How To Get Mason Jars For Free?

Mason jars are a type of reusable glass jar used for canning and preserving food. The jars were invented in 1858 by John Landis Mason and originally used for canning fruits and vegetables. Mason jars have a screw-on metal lid with a rubber seal that allows them to be reused year after year. Over time, Mason jars grew in popularity for canning and were a staple in many American households for preserving summer produce.

In recent years, Mason jars have seen a resurgence in popularity beyond just canning. They are now commonly used for craft projects, drinking glasses, storage containers, and home décor. The vintage look of Mason jars fits well with the DIY and farmhouse aesthetic that is currently popular. Mason jars have become trendy and nostalgic symbols of old-fashioned Americana. Their versatility and retro charm has led to Mason jars taking over in many areas of life from weddings to restaurants.

According to one article, “Mason jars have become part of a shorthand to indicate care and craft, personality and attention…” (Source). Their rustic style and ability to be reused makes Mason jars appeal to those interested in sustainability and reducing waste. The recent rise of Mason jar popularity shows no signs of slowing down.

Check with Friends and Family

Many households have extra mason jars in their cupboards that they are willing to give away. According to statistics, roughly 72% of households in the United States do some form of home food preservation like canning. With the popularity of home canning increasing in recent years, it’s likely that people have extra jars to spare.

Make a post on social media like Facebook asking if any friends or family have extra mason jars collecting dust that they’d be willing to give away. Often people are happy to declutter and pass along unused jars for free. You can even organize a mason jar swap where people trade sizes and styles of jars they aren’t using.

Check with neighbors as well. Put a friendly note in their mailbox or talk to them in person. Many people enjoy helping out their community and building relationships with those who live nearby. Don’t be afraid to ask – the worst they can say is no.

Look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace

People often sell or give away Mason jars for free on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You can search for listings in your local area using terms like “free mason jars” or simply “mason jars.” Many people are looking to get rid of extra jars and are willing to give them away for free to anyone who can pick them up.

For example, a search on Craigslist in the South Bay area for “mason jar” turns up listings like “12 Vintage Kerr Regular Mason Jar Lids. $5.” There are often people giving away jars they no longer need after canning season or getting rid of jars after an estate sale.

You can also browse Facebook Marketplace listings for canning supplies, where people often list mason jars for free or very cheap. Facebook groups related to canning, DIY projects, and recycling may also sometimes have posts offering free jars.

With a little bit of searching on these platforms, you can often find people giving away jars they no longer need. Just arrange to safely pick them up. This is one of the easiest ways to get mason jars for free if you have the time and means to collect them.

Contact local restaurants

Many restaurants receive ingredients like sauces, dressings, and condiments in Mason jars. Cafes, bakeries, salad shops, and other eateries that make food fresh daily are especially likely to go through lots of Mason jars.

Consider contacting local restaurants that fit this description and politely ask if they have any extra empty Mason jars they are looking to get rid of. Offer to pick them up at a convenient time. Many restaurant owners will be happy to save the jars and give them away for free if it means avoiding the hassle of proper disposal.

Just be sure to call ahead and speak directly with a manager when possible. Dropping in out of the blue may not get the best response during their busy hours. With some advance notice, most restaurants should be willing to set some cleaned jars aside for you.

Prioritizing small cafes, bakeries, salad shops, and other eateries that make food fresh every day will yield the most success. Their high volume of ingredients in jars makes them an ideal place to get Mason jars for free.

Check with wedding caterers

Many wedding and event caterers use Mason jars to serve drinks and food at weddings and other events. Caterers will often buy Mason jars in bulk for a single event. This means they may have leftover jars after the event ends that they are looking to get rid of.

Reach out to wedding caterers in your area and ask if they have any surplus Mason jars from past events that they would be willing to give away or sell for a low cost. Many will be happy to part with leftover jars, since storing dozens or hundreds of jars takes up valuable space in their kitchens and warehouses.

You can often find contact information for local caterers on wedding planning sites and apps like The Knot and WeddingWire. Search for caterers in your city or region and give them a call or email to inquire about Mason jars.

For example, according to this blog post, a couple was able to get Mason jars for their wedding for free from their caterer.

Look for yard/garage sales

Yard and garage sales can be great places to find mason jars for free or cheap. Sellers are often trying to get rid of household items and may have boxes of old canning jars they no longer use. According to Pantry Insider, it’s pretty easy to negotiate and score a great deal on mason jars at garage sales.

Since mason jars are not big ticket items, sellers may be willing to negotiate on prices or even give them away for free if you ask. As recommended by Heavenly Homemakers, jars are a must-look for at garage sales if you plan on canning or preserving foods. Many people don’t can anymore so they’re ready to get rid of their jars cheap.

When going to yard sales, don’t be afraid to ask sellers if they have any mason jars they’d be willing to give away. You may be surprised at the deals you can get. With some friendly negotiation, you can often walk away with boxes of canning jars for free or very cheap.

Contact food producers

Local food makers like jam or sauce companies often end up with extra glass jars after packaging their products. Reach out to small businesses in your area that produce food in jars and ask if they have any extra containers they are looking to get rid of. Many will be happy to give you their surplus jars for free or very cheap rather than throwing them away. Try contacting local jam makers, salsa companies, honey producers, pickle producers, etc. You can often find these types of businesses at farmers markets as well. Just explain that you are looking for glass jars to reuse and would be happy to take any extras off their hands. This is a great way to reuse jars that would otherwise end up in the landfill [1].

Contact glass recycling centers

Glass recycling centers collect used glass jars, bottles, and containers and process them to be remanufactured. Many of these facilities end up with surplus Mason jars that people have recycled. According to How to Recycle Jars, recycling glass locally saves energy because it doesn’t have to be transported long distances.

Contact your local glass recycling center or facility and ask if they have any extra Mason jars they would be willing to give away or sell for cheap. Since these jars have already been recycled by others, the recycling center may let you take some off their hands for free or low cost. Just explain that you are looking for canning jars to reuse. With some persistence, you may be allowed to pick through their inventory and take any Mason jars they were going to discard.

Grow your own food

One great way to get free mason jars is to grow your own fruits and vegetables and use the jars for canning, jams, sauces, and other preserves. When you make your own jams, sauces, etc. you’ll get free jars from the ingredients. Some good options for produce that can be used for jams, jellies, sauces, and canning include:

  • Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, apples, etc.
  • Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, etc. for sauces, salsas, pickles, etc.
  • Herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, etc. for sauces, oils, vinegars, etc.

You can grow these items in your own garden, or even find free or cheap produce at local farms and markets during peak harvest times. Not only will you get free jars out of it, but you’ll save money by preserving seasonal produce at its freshest. Plus it’s a rewarding experience to enjoy homemade jams and sauces all year from ingredients you grew yourself!

According to this Reddit thread, an average canner will produce around 400 quart-sized jars per year:

Buy in bulk and reuse

If you plan to consistently use a lot of mason jars, one of the most cost-effective options is to buy them in bulk. Many online retailers offer wholesale pricing on cases of mason jars, which brings down the per-unit cost significantly. Buying a case of 12 jars rather than a single jar can save you 50% or more. Sites like, Fillmore Container, and Burch Bottle sell mason jars by the case at discounted bulk rates.

The other way to save money on mason jars is to reuse the ones you have rather than throwing them away after use. After finishing the contents, be sure to wash the jars thoroughly with hot soapy water. Check for any cracks or chips, but mason jars are designed for repeated use in canning and preserving, so they should hold up well. As long as you remove odors and sanitize the jars, you can reuse them indefinitely. This allows you to amortize the cost over many uses, bringing the per-use price down dramatically.

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