Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Where to buy spices




View Full Version : Where to buy spices


cbmare
01-15-2008, 08:15 PM
Barbara (blue-to-blue) posted http://foodieloot.ecrater.com/ on another thread. I think we will be spending some time in there tonight.

Where else can I find some? I hate paying the grocery store prices. We've started buying Mexican oregano, ground cumin and chili powders in the Mexican spice section of the grocery store. It is WAY cheaper.

We grow most of our own herbs and dry them ourselves. They are so much better than the grocery store bottles. However, spices are another story.

If you don't buy them at the local grocery store, where do you get them?


chick_in_the_hat
01-15-2008, 08:17 PM
Have you got a food co op or natural foods store? They often sell spices in bulk. I like this because I can buy a very small amout instead of some jar that lasts me 20 years.

cbmare
01-15-2008, 08:19 PM
Have you got a food co op or natural foods store? They often sell spices in bulk. I like this because I can buy a very small amout instead of some jar that lasts me 20 years.


I'm sure we do somewhere here in the south bay. I'll have to look, thanks.


mandalinn82
01-15-2008, 08:24 PM
Mare - I'm buried in FoodieLoot, somewhere between smoked salt and salt-free organic curry powder.

Drool.

kaplods
01-15-2008, 08:29 PM
We buy from a "take and bake" store called U-bake. They sell flour, herbs, spices, candies, ready to bake cookies, rolls, bread.... and other baking supplies. The spices are already measured into tiny plastic tubs. There are a few other bulk stores locally, usually Menonite owned or supplied. When we were in Illinois, we bought from a health food grocery. Health food stores often sell teas, herbs and spices in bulk. Usually you scoop your own into plastic bags, as little or as much as you need. This is especially nice when you need a spice for a recipe that you otherwise would have no use for. You can buy a couple tablespoons, rather than having to buy a whole jar. I also love the mail order company Spices, Etc. They have unique things like wine, cheese, and broth powders. I don't order very often though, as the prices for every day spices are good compared to grocery stores, but not that great compared to the baking supply and health food stores..

Suzanne 3FC
01-15-2008, 08:42 PM
My absolute favorite place to buy spices online is www.worldspice.com :)

Aside from that, I buy from natural food stores in bulk, like Amanda suggested. I NEVER buy herbs and spices at the supermarket. They are usually old and stale, and cost a fortune per ounce compared to the pennies you'll spend at the natural food store. Plus you can buy just a teaspoon if you want, so you don't end up with something sitting on your shelves for ages.

The rule of thumb for freshness is to replace your ground spices every six months, when you replace your smoke detector batteries :) Whole spices that you grind yourself can last a couple of years as long as you grind them as needed.

baffled111
01-15-2008, 09:00 PM
If you don't have a grocery store that sells them in bulk, check out your ethnic grocery stores. I used to live near an Indian grocery where you could buy giant bags of spices for cheaps.

The Adventist grocery store near me here sells them in bulk also.

RPIDriveStick
01-15-2008, 09:09 PM
I buy from a food co-op. I bought half a bottle's worth of Thyme - a bottle would have cost $5 at the grocery store - for 20 CENTS. And they have an incredible selection.

IrishJoan
01-15-2008, 09:18 PM
Penzey's has excellent spices. Check out penzeys.com. I add "Fox Point" seasoning to all of our veggies. No salt and tons of flavor. Great stuff.

BlueToBlue
01-16-2008, 12:41 AM
Cost Plus can also be a good source. They are usually cheaper than the grocery store and will carry spices my safeway doesn't.

Forever42
01-16-2008, 10:13 AM
Penzey's has excellent spices. Check out penzeys.com. I add "Fox Point" seasoning to all of our veggies. No salt and tons of flavor. Great stuff.

Penzey's and their sister stores, The Spice House, are two of the best places to go. They have incredible selections and great customer service. I'm only sad that there aren't brick and mortar stores closer to me!

I order from the websites, Penzey's a few times a year and the Spice House, just got my first order last week.

GetSmart
01-16-2008, 11:19 AM
I also recommend buying from an Indian grocery store if you can find one. I live right next door to one, and buying spices there is soooo much cheaper than the grocery store, or even our food co-op (but, our food co-op seems to be more expensive than others).

cbmare
01-16-2008, 12:06 PM
Thank you, ladies. We do in fact have a ton of Indian stores here in the south bay. I think I'll check the Korean market as well. Ranch 99 does not have them in bulk.

Mandalinn, we smoked some Kosher salt and keep it in a jar. Can't say it tastes any different, but it is aromatic. When you said you are buried in foodie loot, does that mean you'd never heard of it? I hadn't either.

cbmare
01-16-2008, 06:02 PM
My absolute favorite place to buy spices online is www.worldspice.com :)


OK. I'm going blind. I can't believe I just spent so much time in there.

They certainly are trusting to not ask for a credit card up front. I think I will be doing business with those people.

Thank you!

nelie
01-16-2008, 08:10 PM
Suzanne,

I had ran across world spice a few years ago but never ordered anything from them. Uhh I just spent over $100 there :) I'm looking forward to the variety of spices I'll receive in their whole state.

Suzanne 3FC
01-16-2008, 08:41 PM
I first ran across them a few years ago too, and I did order and have never bought herbs and spices from anyone since :lol: I place big orders, too. I also bought their book on spices (from amazon), it's very good! They give great details about every herb and spice imaginable, and even include recipes for some of their blends.

Alton Brown did one of his Good Eats shows on spices and he started out in a really neat looking spice shop, and said everyone needed to find a good spicer. Then he revealed that he was in World Spice :)

cbmare
01-16-2008, 09:01 PM
I first ran across them a few years ago too, and I did order and have never bought herbs and spices from anyone since :lol: I place big orders, too. I also bought their book on spices (from amazon), it's very good! They give great details about every herb and spice imaginable, and even include recipes for some of their blends.

Alton Brown did one of his Good Eats shows on spices and he started out in a really neat looking spice shop, and said everyone needed to find a good spicer. Then he revealed that he was in World Spice :)

I remember that episode! We got so jealous that he had one and we don't! I think boobalah is going to be so happy tonight.

Scenestealer
01-19-2008, 09:37 AM
Wow, I had no idea you had to replace your spices that often! Even if they're kept in jars?? Some of mine last for a couple years!

modkittn
01-19-2008, 09:52 AM
I buy some of mine at the dollar store, some at the grocery store, and some at the wholesale store. Depends on the spice! For instance, curry powder is really expensive at the grocery store and unavailable at the dollar store, but really cheap at the wholesale place.

PhotoChick
01-19-2008, 06:45 PM
I buy spices from Penzys and I replace them every year. I have amber glass jars that I bought at the Container Store and that's how I store them.

I place a new order every January (in fact, I have one going right now and will close it out in a few days). Some things I order only 1/4 oz of, and some things, like chili powder and cinnamon and pepper, I order 8 or even 16 oz of. When the new spices come in, I toss the old ones.

Spices don't "spoil" per se, but after a year they start to lose their essential oils and other volatiles that make them properly spicy. If you want the most from your spices, you should replace them periodically.