Availability and pricing updated: Nov 1, 2023
Canning jars are more expensive to buy than they were a couple years ago, so finding the cheapest sources can add up to big savings. The prices spiked during the pandemic and haven't come back down. In fact, most retailers have raised prices twice a year (once in spring and again in fall).
The latest data shows prices are still going up quite fast. From May 2023 to November 2023, most retailers increase the cost of a case of 12 jars
Unless you're familiar with typical prices, it's hard to know if a retailer is overcharging. Below is how much canning jars, lids, and pectin currently cost, as well as prices before the pandemic.
What's the price of canning jars?
The current cost of an 8 oz jar in 2023 averages around $1.25 each. In 2019 you could buy them for anywhere between $0.50 - $0.75 per jar, depending on the source.
Menards, a midwest hardware store, has the cheapest prices (and they ship), at $1.00 per 8 oz jar. Target reduced their price slightly in 2022 but significantly raised them again in 2023. All other sources are well over $1.00 per jar and sellers on amazon are double that at $2.00.
You can also look for the Golden Harvest brand of jars on Walmart.com and try to get lucky on stock, as they are generally slightly cheaper than Ball and Kerr.
Price of lids, bands and pectin
Lids cannot be reused, so they are also a hot item. In 2019 they cost about 2.00 per dozen but now most retailers price them at $3.50 (note that Target is twice that price!). Many retailers are no longer selling just lids - instead they are bundling them with the bands (which only need to be replaced if they rusted).
Pectin is also more expensive. It used to be less than $1.00 per ounce, but now hovers around $1.50 per ounce or higher.
Where to buy the cheapest canning jars & lids
Canning jars, lids, and pectin are all hard to find now. Big retailers (Walmart and Target) are either sold out, or allow 3rd parties to sell at ridiculous markups (like Amazon).
The best place to find canning jars is Target and Menards (both ship if there isn't one near you). However, Target raised their prices quite a bit throughout 2023, so Menards has the best prices now in comparison:
- 4 oz jars are $3 cheaper per case
- 8 oz jars are $1 cheaper per case
- Lids are about half the price
- Pectin is also about half the price
That said, the prices are all still higher than before the pandemic, and prices have been raised about twice each year in spring and fall. Menards prices are about 20% higher now than fall 2023 and Target prices are 20-50% higher compared to 2020, and specialty cute jars are twice the price!
If you have a local garden supply store, or a thrift shop, you can check in person for even better pricing.
Last updated: Nov 1, 2023
Target currently has decent prices & some cute specialty jars
Target did raise some prices after the fall 2021 season. The strike-through prices were from fall 2020, and the listed price is currently as of May, 2023. Their jars are currently low priced, but the lids are quite high ($0.54 each)
- 4 oz regular mouth jelly jar including bands and lids, 12 count for $13.49 ($8.39 in fall 2020, and $11.99 spring 2023)
- 8 oz regular mouth jar including bands and lids, 12 count for $12.14 ($10.99 in fall 2020, and $11.49 in spring 2023)
- Super cute 13.5 oz 'Italian' canning jars, no longer in stock.
$4.99$5.99 each (was $2.99 in fall, 2020 and 3.99 fall 2021, and $5.99 in spring 2023)
- Pink vintage jars, 16 oz (4-pack), for $12.59 ($11.99 in spring 2023).
- Ball Classic Pectin for
$6.49$7.99 (4.7oz container) - this is 50% higher than pre-pandemic prices
- 12-pack of lids: $7.64 ($6.49 in spring 2023)
- Canning jars & lids inventory list: check their list for in-store pickup or shipping
(I get a small commission on Target purchases but no other vendors in this list).
Menards has jars at the best price (and they ship!)
Menards didn't raise prices during the pandemic (but then they sold out). They did raise prices after the fall 2021 season, but dropped them about 5%-20% in summer 2022. Strike-through prices are from fall, 2021. Mendards ships nationwide. They have also been running an 11% rebate throughout their store (prices below are pre-rebate prices, rebates are issued for an in-store voucher).
