21 April 2011

Quick Tip - Spices & Seasonings

image via SpicesnHerb.net

Here's a little grocery shopping quick tip I learned last week. I go through a lot of Italian Seasoning. I use it in a lot of recipes and on hot chicken and turkey sandwiches. In the regular spice aisle at the grocery store you will find small bottles (about half an ounce) of Italian Seasonings for four to seven dollars. I picked up a bottle there last week for $5, then happened upon the international food aisle minutes later. Here I found a large 2.5 ounce container of Italian Season for the same price.

I was suspicious. Surely the quality could not be good. I checked the ingredients and they were all there with no unnecessary additives or preservatives. I wondered how fresh it would be and how pungent the scent would be compared to the smaller bottle brands. I was impressed when I got home and opened the jar.

So here's the tip -- Check out all areas of your grocery store for spices and other products. It's amazing how many similar products can be found in completely different sections of the grocery store. Particularly tricky are the international/ethnic and health/nutrition/diet foods sections. If your grocery has a bulk items section that's another place to keep an eye on.

I'm saving some big bucks now. But here's the catch -- It's not a great idea to buy giant bottles of spices if you don't use them often. Most sites I looked at said a year is about the shelf life for spices. I know I will use this in the next 2-3 months.

I also don't love that this product came in a plastic container. I can transfer it in a glass jar with a tight lid and label it. (Surely I could make up something fun with my Xyron sticker maker, right? Can you imagine how long I could waste making a really pretty sticker for Italian Seasoning -- I wouldn't but I could.)

For five bottles of .5 ounce Italian Seasoning at $5 a bottle, I would've spent about $25. Instead I got the same amount of seasoning for $5. It's a money -saving quick tip!

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I recently discovered that same thing in our grocery store when I was looking for bay leaves! I ended up with the huge container even though I hardly use them, but since there was no smaller alternative, I went with it anyway. Do you need some bay leaves? ;-)

I have & still use long-expired spices (some that came in a spice carousel I received for my wedding 5 years ago!) & have found that there's little difference, except that you need to add more because they're less potent. (I received quite the wakeup call when my curry powder finally ran out & I used the new stuff in an old recipe--spicy!!!) Hopefully expired spices aren't harmful!

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