A 2022 Mason Jar Shortage Could Be on the Way

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As regular readers of The Organic Prepper already know, there has been a surge in the public’s interest in self-sufficiency. People want to know how to grow and preserve their own food as they’ve seen the empty store shelves. They witnessed the barriers that have kept people from being able to shop at their local grocery store, and they have the reasonable fear that the same could come again in the near future as well. It is because of this past history that the astute prepper needs to consider the possibility of a mason jar shortage in 2022.

Is a mason jar shortage a strange concept? 

By no means. We’ve seen it already before. In 2020, interest in food production absolutely went through the roof. Roughly 51% of Canadians actually reported growing at least one fruit or vegetable that year. Gardening went mainstream as people realized just how fickle the supply chain truly was. Just-in-time shelf stocking and being refused access to stores became a reality, and the public responded.

And what was one of the ways that they responded? By preserving their own food.

Canning supplies throughout 2020 became incredibly scarce. Dawn Woodward is a Canadian baker who also sells canned goods. Pre-2020, Dawn would sell around 200 jars of jam per year. During 2020 she sold approximately 1000.

But she had problems getting canning products.

After attempting to order 12 cases of jars, she was told, “We’re out until the new year. We have a similar product, but you have to order over 4000 pieces because it’s a special order.”

Canadian Rebekka Hutton of Alchemy Pickle Company had a similar problem finding jars to packager her product in. What once used to take her four days to receive quickly turned into four weeks. A shortage of truckers was reportedly part of the problem.

Robin Hannon of Timmy Crack Corn would say of mason jars, “Some of them are as much as $70 for one 12-pack of jars, and they should be between $10 and $12 dollars, so we can’t sell them at that, you know, you just can’t make money doing that.”

And 2021 was no different. 

The newfound interest the world found in self-sufficiency did not disappear overnight. Canning supplies did. Even in 2021, the supply of canning supplies could not keep up with demand. People weren’t able to preserve their harvests as a result.

Referred to as “Sourdough 2.0”, this shortage in canning products persisted – attributed to factors such as staffing shortages, transportation problems, incredibly high demand, and metals being in high demand throughout the world as well.

It is reasonable to assume that we are going to see the very same in 2022. If you’re going to be growing your own food, learning to preserve it helps you to be able to eat as many of those harvested calories as possible.

(And if you’re interested in learning how to can check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on canning as well.)

Seed shortages are likely as well this year. 

Seed shortages were commonplace throughout both 2020 and 2021, and now seed distributors are predicting a shortage of products this coming summer as well.

Personally, I’ve witnessed every single seed catalog I’ve received as of yet apologize as it were for a seed shortage, stating that their respective companies have been met with unprecedented demand and that they simply can’t keep up with the market.

If you’ve attempted to make any purchases of late, you’ve likely noticed that some of your favorite types of lettuce, beans, and tomatoes are no longer available. They’ve already been bought up. In one recent call to a seed distributor, literally every other type of plant I attempted to purchase was out of stock.

Seed companies are now cautioning regular customers that it would be wise to purchase their seed as soon as possible for the upcoming growing season. One of our sponsors, Seeds for Generations, still has an abundant supply – check them out here.

What’s the point? 

The point is that you’re likely looking at a mason jar and canning lid supply shortage throughout the growing season of 2022 as well. As has been pointed out multiple times here at The Organic Prepper over the past several months, there are some major supply chain problems happening at the moment, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The wary prepper should thus consider: if you need garden seed and canning supplies to truly be self-sufficient, do you have an adequate supply to tide you over?

**If you want to learn how to can or improve your canning skills, be sure to check out the Homestead Canning Cookbook, which is filled with canning wisdom and great recipes to help make you confident in your abilities.

Do you know how to can? Have you spent the time practicing so that you’re familiar both with what it takes as well as the products you need to make it happen? Have you noticed any shortage in canning supplies? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Because if there’s one thing we’re seeing from looking at the world around us, this is likely to get worse before it gets better.  

About Jeff

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

A 2022 Mason Jar Shortage Could Be on the Way
Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

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  • Nothing here so far. We just got everything restocked.
    As far as “mason” I learned the hard way that “mason” lids come from China.
    Ball and Kerr are the way to go for me.

