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Reader Tip: How to Save BIG on Spices

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Save on Spices

Check out this “HIP” tip from reader Heather –

Just a heads up to the Hip2Save family about huge savings on spices! After finding one small bottle (0.6 oz) of Star Anise in my local King Soopers for $8.99, I decided to check out my local Asian store for spice pricing and paid only $1.08 for a 2oz package! What HUGE savings! I also bought a 3oz package of Cinnamon bark for $1.38 and a 2oz package of Fennel Seeds for $0.98. It definitely pays to shop around!

How do you save on spices? Please share!

(Thanks, Heather!)

Join The Discussion

Comments 72

  1. Laura

    I check the Hispanic aisle

    • Jen B.

      I do that too! I shop at Smart and Final Extra in Los Angeles and they have a huge spice section usually by the produce. The envelopes are even a little bit bigger than what Heather found and they run just a little over $1!

  2. Dorothy

    I have a son that is highly allergic to red dyes. He can die if he gets it. My biggest issue was finding bouillion cubes. All bouillion in stores contain red dyes…even chicken. We had a huge Asian store open around the corner from us. I decided to check them out, and was thrilled to find bouillion in there in bulk reasonably priced and without red dye!!

    • sara

      Omg, thank you for shreing this! My 2 year old has the same allergy and I never use them for this reason. I’ll be going to H-mart tomorrow.

    • Jennine

      Oh exciting! And sorry it took so long to find some! Our grocery store has some without dye in the organic section called Not-chick’n by Edward and sons just a heads up for those who can’t make many different trips with littles.

    • Happymama

      That’s why we read the comments! My son is highly sensitive to red dye too and could trigger a seizure. I wish companies would just stop using food dyes all together…Anyway, thanks Jennine

    • Lily

      Hi- wow- my daughter has anaphylaxis to red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6. I check all labels including any spices we use, but didn’t even think about bouillon. Thanks for the tip.

      • Kristie

        Did you see Dr. Oz on Thursday? He did a 20 minute segment on dyes! There is also a group on FB called “Dye Free Kids” full of parents that avoid dyes in their children for various reasons!

    • Valerie

      I’m also allergic to red dye and I thought I was the only one! I’m definitely going to my nearest Asian store, I hope they carry it. Thanks for posting!

  3. mel

    Check the ethnic section at Walmart. I’ve gotten bagged spices for around $1 or so.

  4. Tammy

    Indian grocery, much cheaper.

  5. Kitty

    Indian grocery stores are great too!

  6. Chelsea

    Asian and Indian food stores are awesome for big bulk spices like cardamom, star anise, mustard or curry powder but you wouldn’t really find Italian seasoning or dried herbs there. I like Badia from the Hispanic aisle, or if you’re in upstate NY make a trip to Sauder’s.

    • JA

      I saw Badia items at the Dollar Tree today.

  7. jamie

    I buy in bulk at winco. You only take what you need and its WAY cheaper than buying individual bottles! They have a good selection too.

    • Shannon

      I second this! We get our spices from the bulk section of winco, too. Saves a ton! I also have a dehydrator and use it to dry some of our fresh herbs for use later.

  8. Summer

    Trader Joe’s has cheap spices too

  9. Nicole

    We go to an Amish bulk store

    • Pat

      We don’t have amish stores but my brother does in NY. They give him awesome deals cause they love hearing him speak german to them. They don’t speak real German anymore. They have been here so long that they speak a german slang so they only read it in the bible they told him. He gets wood from them much cheaper than lowes or home depot he says. They grin the whole time he talks to them.

  10. Julie L

    I’d love to hear someone’s tips for saving $ specifically on McCormick brand spices?! My daughter has some severe food allergies and they are the only brand I feel safe with (cross contamination is a big concern.) Needless to say spices can get pricey at this house ๐Ÿ˜

    • lancy

      i usually see big bottles of mcCormick spices at Costco. i’m pretty sure it costs less than other stores if you’re getting the brand name.

      • Julie L

        Thank you! I will check into it. Nearest Costco is 50 mins away … I would consider a periodic trip … Problem is I have Sam’s Club 5 miles from me …

    • mel

      Coupons are pretty rare for McCormick spices, seems they usually come out around the holidays. Maybe send them an email, explaining your dd’s allergies and your brand loyal to their spices. Most co’s will send out high value coupons.
      Not sure which stores you have in your area, but Winn Dixie here will put them BOGO Free from time to time and I’ll swing by to get things I’m running low on. Or check Big Lots. I’ve gotten McCormick spices a few times pretty cheap, just ck the exp dates!

