Explain this to me....
See what I bought? That's the weighed gauge and an extra rack for the pressure canner. Common things that many canners buy, since they make the process a lot easier - the weighted gauge means you don't have to stand there and stare at the dial gauge on the canner to make sure it stays at the correct pressure (you still have to be within ear range, though), and the extra rack means I can safely double up on smaller jars.
So why is this a blog post? Because of where I bought them: Amazon.com
Not the Canadian version of Amazon, and not my local hardware store, even though many other people have managed to buy these items through their local stores from the same chain. Each store is independently operated, and the new owners of my local one apparently were the only ones unable to order these items for me. Oddly enough, they will find that they are also unable to sell me anything else in the future as well. Yes, I do hold grudges :)
So, being unable to find these locally, I went on-line. But guess what? Amazon.ca doesn't sell the regulator at all, and that was what I really wanted - the rack is just a bonus.
When I first looked, the only seller on Amazon.com didn't ship to Canada, but I recently looked again, and low and behold - a new seller with international shipping! Yeah!!
But wait: the cost. It has to be prohibitive, right?
The gauge, the rack and one other item, including all taxes, shipping, handling and border fees: $49.17. The third item (a jelly strainer) was over $7.00, so that's somewhere around $40 for the gauge and rack.
The rack alone at Amazon.ca?
$41.73 plus tax, shipping and handling.
I'm all for shopping locally, and trying to keep my money in Canada, but I'm not willing to sit still for highway robbery.
So my advice? If you are looking for items that you cannot find locally for a decent price, look at ordering from the USA. I refuse to feel guilty any longer for doing so, not when such vast price differences exist.
But one good thing: this prompted me to write my first ever review on Amazon.ca ;)