When I can or preserve something in those special canning jars, and give the preserves away as a gift, I would like to get the jars back afterwards.
Why? They’re pricy, and truthfully, once the recipient eats the jam and the jar remains, she or he will find that the two-part lid isn’t so great for everyday storage and use, putting in and out of the dishwasher, etc. Sure, it works as a normal jar as long as you have both lid pieces, but once the insert is misplaced, you basically have a cute jar with a metal rim and a great big hole in the lid.
So yes, I want them back! I can sterilize them and reuse them. The recipient is most likely going to throw them away like any old jar. My money, down the drain.
I came up with a way to get my jars back. It couldn’t be easier!
I stuck a label with a little poem on the jar, to let recipients know I wanted the jar back. My husband wrote the poem for me after I complained about the cost of buying canning jars and how I bet most people throw them out and don’t realize they can be used again. The poem goes like this:
A canning jar is truly something,
A special gift that keeps on giving.
When it’s empty, don’t despair,
Please send it back for another share!
*(And the lids, too!)
My little poem above asks for the lids back, for convenience. Canners may actually not reuse the flat metal insert to the lids a second time for safety reasons, but they can use the rims again. I find that most non-canners don’t distinguish between lids and rims, so it is just easier to ask for the lid back and you’ll get the whole thing intact.
Voila, jars back!