When buying herbs and/or spices, do so a tablespoon or so at a time, rather than the higher priced "packaged" ones. This means you will have fresher, and it costs far less. Also, look in Mexican aisles as they often have smaller packages of herbs/spices that are far cheaper than in the "American" ones; and from what I understand many can be found far less expensive in Asian markets as well!
If you do not have older spice bottles, look at places like the "as is" Goodwill store, use baby jars that are cleaned, or check freecycle or other local recycling places!
It's easy to make "tags" for your new spice containers. I use "season greetings" tabs I got for a dime at a yard sale and they work great! You can easily "make" your own from blank paper, old envelopes, piece of typing paper, etc. Simply put on with scotch tape. This way the spices and herbs are used quickly and don't have the time to get "old" on you!
Also if you come across an excellent buy, but aren't sure how you would ever use that much say, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice,. you can give to others to use.
I found out about checking out Asian markets when checking recipes online
By MzScarlett from Medford, Oregon
When we moved to Houston in the early 80s I took a Smuckers grape jelly jar and cut the label of a salt box and scotch taped it to the side. I still have my salt protected from the Houston humidity in a jar with the purple and white gingham checked lid. Smuckers used to have a lid with just the checks and no name or anything written on top. Scotch tape will hold a label in place till you remove it. Great for thrifty funners.
I wish i could find that option here, but agree, less is more when it comes to spices because it becomes almost tasteless in less time than most think. I do use the whole nutmeg because of that, and grate off just what I need. What a taste blast after using stuff ground who knows when, and maybe on my shelf way too long. Of course I try to grow a couple varieties of basil, and grew greek oregano this year, not spices, but still lose flavor with time. So mine is fresh frozen. Glad you spoke up when so many talk about buying in bulk. Loretta from AL
I belong to a food co-op and that small amount or larger amount is your choice.
My husband's work place was doing lab samples of a solution used in their equipment. Well, cases of 4 oz jars with lids, all came my way when they changed procedures. These were the same jars I would buy for my spices. Free.
Frequently used spices go in the cupboard, others I pop into the freezer, especially if expensive ones used. Some of my spice I buy in quart sized quantities for use (cinnamon, basil, It seasoning, etc) and they last a long time. Make sure to mark them unless you are sure you can tell. I also buy baking powder a quart at a time and freeze it.
Forgot to mention. When you change out spices or update them, set the old ones out for air fresheners. Stale cloves, ginger, pie spice, etc. I freshen every couple years if in my cupboard. I keep them in a dark place.
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