To save money on canning, most jars that food came in will work just as well as "canning jars." Save the ones that are the size you need and are nice thick quality. The important thing is to use canning jar lids that are in excellent condition with no evidence rust and chips, and that securely fit your jars. It's ok to re-use the metal lid twist on "band" part, as long as the sealing center part is good.
After canning, always test the seal. It should cause a "popping: sound when cooling. That let's you know it is vacuum sealed. If you have one or two that don't seal, all is not lost. Simply refrigerate and use soon.
This will salve money, since jars can be costly.
Also, I find canning jars and sometimes new boxes of lids/ and or bands at rummage sales, yard sales, and sometimes on sale at the end of canning season in the grocery store.
By Grayce from Fort Pierce
Don't know how you buy your jams(jellies to you) or marmalades, but I've been bottling (canning) my own jams and marmalades for years. I've always used the jars that jams and marmalades originally came in. Either from friends or family, who don't throw them away, but give them to me to use. All I have ever done is cut a disk of wax paper (from bread wrap) and put the lids on top of that. Never ever have bought any special equipment. and I have NEVER had any of them go moldy. Some preserves I've kept from one year to another!
Europeans always reuse these jars for home canning and never hear of others getting sick from improper seals. People often state that the jars may not be strong enough to withstand the canning process, but they were originally processed in this manner, and I've had several brand new "canning" jars explode in a water bath. Personally, I think it's just a marketing gimmic to instill fear in us so we buy new jars. However, one must be especially careful when using a pressure canner. I've had the seal disconnect from the jar lid a few times.
Also, when making jelly, pour some melted parafin over the jelly, then put the lid on and can in a water bath. The parafin won't mix with the jelly, but float on top of it, making an extra seal.
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