each
- Lids: $0.42 each
- Pint jars: $0.87 each
- Quart jars: $0.89 each
- Lids: $0.46 each
- Pint jars: $0.87 each
- Quart jars: $0.96 each
- Lids: $0.48 each
- Pint jars: $0.92 each
- Quart jars: $1 each
If Menards is your local canning supply source, KCL reader, Izetta, suggests shopping for jars during their 11% rebate sale to save even more. Thanks, Izetta.
TIP: In 2020 during Black Friday, Walmart offered pint-size Kerr jars 12 for $5. That’s $0.42 each!
2. Buy either Ball or Kerr — same company.
Ball and Kerr are both owned by Newell. It doesn’t matter which brand you buy.
Before you read on, be sure to bookmark the KCL Canning Jars Deals page to stay informed about all the deals.
3. Aim to spend $0.90 – $1 each (or less) on canning jars with lids.
Put another way, never pay more than $0.90 for pint-size jars and never, ever go over $1 per quart-size jar since you can get these prices every day at Walmart.
But if you find a deal that puts these more in the $0.50 – $0.75 range (new, with lids), stock up!
4. Use the 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond to buy jars in a pinch.
Everyone knows about Bed Bath & Beyond’s glorious 20% off coupon. An easy way to get this coupon right now is to sign up for emails, in the store app, or on the Bed Bath & Beyond coupon page.
5. Look for Kerr and Ball newspaper coupons in the fall.
It’s rare, but I’ve seen $2 for a 12-jar case of Kerr or Ball pint-size jars in the newspaper around November.
If you’re on the hunt to save money buying canning jars, I recommend you check the Sunday newspaper from here on out. If there’s a coupon for canning jars, buy enough newspapers that you can stock up on jars.
6. Use price matching at Target if inventory is low at Walmart.
Target doesn’t have the cheapest prices on canning jars. But if your Walmart or WinCo is low on inventory, request a price match from Target on identical items.
Note that if Walmart is totally out of stock, Target won’t honor a price match. But no worries, you can always use another retailer since Target Price Matches with just about everyone. Don’t forget to use your RedCard to save 5% on top of your price match.
7. Don’t bother with Amazon — canning jars are triple Walmart’s price!
Count this as one of the few times Amazon doesn’t beat out the competition on price.
There’s no Amazon Prime shipping on Ball brand jars (there is on Kerr), and quart-size jars are $2.92 each! Ouch!
8. Don’t assume you’ll get a good deal on canning jars at thrift stores.
In fact, most of the time, you’ll walk away paying more for secondhand jars than you would for brand new ones. Plus, you’ll still need to buy new lids and rims.
Always double-check for cracks, chips, or glass thinness, and pass on any jars that aren’t perfect.
9. Grab some cheap canning jars at garage sales.
While you may not find cheap canning jars at thrift stores, you may get lucky and scoop some up for next to nothing at garage sales. I bought two dozen for $0.25 apiece still in the box. Of course, you’ll still have to buy new lids and rings if yours are used.
10. Look for clearance deals on canning jars at local grocery stores after fall is over.
Especially grocery stores with limited space or local grocery stores. They’ll be eager to get rid of any “out of season” inventory.
In fact, some grocery stores will offer canning jars for up to 50% off!
11. Get a $5 coupon when you sign up for emails from Fillmore Container.
While Fillmore Container isn’t the cheapest option for canning jars and lids, you’ll get $5 off when you sign up for emails, and if you can in the off-season, it’s a good place to get jars when stores don’t carry them.
12. Buy generics for mason jar craft projects — not for actual canning.
Your local dollar store might sell canning jars, but don’t bother with them if you’ve got loads of food to can.
Experience says they don’t handle pressure canning and warp after processing. So, you’ll end up replacing them with Ball or Kerr brand anyway.
On the other hand, they can be a great buy if you only need them for craft projects or as drinking glasses.
13. Decode your used canning jar’s logo to find out if it’s vintage.
I’ve noticed people don’t always give my jars back to me after they use the jam. Even if I offer to refill it for them.
So, if you have jars you care a lot about — maybe vintage jars — don’t give them out. Here’s how to tell when your Ball mason jar was made.
Ironically, you’ll learn to ignore any dates printed on the jar and instead decode the style of the logo to find out how old your jar is.
14. Repurpose old jars to freshen the scent in your car.
Use a hammer and large nail to punch holes into the lid of your mason jar. Add wax to the jar and replace the lid.
When the temperature in your car rises, the wax will melt, filling your car with fragrance.
With proper care, you can use your cheap canning jars over and over again, yay!