Ongoing COVID product scarcity thread

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I cannot relocate the thread in which there was discussion of ongoing product scarcity as a result of the COVID disruption. One I noted recently was the lack of canning supplies, specifically mason jar lids at the local Wally World. This doesn't adversely affect me at the moment as this is an item that I generally buy ahead by one or two years. Looking at my on hand supply it is clear that I will use most of what I have by the end of the season so I was intending to buy ahead for next year. I checked Ebay and they are available there but at 2-3X normal pricing.
Also, as noted by others, Isopropyl alcohol is only rarely available. I will generally buy a bottle when I see it.

David Trammel's picture

Tator, do you mean this thread?

http://greenwizards.com/node/1073

I don't think that was specifically on product scarcity but its a good idea to discuss it. Let me think for a few minutes while I have morning coffee. I will probably create a separate COVID forum and put the threads there.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

David, I don't think that is the thread I was remembering. I cannot rule out the possibility that the thread I was remembering does not actually exist.

mountainmoma's picture
Sweet Tatorman's picture

Yes MM, that is the one

ClareBroommaker's picture

If you are willing to try re-usable lids there is https://canninglids.com/ and https://reusablecanninglids.com/products. The second, Tattler, got overrun with orders in spring, but re-stocked so well that they were running a sale earlier in summer.

Ace Hardware has been a good source for canning supplies at fair prices in years past, but I've not looked this year. They will special order for no fee, too.

Elsewhere on the internet, I read of a lot of cleaning products that people have trouble finding, but that doesn't affect me, as I don't buy stuff like ready-made disposable wipes. Just the basic bleach, alcohol, peroxide, soap, detergent. Some of those have been iffy, but my household has not been stuck without, so far.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Thanks for the links CB. I need to revisit the possibility of reusable lids. They would offer an advantage of added resilience in the event of severe disruptive events. The products in your two links look similar. Do you have any basis for preferring one over the other?

My garden buddy and I bought a bunch of Tattler lids four or five years ago since it sounded like a really good idea. However, we could never get them to work correctly and we tried for a couple of years to perfect our technique, but no go. I would say we had a 20% failure rate with each canner load. It didn't matter if it was a water bath or a pressure canner. They were just too frustrating and the failure rate was too high and we gave up on them.

We have experimented with reusing the regular canning lids and had fair success, but we have only used used lids on high acid products or jams or jellys. We select the lids we are reusing carefully to ensure success, but haven't dared do it on more challenging projects.

My friend recently found some other metal lids that are reusable. We just tried them earlier this year on some orange juice and noticed that they are thicker then the usual lids and a few of them didn't suck down as they do even though they looked to have sealed. I took the ring off and tried to lift the lid and it seemed firmly sealed to the jar. I am sure we will be opening a jar or two of the juice and trying the lid over again as we enter canning season.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Kay, that failure rate of 20% after several years of honing your technique gives me pause. I don't think I ever even got as high as 10% on the 4th use of "non-reusable" metal lids. Like you, I inspect them carefully before each reuse.

I'm seeing strange gaps again at the local supermarket after most items stabilized and reappeared. I only recently began searching for rubbing alcohol so I don't know if it ever came back. I'm not finding it now.

Oddly, today at Giant, the Turkey Hill ice cream section had been ravaged. Turkey Hill ice cream is imported from Lancaster County, one county over from Dauphin, and I have no idea why they would have a problem when the rest of the ice cream aisle looked normal.

As a result of the shortages, I've been building up a bigger buffer than usual on anything non-perishable.

If Three Gorges Dam bursts, expect shortages for sure and for a long, long time. I hope that dam holds. The devastation in China and the repercussions in the rest of the world would be severe.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Tattler is the only one I've tried. I'm only using them on jams, since jams keep pretty well without even being canned. In three batches, I've had two that failed to seal, which seems a high rate. I probably need to practice tightening the lids properly. It is a little different than with metal lids. The Harvest Guard lids look just like Tattler, but I really do not know.