Save Money on Spices and Grow Herbs

Posted on

For those common spices that you use often, why buy pre-filled bottles and pay for the glassware every time?

Spices sold in plastic packages, pouches or in bulk are much more economical to buy and you can easily refill your old spice bottles for a fraction of the cost.

It’s also a green alternative; saving another bottle or jar from the landfill.

With spices, it’s the freshness that really counts and with some blends, it might be the type or origin of the spice, such as with Madras curry which I love, rather than a generic curry blend. Curry is a blend of several spices that I find much more convenient to use, than having to measure out individual spices.

Another way to save money is to consider generic or no-name store brands, which I’ve found for the most part, are just as good as bulk store spices.

Bulk food stores also usually have an assortment of  empty spice jars, some of which will fit standard size spice racks. Using spices directly from a pouch can be messy (and wasteful), but you can refill a spice jar in a few seconds and enjoy that packaged convenience.  Keep the unused spice pouches well sealed and in the freezer to extend their shelf life.

For those spices and herbs that you use all the time, consider a slightly larger jar or shaker.  I use a lot of parsley and cinnamon, so I keep cinnamon in a dredge shaker – real quick for adding to apple desserts, special coffees, oatmeal or when making cinnamon buns. Parsley is kept is a mid-size retro jar.  Small canning jars are also ideal containers for larger amounts of spices and dried herbs.

Start a Herb Garden and Enjoy it Year Round

Growing your own herbs is fun, rewarding and can also save you money. Parsley and Basil are just two of the spices that are easy to grow.  I grow them in a patio tub that stays out on the deck during the summer and comes indoors for the winter.

So in effect, I always have some fresh herbs year round and I dehydrate the rest and bottle. Herb seeds or seedlings are readily available anywhere garden supplies are sold.  They don’t require anything special to grow, just good soil, water and sunshine, plus a little Miracle Grow® or other fertilizer every few weeks.

Important Notables for Spices, Herbs

  • Spice lids should be airtight
  • Avoid dampness getting in; do not leave open when not in use
  • Store spices away from heat and light if you want them to retain their nice color
  • An overly long shelf life will affect potency
  • Review your stock periodically to avoid buying when not necessary
  • Replenish when spices get stale
  • Buy smaller quantities to avoid waste (those not used often)
  • Save money by buying pouches, bulk and refill your own jars
  • Always label
  • Keep a tiny spoon on hand (like a baby spoon)to make it easier to spoon out contents
  • Brand is not too important; where the spice is from might be

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *