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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is H***, and I'm a canning addict. I began my canning a few months ago and I love it. A very satisfying hobby for a prepper. One probem I am always have is, there are never enough jars. When I started canning, my mentor (mom) urged my not to buy new jars. She said there were tons out there to be found. I was impatient and bought a bunch anyway. This past week I decided to take out a free classified ad in our local paper for cheap or free jars. The first call landed me 24 quart jars and 6 of the big 1/2 gallon ball jars for $10. Three hours later I got a call from a guy with a "few" old jars. Turned out to be nearly 180 assorted mason jars from the 50's! Ball, Atlas, Kerr, all in perfect condition and free. Before I got home I got another call. Two more dozen delivered to my porch. Needless to say I won't be buying jars for awhile. Sorry for the rambling, but my point is that there are TONS of used canning jars out there for the taking, as canning is a dying art. These older jars are also of much higher quality than current production, the glass being nearly twice the thickness. Get out there and find some jars!
 

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You talkin' to me?
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I started to scrounge seriously early this year, got tired of buying 8-10 cases of new jars every year. This calander year I scrounged 10-15 dozen jars from many different sources, 3 dozen in the last week alone.

I drive a delivery route in a VERY rural area, there are many old abandoned houses back in the woods over grown by the forest. I'll stop my truck and snoop around for a minute, you'd be shocked what's left in those old houses out in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Hello, my name is H***, and I'm a canning addict. I began my canning a few months ago and I love it. A very satisfying hobby for a prepper. One probem I am always have is, there are never enough jars. When I started canning, my mentor (mom) urged my not to buy new jars. She said there were tons out there to be found. I was impatient and bought a bunch anyway. This past week I decided to take out a free classified ad in our local paper for cheap or free jars. The first call landed me 24 quart jars and 6 of the big 1/2 gallon ball jars for $10. Three hours later I got a call from a guy with a "few" old jars. Turned out to be nearly 180 assorted mason jars from the 50's! Ball, Atlas, Kerr, all in perfect condition and free. Before I got home I got another call. Two more dozen delivered to my porch. Needless to say I won't be buying jars for awhile. Sorry for the rambling, but my point is that there are TONS of used canning jars out there for the taking, as canning is a dying art. These older jars are also of much higher quality than current production, the glass being nearly twice the thickness. Get out there and find some jars!
I will gladly take any that you don't want....just send a private message
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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Say you can fiddleheads in season, and you can enough to last until next fiddlehead season.

Then you can each of your farm products, each in season, and each time you can enough to last you until the next year's season.

If you serve one qt of meat and 2 qts of fruit/veggie each day; then for your annual needs you will have 1095 jars in rotation [ 365 X 3 ]

:)
 

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patriarch
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hanzy... sorry, tried that a couple years now! It don't work around here. No free jars to be had and those that do have used jars for sale, want more than the price of new jars. I'll agree the older jars are better. Heavier & thicker glass. They were made in the good old US of A! Now, what I've researched is that they are all made in China. We used to buy jars when they were marked down for clearance at the end of summer. No more, they have become a continous item on the shelf.
 

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As far as free ones, I've never scored the motherload. We have found over the years that there is an abundance of canning equipment to be found at estate and farm sales. You only need to educate yourself so you know what to look for.
I might add that we live in rural Illinois.
 

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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will gladly take any that you don't want....just send a private message
I doubt it would be worthwhile after the cost to ship them. I seperated all of the best quality jars from the no-name ones, and have two 50lb feed sacks full of the no namers. Will probably just save them for a rainy day. Forgot to mention in my first post about asking family and friends. My grandmother also gave me over 3 dozen Ball brand jars, and said she had a bunch more if I needed them. As others said, people just don't want to throw them out. The guy with the huge collection said after his wife passed away, he didn't know what to do with them. You figure, 50 years ago nearly every home had a celler full of canning jars. Now, 90% of people under 40 don't even know what a canning jar is. After this weeks payoff, I'm wondering how many more will turn up. At this rate I will either have to turn people away or my wife is gonna kill me for filling the house with boxes of jars.
 

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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Does anyone now how to posetively ID mayo jars apart from the canning variety? The name brands are easy, but the some have no markings at all. I don't mind using mayo jars but would prefer to save them for last. Also, has anyone used the 1/2 gallon jars in a 16 qt canner? How long do these take to process?
 

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I get most of mine from second hand stores for a nickle each. Not free, but cheaper that new
Our thrift stores in Michigan are asking 50 cents a jar and u have to buy the rings and lids. Even craigslist is outrageous here. Cheap jars are like looking for gold here in Mi.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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I doubt it would be worthwhile after the cost to ship them. I seperated all of the best quality jars from the no-name ones, and have two 50lb feed sacks full of the no namers. Will probably just save them for a rainy day. Forgot to mention in my first post about asking family and friends. My grandmother also gave me over 3 dozen Ball brand jars, and said she had a bunch more if I needed them. As others said, people just don't want to throw them out. The guy with the huge collection said after his wife passed away, he didn't know what to do with them. You figure, 50 years ago nearly every home had a celler full of canning jars. Now, 90% of people under 40 don't even know what a canning jar is. After this weeks payoff, I'm wondering how many more will turn up. At this rate I will either have to turn people away or my wife is gonna kill me for filling the house with boxes of jars.
Well. Looks like you have your barter item for the other side of the fan.
 

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hanzy... sorry, tried that a couple years now! It don't work around here. No free jars to be had and those that do have used jars for sale, want more than the price of new jars. I'll agree the older jars are better. Heavier & thicker glass. They were made in the good old US of A! Now, what I've researched is that they are all made in China. We used to buy jars when they were marked down for clearance at the end of summer. No more, they have become a continous item on the shelf.
I've had the same problem. I used to look on Craigslist all the time for canning jars - but all I'd see was someone who had 10-20 of them, and they wanted more for a used jar than I could buy a brand new jar with lid at the store. I just did a search now and the only ad listed was dated last month, and it advertised 200 jars for $125, not to mention it was nearly 45 minutes away. For $125 I could buy about 180 jars, brand new with lids on them.

But I have scored a good amount of jars from people I know. I got about 75 of them from my gramma, and a lady from church every now and then gives me a few.

Ball, Kerr, and Harvest (or is it Great Harvest? something like that) are all made in the USA. The Mainstay (Wal-mart) brand is made in China.

Also, has anyone used the 1/2 gallon jars in a 16 qt canner? How long do these take to process?
My understanding is that 1/2 gallon jars can only be used for canning apple or grape juice. I use them for storing smaller amounts of dry foods on the kitchen counter (things like oatmeal, sugar, etc.).

Check out the Ball Canning website - http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes.aspx
 
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