Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Spice is Right: How to Save up to 93% on Spices

The Spice is Right: How to Save up to 93% on Spices
Submitted by: Ray1 02/16/2009 5:35 PM
(This article can be found at

Spices are a great way to make a dull, ordinary meal a little more exciting. I use spices on my omelets, potatoes, meat, rice, oatmeal, and in many other dishes. I'm eating at home more often these days to save money and I've found myself reaching for the spice rack more frequently. The other day I ran out of ginger so I went down to my local supermarket. Naturally I went to the spice aisle to grab a little bottle of ground ginger. After looking out over the sea of spice bottles I found the ginger I needed. Needless to say I got a little sticker shock when I calculated that the little bottle of ginger I needed worked out to just over $40 a pound. I had often reached for these little bottles of spices without ever stopping to think about the cost. I decided to find a cheaper way to buy spices.I knew I could go to Costco but you need to buy spices in larger quantities and they only carry a few varieties. Instead, I decided to check out Winco Foods which has a large bulk foods section to see which if any spices they carried.
Buying Spices from the Bulk Bins, I was pleasantly surprised to find over 50 varieties of spices in their bulk food section, and was even more pleased when I saw the prices. I decided to compare the price of spices from the bulk section with those you can buy packaged off the shelf.The price differential was so large I even went back to double-check if I recorded the prices correctly. The reason spices from the bulk bin work out so much cheaper is because you're not paying for the expensive packaging. Many of the off-the-shelf spices come packaged in glass bottles, but even those that just come in simple plastic containers cost significantly more than buying spices from the bulk bins. If you wanted to you could go out and buy little spice containers at a dollar store for fifty cents each and still come in at under half the price of the off-the-shelf spices.I'm sure the spices at Costco and Sam's Club are significantly cheaper per oz. than the little bottles you buy off-the-shelf, but you have to buy in much larger quantities than you may otherwise need. For many spices I find I only use 6-8 oz of a particular spice a year. Spices can spoil quickly making buying the 27 oz. containers from Costco infeasible for me.

{To add to this revelation - which it is for me - Fred Meyer apparently has bulk spices too. I don't know if the prices are as good but I will certainly be finding out!}


Anonymous said...

I buy my spices from Bulk Herb and Azure standard. I put them into jars and keep them tightly closed in a dark cupboard. I have never had any problems with them spoiling. You can also put them into food savor bags, if you have one of these. I have a years supply of spices stored in my basement. I have saved a ton of money buying them in 1/2 pound and 1 pound quantities.

Missi said...

Henry's Market in our area has bulk spices. I also buy spices from our food co-op through Azure Standard. (They have great prices on organic produce, too.) They are packaged in a plastic bag and usually more than I use at once, but so cheap.

Carrie said...

I have bought from Azure for years and years...really great I buy regularly from Fred Meyers and really do save a HUGE matter WHICH bulk bins they are...even Haggens I have saved by buying bulk.
THanks for the reminder of what we are saving our families