Oct 20, 2010

Bulk Spices (Janssen)

I love to cook and generally I can feel pretty smug about how much money we're saving by eating at home rather than going out, but sometimes there is a recipe I really want to make and it calls for three or four spices I don't have (and only need 1/2 a tsp of) and suddenly that dish is going to cost me $15-$20 to make and all my smugness is forced to die a sad little death.

And then, recently, I discovered something life changing - some stores sell spices in bulk! You can buy as much or as little as you want and it's a fraction of the price of the little bottle on the baking aisle.

Last week, I needed some curry powder. A one ounce jar of it (McCormick's brand) was $2.32 at my local grocery store. In the bulk aisle at Sprouts (my new favorite store), it was 69 cents an ounce. I filled my little bag and it rang up for $0.88. I left feeling very pleased (and also glad to finally have an excuse to buy these ridiculously cute little spice jars).

If you have a Sprouts nearby, check out their bulk spice section and swoon at all the recipes you now can make without breaking the bank. I also called Sunflower Market and they confirmed that some of their stores already carry bulk spices and other locations will soon.

10 comments:

Kimberly F. said...

And Central Market! Oh how I love and miss Central Market.

Noelle said...

What a fantastic idea! I wonder if they do that at any of the stores out here. I would love to have only the spices I use in only the amounts I need. What are your thoughts on expiration of spices?

Sheyenne said...

I love this post. Not because of the spices advice, which I had already been doing, but because you mentioned those little spice jars. I'm definitely going to be buying those. My bulk spices are all stuffed into my shelves still in their little baggies, and it's a pain to dig through them. Now I've got a solution.

Chrissie said...

Our Whole Foods has a bulk section, at which I bought cinnamon last week. I think I might have even seen a bulk section at a couple of the nearby Safeways (we live in the Bay Area). I love bulk, too! That was my favorite thing about the Sunflowe Farmer's Market in Provo.

Tianna said...

WinCo also does spices in bulk! It's my favorite store ever, simply for its bulk section! So glad it finally came to Utah.

Nathan Pralle said...

I highly recommend the Monterey Spice Co. HerbCo.com Lots of very cheap spices but they're very, very fresh.

Karen said...

I think bulk spices are a great idea. You can get just a little, but it is also much less expensive to buy a larger amount. And despite what I sometimes read, I do find that spices last a long time. Perhaps the flavor is not quite as good, but it is plenty good for me, and I love good food. So I would suggest buying more than you need for a particular recipe so that you have it for the next time, perhaps avoiding another trip to the store, which in itself is a savings

Packrat said...

I like buying the big containers at Costco, but their selection isn't the best in the world. I do try to get (bulk) spices at Winco, but can only do that when I travel.

You can make your own curry mixture, too. There are many different variations that use common spices that are probably already in your spice cabinet. Try looking online, or I have a cookbook with several recipes. Will be glad to share. (I'm not a huge curry fan, so it would be up to you to decide which you liked best.)

Note to Noelle: expiration dates on spices and herbs are just a way to get you to buy more. As long as the item isn't buggy or rancid, it is fine to use. (Remember, in the old days spices travelled for months before arriving at a market.)

Chelsea said...

Cool idea.

Jenna said...

It is also very cheap to buy spices (a lot of things, really) in the ethnic food aisle or at ethnic markets. At my grocery store I got 5 oz of cumin, corriander and cinnamon for 99 cents each in my Indian section. 2 aisles over I would have paid a lot more. Chicken bullion, canned milk, and a lot of canned things are cheaper in the Mexican section. The packaging isn't as nice, but it is cheaper for me.