Not Always it turns out.
After many years the canning ring gaskets finally gave up for my canning jars with the flip top lids that I have been using for dry food storage . I launched on a find new canning ring gaskets search and looked in many stores with not much luck.
I went to many grocery stores and found out the canning supplies did not seem to be real popular in Seattle. I grew up in a small town and when I ran into this problem I just called my mom or sister to see what store had the right canning supplies, but things like the canning ring gaskets and Mason Jar lids were on the shelf of almost every grocery store year around. Not in Seattle I found out.
Finally as I was getting desperate and my old gaskets were cracking and I was down to my last 4 good canning ring gaskets, I went to the internet and started the search, some time later I ended up on one of the large internet retailers site and they had a bunch of canning ring gaskets, but they were a bit short on dimension information and had several different sizes for different jars (my jars did not have much information on them). So I did not know if I need the large or the small gaskets and they did not explain where the numbers were measured from. All in all, many choices and they also seemed to be a bit expensive.
So the search went on and I finally stumbled across a food canning forum that was discussing canning supplies in Seattle. The forum mentioned several hardware stores as the answer to canning supplies problems. That seemed a bit odd to me but a new gasket would be a new gasket and I would get the use of my jars back. Maple Leaf Ace Hardware in Seattle was mentioned a couple of times and they were only a few miles away. A check of their web site indicated that they might have the canning ring gaskets.
I took a picture of an old gasket and emailed it the with dimensions of my jars off to the the “contact us” address. The next morning I got a reply with a sure we have them, two emails later confirmed they had two packages on the shelf. A trip to the store, friendly people at the store and one of the people after telling me “the right side of isle six” escorted me right to where the gaskets were on the wall to pick up two packages for a total of eight gaskets and my canning jars are ready for food storage again.
The price you ask? $8.74 tax included, a few dollars less than the big online site.
So, not always cheaper online, and some of my money stayed in the neighborhood since they are a locally owned family store so they don’t ship all the money out of state each night.
So don’t be too quick to jump to the out of town online catalog, look around a bit.
And as an added bonus they had one of those Balsa Gliders we had when we were kids, $1.85 (OK, they were probably $0.25 when I was a kid), and the glider was made in the U.S.
How does the glider fly? Well lets just say there is a reason I am not an Airline Pilot.