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ISO: cheap canning supplies in Sonoma county

Feeling adventurous this summer, as well as having access to quite a lot of local fruit, and wanting to try some canning/jelly/jam production. Hoping other intrepid cooks in Sonoma county might have tips on where to buy canning supplies (jars, lids, maybe even a juicer type contraption) for the least amount of money (I'm on a tight budget!). My apples are clamouring to be turned into some tasty applebutter! Help! (-:

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  1. This time of year, most supermarkets and well-stocked hardware stores sell inexpensive canning supplies.

    6 Replies
    1. re: scenicrec

      Yeah, I kinda figure as much. I was hoping more that someone would have a tip on the place with the best deal, seeing as how I'm on a super tight budget. Does anyone know if the Grocery Outlet has canning stuff?

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      1. re: chocolateninja

        A few G.O.'s still have canning supplies, but they're left over from last year (at least the jars & lids, someone else buys pectin). We're not buying them any more because we can't make any money on them and still save you money.

        1. re: chocolateninja

          With apples and fruit butter, you might not need pectin, but Grocery Outlet is selling it at 2 boxes for $1. Those same boxes are selling for $2.79 at the markets. Lids are really inexpensive too. You might check eBay, flea markets and garage sales for the jars and other supplies. Hardward stores like Ace and Orchard usually have the least expensive prices for new supplies

          1. re: rworange

            Use caution when buying second-hand equipment!

            Screw bands and jars are fine to reuse if they're in excellent condition, but lids should never be reused when canning; the sealing compound has alreay been indented, preventing another airtight seal (a good way to create botchulism).

            1. re: scenicrec

              That's not correct....if you do not get a good seal (no cacuum) and have air get into your freshly canned product you will not get bot....bot will only grow under anaerobic (or microa-anaerobic) conditions....you product will spoil but it will not kill you.....

              1. re: Pollo

                Okay, so the product will spoil, but you won't get "bot". Still a good reason not to reuse lids.

      2. We've been doing a bunch of canning too. After calling around Santa Rosa, we finally found supplies at Ace Hardware in Sebastopol (jars, tongs, etc). All the grocery stores/drugstores in Santa Rosa stopped carrying jars... And Big Lots in Santa Rosa had a giant $8 stockpot big enough to boil 3 2-quart jars at one time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bradlb

          Ooh, thanks for the tip. I do need a big pot for the boiling water bits, and I love the hardware store in Sebastopol..isn't everything there 20% off right now, some sort of closing sale or something?

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          1. re: bradlb

            I stopped by Big Lots in SR today, found the last giant stockpot they had (sans lid) and got it for only $6 because it was missing its lid. Yay discount. Also saw they had boxes of a dozen quart mason jars for $7 and a dozen pint mason jars for $6.50. Unfortunately, I am looking for the slightly smaller jam jars, otherwise I would have snapped up a couple of boxes of jars at least. I'm taking a trip to the Ace Hardware tomorrow I think.