      • Julie L

        Oh gosh, yes! I should contact them. Great idea, thank you!!

    • Just Me

      SAMs club also

      • Julie L

        I had someone check Sam’s for me once and they said they didn’t carry it ๐Ÿ˜

    • Roxy

      I got them for $1 or free more than once @Publix around Christmas time. Check out Frontier spices too. Organic non-iradiated. Great quality and they offered often coupons and I stacked them with Whole Foods coupons. I got many for around $1.

    • Susi

      Albertsons regularly has all the slices on 40% off and normally includes all
      McCormick red labels!

    • Lori

      Julie There was a McCormick coupon in Sunday’s paper. $1 off 2.

  11. Felicia

    Yes, I shop the Hispanic aisle at my grocery store for spices also TJMAXX/Marshall’s & Ross. When I can get to it, I go to the International Farmers Market.

  12. lily

    I go to a farmer’s market that sells really cheap (about two cups of dried oregano is $1.20) and then store in my mason jar spice rack. I can afford to replace all my spices and herbs every year for the cost of four or five jars of spices at the supermarket.

  13. Haseena

    Indian, Afghan, and Pakistani stores are great places to get awesome deals on all sort of spices and dried beans and lentils. These stores are also great to buy big bags of rice much cheaper than grocery stores.

  14. Heather

    I use a lot of basil, oregano, dill, etcetera. I just grow my own. I have fresh herbs in the summer…and dry them so I have some in the winter too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • DRIEDKAMIAS

      I live in an apartment & tried planting basil in my balcony. I get a lot of holes on the leaves. I guess they’re from the super tiny green worms (?) I see on the leaves.

      • P

        Try spraying with a combination of water and a little dish soap. It works with a lot of different types of bugs.

        • DRIEDKAMIAS

          Thanks, P! =)

  15. Kati

    Penzey’s is my go to for spices. You can buy in different quantities and shipping is free over $30. They send out catalogs with free spice coupons on them and sign up for their emails too they send out free spice coupons there too! I have found their quality is far superior to other spices, you can use less product with the same impact. Check them out at Penzey’s.com, I am simply a super happy consumer and thrifty SAHM of one and cook for three.

    • Mkw

      I’m also a big a Fan of Penzey spices. All I use… Unless I grow it in the garden

    • Linda

      My mom, sisters, bro-in-law, and I are huge Penzey’s fans!! Very fresh, very high quality. Another plus … They’ll send you a small catalog each month with awesome recipes that customers have submitted using Penzey’s spices. And there’s a small background story for each customer’s recipes in the catalog. Different recipes each month. Love it! And if you get a chance to go into one of their stores, you’ll be in heaven!! Soooo many awesome herbs and spices. Their cinnamon alone is to die for! Very high quality cinnamon that puts all grocery story cinnamon to shame. We’ve been to their store in Houston and also in Denver. Great stores!

    • Kris

      I love their cinnamon…you can seriously use it without added sugar! They have great quality and excellent customer service.

      • Julie

        Love Penzeys too! Great catalog,store, and occasional free spice coupons! Very high quality!

    • Just Me

      My sister is a baker. I’m gonna have her check them out thanks to the cinnamon tip!

    • lachmun

      Yes, love Penzey’s!

      • Gina

        Just check Penzys out. WOW thanks I’m using dill weed on everything and Windixi prices unbelievable high even with McCormick cuopons Wichita usually ONLY 50c off

        • Gina

          Well my smart phone typing whatever it want corrections Penzey and which

  16. maggie

    Instead of buying very low quality cheap herbs and spices at WM, go to the bulk aisle of Whole Foods. You can buy by the ounce from the glass containers there. Buy only what you need for the next couple of weeks. The pricing there in the bulk aisle is very good!

    The quality is SO much better if you buy small amounts of high-quality, fresh stuff. The difference between cheap cinnamon and good cinnamon is truly astonishing. Same goes for lots of others spices and herbs.

    • Linda

      Haha! Meant to say grocery store, not story. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • cherryluva

      Thank you so much for your comment! I always wondered what the difference was, if any….I live here in Wisconsin….one of our local grocery stores is called Woodmans. Their stores are HUGE! Basically, for each grocery store item, they will have almost every single brand possible. If you are a bargain shopper like me, it takes about 2 hours for 1 trip. I like to compare prices, and when you do, obviously that can take a long time. With that being said, in their spice isle, they have off brand spices for about 50 cents per small container. I always thought well hey, were saving money and this is good enough lol…..I will now venture out of my comfort zone and actually SPEND some money on REAL spices….thanks for your comment.

