Why We Use Reusable Canning Lids

Reader Contribution by Kat Ludlam and Willow Creek Farm
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Canned tomatoes. Photo by Kat Ludlam

As canning supply shortages cause troubles for canners across the nation, the idea of having reusable lids becomes even more appealing. Surprisingly, many people who preserve their food with canning don’t even know the reusable lids exist. We first found out about Tattler Reusable Canning Lids 8 years ago, after we had already been canning for a decade. We were surprised that we had never heard of them before then, but were excited about the possibility of using them. We bought a few boxes, tried them out, and have never gone back to the metal lids.


One of the reasons we decided to make the switch to reusable lids was “just in case there comes a time we can’t buy canning lids.”  At the time it seemed like such a remote possibility, and yet, here we are, 8 years later, and it is a reality. The pandemic caused shortages in many products, including canning lids.

Whenever we use a product on our homesteads that we are required to constantly re-purchase we are making ourselves dependent on the stores to keep going. We will never be able to be completely self-sustaining, but choosing to replace what items we can with reusable is a good step towards being less dependent on others and less effected when shortages occur.

Environmental Impact

Another reason to make the switch is that it creates less garbage, which is better for the environment. The amount of garbage we humans create and bury every day is immense, and any cut-backs we can make to that pile of garbage are helpful.

Tattler reusable canning lids. Photo by Kat Ludlam 

Financial Savings

If you are planning to can food year after year then the reusable lids will not only pay themselves off, but save you money over and over again. Back when I purchased my first reusable lids, I calculated it out and found that if each lid was used 3 times it would pay itself off. That was over 8 years ago, and since I reuse the jars and rings each year as well, I have paid absolutely nothing for canning supplies for almost 6 years running now. Surprisingly, the prices on canning lids have barely increased over the last 8 years, so the savings are likely quite similar now as they were when I did my calculations. The lids are guaranteed to last a lifetime. But, over time, the rubber rings will lose their flexibility and will need to be replaced. Customers have reported them lasting ten years or more. I have not had to replace mine yet. For someone who cans regularly year after year, the savings on lids when you switch to reusable are well worth the transition.

No matter which reasons appeal to you the most, consider trying out reusable lids this canning season. If you are like us, you will find them to be an excellent addition to your homestead kitchen.

Kat Ludlam has been homesteading in Colorado for 15 years now. She and her husband, Daniel, are the owners of Willow Creek Farm, where they breed specialty wool sheep, milk sheep, chickens, and crops that thrive in their location. They also own and run a custom fiber processing mill, Willow Creek Fiber Mill . Kat loves to feed her family from their land, and teach others to homestead as well. Read all of Kat’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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