    • Matt in Oklahoma
      I purchased American made lids through Lehman’s. They only have the regular size lids, but the gasket material is higher quality than I have seen on the other producers in quite a while. These lids are selling out as fast as they are able to acquire product from the manufacture.

      • Appreciate it. At the time last year they were also out. My local Walmart and Ace have completely restocked as we have too

  • Beware. I order mason jars from made in America online site. Then I got the shipping notice that it was shipping directly from China. The site made it look like you were ordering a case, but it was only one jar. They claimed they were out of the made in America mason jars and were supplementing it with the china product. Consumer Fraud!

    I buy jars whenever I see them. Same with the lids. I prefer ball jars and lids. I use these jars from canning grape juice to storing honey and grains. The prices have gone up, but if you want them then you pay the price. Otherwise you may be without.

  • Here’s a crazy idea: A few years ago when I used to frequent restaurants (not the fancy ones, rather, the quaint ones) they used to serve drinks in Ball jars, which I thought was edgy & cool.
    I wonder if this might be a source to check out.

  • Just looked at the prices in the Gurney’s catalog. YIKES. Glad I save my own seeds and bought the fruit trees before the prices went off the charts. I bought a dwarf lemon tree last year at Logee’s for $15. The price at Gurneys this year? $70. Shop around and get what you need. I think soon nothing will be affordable.

  • I have been buying lids for weeks now, 3-4 boxes at a time. I also ordered reusable lids and seals from Lehman’s online. They cater to the Amish also, so carry lots of great survival/food prep items. If you use the reusable lids, be sure not to sell or give those jar s away.

    • Thank you for buying just a few boxes at a time. It leaves some on the shelves for the rest of us. Sharing is caring.

  • Also stop by catering companies, ask them to give you their empty glass olive jars and buckets. They are really big, and great for storage for grain and sugar and beans and pasta. They are free! You might get some from restaurants too

    • I pay $1 each for 3 gallon frosting buckets with lids at a bakery. Right now I have several filled with rice and beans. I plan to grow part of my garden in them also. They will be easy to bring inside for the winter.

  • I saw this coming. I’m well stocked up, but started buying products like classico pasta sauce every time we saw it on sale. They use atlas canning jars and use common jar lids that I can use my two piece ball lids on.

    • Be careful with those. They are not the heavy duty jars usually used for canning. While they may work fine for water bath canning, I have read reports of those jars breaking in pressure Cannes.

  • Yes. Good idea to save all your jarred foods you get from the market. Once they are used and emptied, wash and store for canning. Use the same lids on the jars, good for water bath canning. Also be saving all seeds, even from stuff from the market. Just label them accordingly. You’ll be glad you have them if that’s all you have.

    • Use caution in re-using lids where the seal has already been broken. Those might be good for storing dry goods but not re-sealing in any canning process.

      The local small hardware still had a great supply. Really scored finding half gallon jars there. Great for storing quantities of dry goods with a rubber seal. Still finding plenty of wide-mouthed seals around various stores that sell quantities. But the small-mouthed lids have almost disappeared.

      There’s still some smaller seed suppliers around the country. Richo Cech in the Willamette Valley OR still has good heirloom stock and interesting medicinal herbs from all over the world. Very knowledgeable. He’s been around for 40 years.

  • There was a jar shortage for a while in the 70s. We were canning in reused jars if the seal was white. They were good for several times.
    All glass jars have value as rodent proof storage anyway.
    I buy up jars at estate sales or anywhere I find them now. Same with boxes of lids . I don’t pay full new prices but will pay a reasonable used price. I can still order jars and lids online but most seem to be Chinese no matter what is said.

  • Here’s a radical idea that nobody yet in this discussion has mentioned. Bone up on the why, how-to, and equipment for dehydrating and preserving your foods. Only a few types don’t respond well to this process. The rest provide the outstanding benefit (that canning does not) of preserving over 90% of a food’s nutrition value — in contrast to the 50% or so from canning. And dehydrated foods are vastly more compact and portable … and you don’t have to risk a pressure cooker blowing up (as long ago happened to a grandmother of mine from cheaply over-produced metallurgy to meet pressure cooker demand after WWII).