- Several jar sizes, all under $1.00 per jar (including lids and rings)
- 4 oz jars, including lids and bands: 12 count for $9.99 / $0.83 each (Was $7.99 in summer of 2021 and $8.39 in summer of 2022, unchanged in 2023)
- 8 oz regular mouth jars, including lids and bands: 12 count for $10.97 ($7.99 in fall 2020 and 10.47 spring 2023)
- 16 oz regular mouth jars, including lids and bands: 12 count for $10.99 ($8.99 in fall 2020 and $9.99 in spring 2023)
- Regular mouth lids, $3.49 for 12 (was $2.09 fall 2020, unchanged in 2023).
- Ball Classic fruit pectin, $4.48 for 4.7 oz jar. Ship to home, or ship to store options available.
- Several other pectins available, for in-store and online shipping.
Menards often has cases in the store for around $10-$12, sometimes marked down.
Amazon is overpriced
Canning jars on Amazon are incredibly overpriced - double what other retailers are charging. A dozen 8 oz jars are selling for $24 or more, compared to $12 (and sometimes less) at other retailers. It can still be worth checking, but I've only seen good prices once!
(I get a small commission for purchases on Amazon).
Webstaurant Store has raised prices even since the pandemic shortage
They target restaurant owners, but canning supplies are sold in bulk amounts that a home canner would use as well. In fall, 2021 they raised their prices by 50%, making them a poor value even in bulk. However, they lowered the prices back down in summer 2022.
- Canning supplies product page
- 4 oz regular mouth jars, sold by the case, includes rings and lids. $11.49 for 12 (was $0.66 per jar fall 2020)
- 8 oz regular mouth jars, sold by the case, includes rings and lids. $11.49 for 12 (was $1.13 per jar fall 2020). They also have an off brand for $0.83 per jar.
- 16 oz regular mouth 'spiral' jars, sold in packs of 4 for $12.49 (was $2.12 in fall 2020 and $3.25 per jar in fall 2021)
Uline has jars, but not great prices
Uline is a shipping supply store, but they happen to have Ball canning jars. Their prices aren't great, even with bulk purchasing.
- 4 oz regular mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $20.40 (was $14.40 fall 2020, $15.60 in fall 2021, and $18.50 in spring 2023)
- 8 oz regular mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $20.40 (was $14.40 fall 2020 and $18.69 spring 2023)
- 8 oz wide mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $27 (was $18.00 fall 2020, $19.20 in fall 2021, and $22.80 spring 2023)
- 16 oz regular mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $22.80 (was $16.20 in fall 2020 and $20.40 in spring 2023)
- Regular mouth lids and bands: 12 count for $9.50 (was $6.60 fall 2020, $7.15 fall 2021, and $8.50 in spring 2023), but must buy two boxes.
- Regular lids (without bands) are $5.30 (was $3.65 fall 2020, and $4.75 in spring 2023). Must buy 2 packs.
- Full list of canning jars & lids
Tractor Supply Co has pint jars
There doesn't seem to be many options, but they currently have 16 oz regular mouth jars for $14.99 per dozen which is unchanged since spring 2023 (was $9.99 fall 2020 and $13.99 by summer 2022).
The online marketplace on Walmart.com can have good or bad prices. Mason branded jars seem to be quite overpriced (similar to amazon). However, thanks to a tip from a reader, it appears the Golden Harvest branded jars are fairly priced.
Walmart often has cases of canning jars in store, at a fairly standard price of $12, sometimes marked down.
Don't buy 'storage jars'
There are cute, usually small jars by Mason and Ball labeled Storage Jars. These are not meant for canning.
Can't find jars? Try freezing instead
Jams & other food go through the canning process to make them safe for storage at room temperature. But if you're storing something in the freezer, it doesn't have to go through the same sterilization process.
Freezing your jam (etc) doesn't require the glass jars and special lids, either. You can use a plastic container.
For more freezer jam information, visit The Cafe Sucre Farine for resources.
Do you have a good source for canning supplies not listed here? Leave a comment to help other people.
Looking for other canning-related ideas or help? Check out these resources.