Lye is used to make meth so in most places you can't find it in the stores anymore. I am lucky and my mom is still able to buy it locally so she will buy it for me but they stopped selling it here a couple years ago.
You can find it online but it is much more expensive.
Google it, you will find several places, you can also get it from a bee supply place called Betterbee. I think they have a website. I bought it online the last couple of years and saved LOTS of money since I can buy it in 5 to 10 bags. I've even gotten it off ebay when I was in a hurry at a price cheaper than buying it by the can. Sometimes Farm supply places can get it, but often only in HUGE bags. Just check around. If you only want a small ammount, go ebay.
I get mine locally from a chemical company. I bought 40 pounds at one time, which is the only way you can buy it, I split it with another soap maker, b ut I have bought lye off the net from snowdriftfarm.com ifyou buy it 2 pounds at a time youdon't have to pay the hazmat fee. If you buy more than that, you have to pay like 75.00 for the hazmat fee.
I get mine at Ace Hardware store. It's in the same place in the store as the drain cleaners. It's in a white bottle called "ROOTO household drain opener". The name Rooto is small on the bottle so you may have to look close to see it. It's the only store I can find it in around here.
LYE...I checked out Ace Hardware for lye and this is what I found. Price was $3.85 for a can. I had just ordered two cans from Summer's Past in San Diego and paid $25.00, quite a difference. That price was for shipping also. Notice carefully, the can says 100% lye.
Hope this helps you soap makers, as it certainly does me. And thanks to the person who said check out Ace.