Hi there, friends!
It’s Frugal Friday and I have an idea for you on how to save on something that all of us have in our pantries…spices. For those of us that love to cook and/or bake, a wide variety of dried herbs and spices is a necessity to have on hand.
Over the years, however, I learned that spices can be quite pricey, especially if you purchase them in the pretty little bottles that line the supermarket aisle. Along with the expense, those pretty little bottles can present other problems. Often times, the amount in the jar is way more than we will use in their shelf expectancy, and other times, there is not enough for the amount we use on a regular basis.
Over the years, I have tried a couple of solutions to small avail. First, I tried the less expensive, slightly larger plastic bottles. These worked, however, I found very little variety with the limited spices offered. Secondly, I tried the very large plastic containers offered at club stores. Again, these worked, however, there was a very limited variety and some contained much more than I could use before they lost their freshness.
I understand that this may be a trivial expense for some, but I have a very limited food budget and spices can be a great way to make a hum-drum dinner into something great. So, I continued to search for a better way.
Finally, a few years ago, a new supermarket chain opened in our area, and I found a new way to purchase my spices. This supermarket offers a bulk foods area where a wide variety of foods from candies to pet foods to other food staples can be bagged in the amount the customer desires and charged by the pound. Included in the staples they offer is dried herbs and spices. I can buy as little or as much of a spice I will use before the freshness is gone. Woohoo! 🙂
I know you may be thinking that a lower price tag is great, but what about those cute little bottles we all love? Well, I have a solution for you! Many years ago, I purchased several dozen plain glass spice bottles for less than $1.00 per bottle and I am still using them today. When you figure the cost saved between a plain bottle containing bulk spice and one of the cutesy bottles, it is a no-brainer. I still have the cute bottles and I’m saving money.
I have one more frugal tip for you… What to do with the extra herbs and spices that do not fit in the little jar? This happens with several of the spices I buy, such as chili powder, garlic, cinnamon and some others, because I use so much of these that I buy them in large amounts. Well, another item that I buy A LOT of comes in handy with this problem. Peanut butter. I simply take my empty peanut butter jars, remove the label, wash them well, and use them for any extra herbs and spices that do not fit in the bottle.
Have a great weekend!