Thursday, 5 August 2010

Side Effects - Bottle Fetish - Replacement Lids

One of the side effects of making preserves of any kind is a keen interest in sourcing nice shaped bottles, jars etc without paying through the nose for them.   Am a bit sad I am afraid. In the spirit of waste not want not I always check products out that I buy  - especially if in jars and bottles to see whether I can re-use them or not.  Certain firms sell replacement lids so I always have a mind as to whether or not I can recycle them for next to nothing.  I also buy new jars too especially bottling jars for long term storage of pantry basics like, pasta sauces, fruit in syrups, in wine, pie fillings, etc.  The more preserving I do the more I want to do and the more I want to expand into other areas as well, but what I actually buy is dictated by the funds currently available to me. However, the containers once bought you will have infinitum (unless you give them away - but I tend to tell people that I want the jars back in any event i.e. that if they want replacement jams, jellies etc then they have to give the jars back).

I do object for paying through the nose for things so when I get the opportunity to check out the charity shops  and/or car boots for jars bottles or unusual containers I take full advantage - especially as you can usually pick up rare and different containers for next to nothing and the charity concerned raises funds for much needed assistance.  What I call a win win situation.  Both parties benefit.  At the car boots you never know what is going to come across your path. In the past I have picked up some lovely jars from this sort of venue.

Friends also bring me in replacement jars - I use as many as I can for Jam - using new replacement lids, so potentially use the size jar for which I can easily access lids.  For the present this has been Lakeland replacement lids.  Those that are not suitable get recycled at the local recycling centre.

Some of you may know that I am a lucky owner of a Tefal Jam Machine.  I am very chuffed with this piece of equipment.  It makes my life far easier and makes a very good setting jam.  When this machine came it came with 6 Bonne Maman shaped jars, which are ideal for cheeses as the sides are straight and also make a nice sturdy bottles for other jam recipes.  I contacted Lakeland about this direct as I liked the shape and sturdiness of the jars and asked if they were going to be supplying these. Unfortunately not, was the reply.  These jars came as standard from the manufacturer which is French. However you can recycle your Bonne Maman jars as John Lewis do replacement lids for this sized jar.

I do not use the old style cellophane covers on jam jars as I have found them to dry out the preserve very quickly which spoils the preserve.

I also popped into Waitrose today to check out certain grolsch style bottles.  They are selling a certain sicillian lemonade and pink lemonade for about £1.50 a bottle.  You get a refreshing drink and a re-usable bottle for this price, which is far cheaper than buying this type of bottle which can cost you upwards of a couple of pounds at least per bottle.  I have plans to buy a couple for a few weeks in order to build up a collection for using with cordials and also with Apple Pop and Ginger beer.

Useful contacts for bottles and jars

Ebay you quite frequently get old kilner jars on offer.  Some of the larger jars you can if you can get hold of them use the Leifheit seals which are similar to the Kilner metal seals if you are unable to locate Kilner ones.


Hobbycraft have started selling these types of bottes and jars but their prices are a bit steep although they do have some different ones.

John Lewis

Ascott smallholding supplies for the hex sauce bottles 30 for about £16 (or thereabouts).

The Jam Jar shop - very reasonable on prices and quite a selection of very useful things.

And of course your local supermarket.

You can always try Freecycle as well.

I also bought four small Kilner jars today from John Lewis at £2.50 each (the larger ones were £3 each) in readiness for doing some more bottling over the next few weeks.  I have contacted Lakeland by email to see whether they have any plans for doing this.  I am sure that I am not the only person who cannot find a lump sum of about £25 to £30 to buy the 12 jar boxes from Lakeland.  If people were able to buy the jars individually like at John Lewis, it would open up a further opportunity for those on lower incomes to perhaps make use of the seasonal glut of food or to put something up for their own larders for the winter months.  Bottling, once you have practiced it once or twice is not difficulty but like most  things when you have never done it before it can be nerve wrecking, but each batch you do, you will learn something each time.  The only way that I know of to try and persuade these companies to help out is to email them and ask questions and ask them if they are going to do anything about it.  So go on harass them.

Bottling isn't complicated just time consuming, but it does bring its rewards.  Preserved fruit with no nasties in.

Catch up soon.



  1. There is a firm in Oakham that sells bottles and jars and Dunelm also sell kiner type jars, I use them for dried peas beans etc....

  2. I agree with you about the jars. This year I bought about 50 jars of pĂȘanut butter from Lidl. ( They only have these for sale once a year and they are the best and cheapest I have found in France) The jars are excellent. They are large, palin and have a plain red lid. I use these for everything now.
    Would be very interested to hear your about your ginger beer recipe.

  3. Anne, the Jam Jar Shop is the one at Oakham. The Dunhelm ones are more storage than preserving ones. They don't always seal as well; althoug saying that on occasion they have had offers on where I have been able to obtain suitable jars. I tend to use the Le Parfait jars and yesterday I bought some of the new kilner jars to have a go with. So will see how I get on.

    Hope you are feelin more wibbit

    Take care

    Tricia (aka Pattypan)


  4. Nearly 50.....

    Nice to hear from you. My first thought is what do you do with all that peanut butter. But the jam maker in me says whoopee more jars. Nice one.

    There is a ginger beer recipe from a plant on here somewhere. I am going to try a new recipe for me but I believe it is an old recipe. So will post up for you later on.

    Tricia (aka Pattypan) xx

  5. I just thought I'd pop on here and say hello :)

    Over the last few days I have managed to read your blog from the start to finish... Phewww!

    It is such a lovely blog and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and seeing all your lovely recipes and have, if you look at my blog, even tried your cinnamon toast...Mmmmmm.

    Take care x

  6. Believe it or not, we eat it but it is supposed to last all year, however I don't think it will as almost a third has already gone. I have it for breakfast on rice cakes and everyone else has oit on toast.
    Looking forward to our recipe for ginger beer


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