Sep 4, 2013
How to Save Money on Spices
Call me a slow learner, but I just realized that our local grocery store has a bulk spice section! Actually, I don't think it's that I'm such a slow learner, but that I usually find myself zooming through the store with my list and several children in tow and I have never taken the time to really get to know my store!
So perhaps that is Tip #1 for you today: Take time by yourself to stroll slowly through your store, noticing what exactly they offer, how much it costs, and where it is located. Not only did I discover the bulk spice section, but I realized that our store has a fairly impressive section of health/natural foods and supplements. So good to know!
Which brings us to my main tip for you today. This week I needed to buy poppy seeds. They come in a little bottle like this in the regular spice aisle:
In case you can't see it, that is 1.25 ounces for $3.18, which works out to $2.54 per ounce, or a whopping $40.64 per pound! Wow, those poppy seeds are precious!
Come with me to the far side of the store where we find the bulk spices. As you can see, the array is extensive.
I didn't know exactly how much poppy seed I would need, so I just scooped a bit into the little plastic bags provided, marked the PLU number on it, and weighed it.
Here is how I made out:
That is .04 pounds of poppy seed, which works out to .64 ounces. It should be plenty for my recipe. In any case, you can see the price per pound on the label: $7.99 per pound! Hmmm, seems like a MUCH better deal than getting the tiny bottle from McCormick! I got just the right amount and for only 32 cents!
I think this is especially a great way to go if you only need a little bit of a particular spice. Don't we all have bottles of spices in our pantries that we used once or twice, and now they've been there for years?!
(On that note, they say once a jar of ground spice has been opened, it should be used within 6 to 9 months in order to preserve maximum flavor. Whole spices will keep much longer.)
What other things do you buy in bulk? I wish our local store had a better selection of grains in bulk. Maybe I'll have to request that. Share with us your tips for saving money at the grocery store!