Availability and pricing updated: July 2021
Canning supplies are quite a bit more expensive than they were a couple years ago. The prices spiked during the pandemic and haven't come back down. In fact, some retailers are still increasing prices.
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 normally cost, before the pandemic.
What's the price of canning jars?
The current cost of an 8 oz jar in 2021 averages around $1.00 each. In 2019 they were between $0.50 - $0.75 per jar, depending on the source.
Menards has the best prices (and they ship), at $0.66 per 8 oz jar. Target is the next best source at $0.92 per jar. All other sources are well over $1.00 per jar and sellers on amazon are double that at $2.00.
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. 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 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). That said, the prices are all still higher than before the pandemic, and some are even raised prices this summer (2021).
If you have a local garden supply store, or a thrift shop, you can check in person for even better pricing.
Last updated: July, 2021
Target currently has decent prices & some cute specialty jars
Target did not raise prices during fall 2020 (from what I can tell), and haven't raised most of them since (some of the cute ones have higher prices).
- 4 oz regular mouth jelly jar including bands and lids, 12 count for $8.39 ($0.70 each)
- 8 oz regular mouth jar including bands and lids, 12 count for $10.99 ($0.92 each)
- Super cute 13.5 oz 'Italian' canning jars, $3.99 each (was 2.99 fall 2020)
- Ball Classic Pectin for $6.49 (4.7oz container) - this is 30-50% higher than pre-pandemic prices
- Canning jars & lids inventory list: check their list for in-store pickup or shipping
Menards has jars at the best price (and they ship!)
Menards also didn't raise prices during the pandemic (but then they did sell out). They have inventory this summer and prices are still the same.
- Several jar sizes, all under $1.00 per jar (including lids and rings)
- 4 oz jars, including lids and bands: 12 count for $7.99 / $0.66 each
- 8 oz regular mouth jars, including lids and bads: 12 count for $7.99 / $0.66 each
- 16 oz regular mouth jars, including lids and bands: 12 count for $8.99 / $0.75 each
- Regular mouth lids, $3.49 for 12 (was $2.09 fall 2020).
- 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.
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.
Webstaurant Store has raised prices even since the pandemic shortage
They target restaurant owners, but canning supplies are sold in amounts that a home canner would use as well. Currently, their prices are higher than usual and not a great value, even when buying in bulk.
- Canning supplies product page
- 4 oz regular mouth jars, sold by the case, includes rings and lids. $1.04 per jar (was $0.66 per jar mid-pandemic)
- 8 oz regular mouth jars, sold by the case, includes rings and lids. $1.20 per jar. (was $1.13 per jar mid-pandemic). They also have an off brand for $0.87 per jar.
- 8 oz regular mouth jars in vintage aqua, sold in packs of 4, includes rings and lids. $2.87 per jar (was $1.92 each mid-pandemic)
- 16 oz regular mouth jars in vintage aqua, sold in packs of 4 for $3.25 per jar (was $2.12 in fall 2020)
- 16 oz regular mouth 'spiral' jars, sold in packs of 4 for $3.25 per jar (was $2.12 in fall 2020)
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 $15.60 / 1.30 each (was $14.40 fall 2020)
- 8 oz regular mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $14.40 /$1.20 each (same price as during pandemic)
- 8 oz wide mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $19.20 / 1.60 each ( was $18.00 fall 2020)
- 16 oz regular mouth jars including bands and lids: 12 count for $16.20 ($1.35 each)
- Regular mouth lids and bands: 12 count for $7.15, but must buy two boxes for a total of $14.30. The lids+bands are $0.59 each. (was $6.60 for 12)
- Regular lids (without bands) are $3.65 for 12, must buy 2 packs. $0.30 each
- 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 $9.99 per dozen (same as during pandemic)
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.