Frugal Friday: Buy Spices in Bulk

I love to cook. Since I could read, cooking has been one of my favorite pasttimes and one of my preferred methods of relaxation. If you spend anytime cooking, you know that quality ingredients can be pretty expensive, even with a coupon.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about preparing gourmet food for a mere fraction of the price it would cost at a restaurant. One of the ways that I do this is to purchase my spices in bulk.

Whether from Costco, a health-foods coop, or simply Walmart, I’ve always been able to find larger sizes of the herbs and spices that I regularly use, like parsley, basil, dill weed, and oregano. (I do this for other pantry staples, too, like yeast or rice.) I’ve found that a pound of the spice in question costs about the same as the itty bitty jar.

Since I use spices with a pretty heavy hand, they rarely go old or lose their potency. But, if you don’t use them in the same frequency as I, you can easily split the package with friends or even make up pretty spice packets and mixes to give as gifts. If you’re already going to spend the $4 on a spice, you might as well buy more of it and share it.

You’ll enjoy good eats and save some money at the same time.

What’s your money saving idea for the week? We’d love to hear it.

Write about it on your blog and bring your link back here. Anyone is welcome to participate provided that both the blog and the post are family-friendly.

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Looking forward to your great ideas!

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Comments

  1. Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free says:

    I love buying my spices and yeast in bulk! I’ve saved so much money doing so. I have just recently found a local supplier where I can also get rice/sugar/flour/wheat berries and more spices in bulk. I was so happy! :) Oh the small things that make me smile.

  2. Hoosier Homemade says:

    That’s a great tip! I often wondered about that.
    Thanks for hosting!
    ~Liz

  3. Shop Without Money Sisters says:

    I love the idea of If you were going to buy it anyway, buy more for the same price and share. I wish more people thought this way in everyday life. Our whole life could be like a do-gooder co-op amongst friends and neighbors, making life so much simpler and easier to enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity to link!
    Heather

  4. I do this too. It saves so much.

  5. The Prudent Homemaker says:

    If you also have a Sam’s Club nearby–check out their spice prices. I live by both Costco and Sam’s Club. I only have a membership at Sam’s Club. One of the determining factors for me in choosing where to shop was the price on spices. They are less than half the price of the ones at Costco–AND they’re twice as big, too!

    I know this may not be possible for you depending on where you live and what stores you have nearby.

    Another place I have bought spices from is Herb Products Co. They are in CA, but I order online. They have a great price on curry!

  6. Melissa says:

    Love the Costco yeast. We share with my mother-in-law, so she doesn’t have to buy yeast in tiny packets. I transfer all of the yeast to a big jar, then fill a smaller jar from that one. (I figure that the yeast will last longer if I don’t open the main jar every couple of days.)

    LOL My post for today is about a different way to save on spices.

  7. Jenn @ Beautiful Calling says:

    Yes, I can not beleive how much we save by doing this! I even buy cupcake sprinkles in bulk! (I bake a lot of cupcakes to sell)

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I buy spices in bulk too. I keep the large containers in the door of the freezer to keep them fresh.

    Even if it wasn’t sooo much cheaper, refilling those little spice bottles so often drives me nuts!

  9. Has anyone compared Aldi prices to bulk spice prices. I usually buy spices at Aldi which seem cheap to me… though of course right now I can’t remember how much off the top of my head! Maybe I need to do some research :o)

  10. Michele says:

    I agree about the spices and baking supplies. I love going to Costco for these types of things!

  11. Saver Queen says:

    Remember that a great way to keep your spices fresh is to buy them whole. it’s easy to buy whole spices in bulk and they last for so much longer! The only trouble with buying ground spices from a bulk food store is that they are likely already stale from sitting around for so long, and then they will probably get even more stale from sitting in your cupboard. If they are whole, they will stay much fresher and they are easy to grind in a coffee grinder. I bought a separate coffee grinder just for spices (there will be a lingering flavour and stain) for $10. I can’t recommend this strategy highly enough – the difference in the quality of your spices and therefore your meals will be very noticable!

  12. shopannies says:

    you are so right we buy alot of our spices at sams where we can get great buys and we do cook alot so they never have a chance to go bad here either

  13. Thanks for the great tip!

  14. lindsay edmonds says:

    Since spices loose their flavor in two weeks time, I buy small quantities in the bulk section from stores like Winco or Fred Meyer nutrition. Definitely saves significantly over buying the small jars. You really don’t know how old those spices are either.

  15. Jennifer says:

    If you don’t cook with spices often enough that they stay fresh, does it pay to try to get them at the dollar store? I’ve never tried them, but I’ve seen them there and at CVS. They seem inexpensive, but I don’t know about the quality.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have also found that my local ethnic grocery stores run their bulk spices at much cheaper prices then grocery stores. They also offer a larger selection of whole not ground and that same low price.

    Kris

  17. Your Frugal Friend, Niki says:

    I buy some of my faves in bulk too. Especially peppercorns in a variety of colors. Mmmm!

    :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am trying to get to the links that people have sent for frugal friday and I can’t seem to get there. Help!

  19. FishMama says:

    Make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off and then click the Mr. Linky box.

  20. Melissa says:

    If I buy more of a spice than I will use before it goes bad, I give some away to friends. By sharing things we buy in buk, we all save money.

    Melissa
    http://www.examiner.com/x-2508-Frugal-Family-Examiner

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