    How’s that for an insurrectionist plot from the other side of the Mason-Fix it Line? (OK, that’s a cheap joke.)

    A good place to start is on this website:

    https://www.dehydrate2store.com/

    plus the author’s related books. And there are more authors on Amazon.

    –Lewis

    • Canning is just a layer in the preservation preparedness. We also do freeze drying and many other things including dehydration.
      Dehydration takes a lot of time and energy in comparison especially when your harvesting mass crops and processing meats. That’s why canning is preferred.

  • For garden seeds i bought up cheap packets after season the last few years. I still have a lot. I also saved seeds from my garden. Some heirlooms go back to my grandmother who’s been gone since 1970. I grow some each year to keep fresh seed but save back some just in case there is a failure for some reason one year. I have a wide variety of seed. I also have seeds purchased for a “wild” foods and medicinal area. That is planned as an untended area along one side of my property. From low growing to bushes. If too dry I’ll water it once in a while. I also have grain for areas and buckwheat for ground cover and edible seeds. We let wild amaranth begin taking over parts of the garden heading into fall. That provides rich fall greens and more grain. In untended soil the wild amaranth is 12 to 18 inches tall here on the desert. In the garden soil and still getting some water it is above my head and makes many big seed heads. I pick greens for drying, cooking, and canning. The flavor is better than spinach. Picked often to get tender young leaves we liked it far better than spinach. Dried leaves are crumbled and stored in glass jars. Reconstituted with boiling water it is ready to eat in a minute. A sprinkle of crisp bacon over the top is pretty and adds flavor if desired. My late husband hated any green vegetable. But he ate big servings of amaranth with just a little salt and butter or olive oil. I dried a lot of it on screens and stored it in assorted odd reused glass jars.

  • DW did the weekly shopping today @ Publix. many empty shelves and much higher prices. “Canning” section was almost empty. Besides canning supplies, don’t forget “gallon freezer bags”. We just got another 100. Bread up 20 cents a loaf, 1/2&1/2 up a buck a qt. Roast beef tips $25.00 A POUND!

    Needless to say, we aren’t having roast beef anytime soon.

    • Thanks for the link to Denali Canning! I just put in an order for extra lids & rings.
      Here in NW Florida, finding canning jars & lids are slim pickings. Most stores have fewer than a dozen total boxes of jars or lids. Most have just jelly jars.

      Planning to reuse glass jars from the grocery products for dry storage, with my vacuum sealer attachments.

  • Harvest Guard lids (same as Tattler) work great and are infinitely reusable. I bought 150 wide and 150 regular size lids and I always have a thousand bands laying around. I did have to wait quite a long time for them but it’s worth it. Have always had tons of jars and I just grab more when I find them (reasonably priced). You can never have too many!

  • My local grocery has had NO canning products for over a year! Fortunately, I had purchased an extra box of lids each time I went to the store back when they were in good supply, during the winter, because I knew I would need them. However, that supply is dwindling. Ball had better get their act together! Without OUR canning skills, and with NO products, even we Preppers can be in trouble.

  • I aim to keep adequate supplies in stock while leaving enough for the newbies. One year’s supply of jars and two years’ supply of lids are my supply guidelines. As for seeds, I buy every year for those that I don’t save from my garden. Dried beans are easy and always in the pantry. Some seeds are best purchased. As much as I prefer heirloom seeds, I have loosened up that requirement during this time. One of my mantras right now is that you have to choose from what there is available and not from what you desire.

    It’s important to make sure to have adequate supplies, but to encourage others to also get stocked up and learn the skills.

    • I’ll admit: I’m a hoarder of glass jars. Nacho cheese jars, large jars that held grape jelly, and, 3/4’s of the reason I started purchasing instant coffee was because of the glass jars! Can’t forget the Classico pasta sauce jars, large glass bottles of salsa. I even have 6 jars from the era when peanut butter was packaged/sold in glass jars.

