I save mine. For the same kind of reason you suggest. I can't say that the used lid would always work a second time-that is the ??? but I'd say it probably might work with some lids-enough to take the risk in a shtf.
There is supposedly a greater risk of lid failure if you reuse lids. I'm not sure if that has been proven scientifically, or if it is just a hypothesis. And the risk is of the lid not sealing. In which case you just refrigerate the food and eat it soon. Just like if you used a brand new lid and the brand new lid did not seal.
You have to be careful removing your lids - you don't want to dent the metal when you remove the lid - or else the lid will not reseal. I find it difficult to remove lids from wide mouth jars without warping the metal.
I got this off a survival site. I have not tried it yet. Use unbent lids. Bring 2 tablespoons baking soda to a boil in some water.. Place lids in and boil for 10 minutes. It is suppose to "puff out" the sealant. I don't know how much water they used though. I will see if i can find out.
I have saved some of mine and used them again with success. I make sure to take them off very carefully and if they're dented at all I through them away. Then I wash them up, let em dry and bag them up for future water bath canning loads. Haven't used any on pressure canning loads though. I hope to move to Tattler lids later this year.
I have saved many of them over the years. But as was already posted here, take care when taking the lid off the jar or you won't be able to reuse it. I am very careful not to make the tiniest dent in it. If someone else opens them, there are usually dents so I can't use them. I buy new, but if I run out, I will use the used ones.
years ago my old aunt, long gone now, used to reuse commercial jars and lids, like, ketchup, jelly, etc. and she never had a problem that I ever herd of. She just said don't keep them too hot too long, and don't get the jars too hot in the water bath or they will explode when cooling. So water temp. was important when processing. HOT enough but NOT TOO HOT. Good luck, She always used them
My mom has reused jars and lids from things like commercial jellies, ice cream toppings, etc. The kind that have the rubber inside the lids. She usually just does jam or jelly in them though - nothing too dangerous. The rubber inside the lids heats up just like a regular canning lid and since most of those jars have a button area on top you can see if they are sealed. I've never done it though and don't really plan on it but she never had a problem with them sealing.
I just had a MAJOR duh moment while looking for lids to reuse.
I washed them and while I was rinseing them, I had them on edge stacked similarly as they would have came out of the package.
I could clearly tell which ones had more bend in them by how they nested together.
Ok, this may not be such a big deal to some who already know this, but before I just looked at the individual lid and made the determination to reuse or not. Having them stacked showed me warps so I made other used choices.
I know that in the "real" world we never reuse canning lids.
However if the SHTF would I be able to reuse my lids and still have them seal?
If so, I will start to save my lids.
I have reused veggie lids. I've done it many times over the years. I have never reused lids from canned meats or butter, but if things were bad, I might try it. The reused lids do reseal, you just have more failures than with new lids, but not a lot. I don't keep the ones that get bent in the opening process, but if they are flat and in decent shape, I reuse them. I always have, and my family always did when I was growing up. We are all alive and well. I think, in the distant past, reusing lids was common, so people just always did it. I know I've done it many, many times just fine.