Friday, February 10, 2012

Reusable lids

While surfing around the web the other day, I came upon something that caught my eye, that I immediately wanted to buy:  reusable canning lids.  They're for canning--cool!  They're reusable--low trash!!  Isn't this perfectly ME?  But for a Miser Mom who considers a $5 pair of jeans way too expensive, dropping $60 on 72 lids is a lot of money.  So I immediately employed my most effective money saving strategy:
Walk away.  Wait one week.
In the meantime, I did a bit of soul-searching.  This week was a great time to ask questions like,
  • Do I already have something that could do just as well? (I have toss-able lids, after all.  But I know that I will eventually have to go buy more).
  • Would I really use them?  (Yes, I've become hooked on canning).
  • Would they actually save me money?  (For the same price, I could buy 6 times as many disposable lids. This savings question is the big unknown).
  • Do these align with my other values?  (I like that these don't go in the trash, and that they help me preserve locally grown foods.)
  • Where would my dollars go after I spend them -- am I "voting" with my money the right way?
This last question is low on my list, but it's something that I have more and more luxury to think about the more stable our household becomes.  Francis Moore Lappe wrote, "Every dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in."  I don't really want to vote for a world of cheap plastic garbage, or a world of wealthy CEO's profiting from foreign child labor.  So a lot of common "frugal" practices (like shopping at the Dollar Store or warehouse stores) are just not standard options for me.

Other things that have caught my eye recently -- the Cupow, the Misto sprayer, for example -- haven't yet made it past the first few questions on this list.  But the reusable canning jar lids, so far so good.

So a bit of external research was in order.  The company itself is (of course) exultant about its product: the lids are BPA free.  They're made in the USA (flags all over the web site).  They list testimonials from people who bought lids back in the 1970s who are still using the lids, but who need to replace the wispy rubber rings. They say "We guarantee the TATTLER plastic lid to last a lifetime or we will replace it free. However, no customer has EVER made the request to replace a single lid."

A bit of searching on other web sites not owned by the company backed up how happy people were.  Can you see the magnetic pull on my wallet?  Can you see the credit card just levitating in front of you?

The credit card was put to work.  The money was spent.  I bought six dozen lids -- not enough for a full season, I'm guessing, but enough for an experiment.  I still have my disposable lids, after all, as a back up.  Now I'm just waiting for my package in the mail.  Christmas in February.  Yes, we can.

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