  • I can often find canning supplies at our locally owned, small hardware stores, even after the big box stores run out. Sometimes there are canning supplies at the local thrift stores.

    I like to dehydrate as many foods as possible, and also rely upon foods that don’t require preservation methods, like potatoes, carrots, onions, dried beans, etc.

  • I keep a sharp eye out for any jar that can take a standard mason jar ring without bottoming out. There are lots of them on the supermarket shelves. One of my favorites are the 24 and 32 oz jars with Classico spaghetti sauce. I have over 100 of the 24oz size I use for multiple types of pickles, corn relish, and various fruits in syrup. They hot pack fine although I’ve never tried pressure canning in them. There’s lot of jars like this available in supermarkets with various products in them.

    I do need to find some replacement rings, but I’ve already been buying lids when I see them. They are out of stock more often than not, so I buy them when I see them.

    • I need to get your corn relish recipe. I used to buy it at Sainsbury’s in Belfast but now in America I don’t find it anywhere.

  • Just as a heads up, I bought some jars last summer that are labelled ‘PUR’. I found the thread area on some of them are shorter than Ball jars. Not good as I was using the Harvest Guard lids in that batch, to save the standard metal lids for stuff I give as gifts. Out of 5 pints of Boiled Cider Applesauce, one popped both the ring and lid off in the canner, while processing! 2 others had to be re-done with metal lids.

  • No shortages of jars or seed in western kentucky. Only lids and rings. I bought several packages of seeds at Menards yesterday. And they had their racks full of many types of seed. I ordered from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed Co. last week and received the order within a few days.

    Shortages, of food and such, are every where else in my area. All of the grocery stores (Sams club, Krogers, Dollar General) have shortages. Super Value Foods is the only store that seems to be fully stocked.

  • comments to the comments, random order:
    seeds stay viable longer if stored cool and dry. i put seeds i have saved, after they are examined, in small labelled envelopes and put the envelopes in a mason jar in the refrigerator. would last even longer if frozen–assuming the seed is not a tropical.
    some of the vitamins lost in canning are not destroyed, but end up in the canning liquid. use the liquid in sauce, gravy, or broth. save for a few days in the frig or longer in the freezer. if all else fails, water the plants with it.
    canning in august is hot and sticky. canning in november is warm and pleasant. tomatoes can be washed, corded and frozen in zip bags. when they thaw, the skins slip off! making tomato sauce and catsup in november saves on heating fuel and reduces the work of august.
    you can learn a lot about safe canning from your local university extension services. your tax dollars support this office. fees are very low.
    the pur lids weigh a hair less than ball/kerr. the chinese lids weigh significantly less. seems to be less buckling or seal failure if there is just a bit less product in the jar and if the lid is finger tight rather than as tight as can be with these “off” brand lids.
    tattler lids are still trailing here. i get a slightly higher fail rate than with ball/kerr, but that may well be the slight difference in screwing the lid on. my only real complaint about tattler is that i don’t hear or see the seal and have to actually check it physically. not a terrible problem.

    • I LOVE my tattlers and Im glad I switched years ago. I saw the lids as a potential problem if I couldn’t get them. Now the whole world sees too. Tattlers do take a learning period. But, I could never go back to metal now.

  • Is it just me or do others have problems with the quality of newly purchased Mason jars? When I buy I usually get 3 cases just to get 1 or 2 cases between the lot that are not defective. and return the defective ones. I go through new jars with a fine toothed comb and many times find rough edges/spots that could cut you, dings in the new lids, bubbles in the glass, etc. all of which could possibly affect how they hold up in a pressure canner and further wearing away on some of these edges could result in serious bodily injury. It seems they have no quality control these days. I have complained to the company in the past. Now I just need to send them some photos and my receipts but it doesn’t solve the issue of their quality or lack thereof. Would be interested to hear others’ experiences. Thanks!

  • Not sure if anyone else is aware of this. But with the recent resurgence in mycology, and growing mushrooms at home. Many of the companies that supply spawn jars, are using Mason jars. Just another observation.

  • I have been looking everywhere. No jars in Eastern NC. I did find a few lids, but we lost a freezer and I want everything to go into jars.

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