Home canning is a wonderful way to save money on grocery bills, whether or not you grow your own fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of sales on easily canned vegetables, and store them away in your pantry for winter enjoyment.
Follow instructions carefully for canning fruits and vegetables; sterilization of the jars and rings are only one part of the project. Always buy new lids--never, ever reuse lids because they won't seal and will therefore spoil the goods inside.
Wash the jars, lids, and rings carefully in hot soapy water, even if you just bought them. Rinse well in hot water.
Turn up the heat under the pot, and boil the water to a good rolling boil.
Use the tongs to transfer the lids, rings, and then the jars into the boiling water. Keep submerged in boiling water for 5 minutes. Carefully grasp jars with the tongs, and drain water from them before setting them, right side up, on paper towels laid out next to the stove.
Drain some of the water out of the pot to allow access with the tongs to retrieve the lids and rings. Lay these on the paper toweling.
Do not let your sterilized jars sit long before using them. Be ready to use the jars when you sterilize them.
Be very careful removing the jars, lids, and rings from the boiling water to prevent burns.