  17. Christine

    I get a lot of spices at the Christmas Tree Shop. They have lots of different spices for $1 each.

  18. B

    I have a really good tip! Find out if you have a Savory Spice Shop in your area and go check it out!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Every spice, herb, and spice mix is fresh ground every week! You will Never get an old, stale spice that’s lost its flavor. And there’s over 200 to choose from! You can get as little or as much as you want (from as little as .5oz to BIG bulk amounts) in bags or jars that they fill right in front of you and you can taste each and every spice in the shop! There’s also organic bouillon, speciality products, and every gourmet salt you can think of. Everything is priced amazingly too, I look at the prices at the grocery store and balk now that I shop as Savory. I’m honestly crazy about the shop haha. ๐Ÿ˜„

  19. Jessica

    I go to Bulknation where you can buy as little or as much as you want. The prices are very very cheap for spices!

  20. NorthernChimera

    Not to ruffle feathers, especially as this is a great tip, but wanted to let folks know that India and the Middle East are all Asain. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know geography isn’t well done in the US in school but just a friendly heads up so you don’t get funny looks from people. Once again not meant as an insult as its a common mistake just trying to save folks from eye rolls.

    Thank you for sharing the spice saving tip. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kitty

      They are different types of stores though

    • meg

      Umm….geography is “well done” in the United states schools. Just letting you know.

      • NorthernChimera

        Meg I’m American so yes I’m aware of what we consider geography and since most Americans think India is not in Asia and can’t name all the states in our own country I going to stand by my statement. You are welcome to diagree but our rank for such things globally is unfortunately low. ๐Ÿ™ It is unfortunate but there are many bonuses to living in the US of A.

        Once again my comment was a heads up since I’ve witnessed many people stick their foot in their mouth mouth in person making that mistake. But yes I agree that many different Asian stores will carry different things. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Pat

          I so agree about education. I went to KY to see a high school friend from Germany and her friends all thought I drove from Germany to visit her even though my car had AR plates. LOL Then there was teh college student that had never heard of East Germany or the wall that was around it. LOL

        • cherryluva

          not to mention, schooling even varies by CITY…..my boyfriend grew up, shall we say more “privileged” than I, were from the same state, just different cities, and you can tell the difference from what he was taught to what I was taught.

  21. sarah

    If you live nearby a medium to large sized Amish community, they often have a bulk dry goods store that will sell things like flour and spices and tons of other stuff for super cheap. I buy all of my spices and baking and pantry staples at our Amish dry goods store!

  22. Amy

    I use my local health food store. They weight everything so you are paying by weight and they come in small plastic bags, so I put them in reusable jars to keep them fresh.

  23. irene

    Consider growing your own herbs too. Basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro are easy to grow. You can dry upside down at the end of the season or freeze.

  24. Sarah

    Aldi always has good prices on spices.

  25. Erin

    Dollar tree and Aldi for me.

  26. Rachel

    I buy whole vanilla beans in the home brewing section of Liquor Barn. Fractions of the cost of grocery store.

  27. Garfield

    I buy my spices from ethnic stores – Indian stores have great prices, Eastern European as well. I would rather buy spices imported from these countries than made in the USA that contain chemicals. Of course unless the American ones are organic and offered at a huge discount. For example, sprouts has 50% off Simply Organic spices twice a year and combined with MQ they come to a reasonable price. I also grow some herbs and I dry them myself. It’s really easy.

  28. SCS

    Dry my own herbs. The flavor is unbeatable. Gave them as gifts too at Xmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ inexpensive, very thoughtful gift. ๐Ÿ™‚ especially for the family members that already have everything! otherwise I buy them from the Spice House in Chicago. Best spices and selection of spices I’ve ever had/seen. Spices are one of the places I splurge. I also take big advantage of their rare sales and coupons. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Maria

    I’ll give y’all a great tip…Pakistani or Indian markets have great prices. If you’ve never been in one, check it out! compliment the store if you want, but not on how low the prices are, because then they think they should raise them! Believe me!

  30. Cindy

    Wegmans’ international section also has great spice choices at a fraction of the McCormick price.

  31. Jennifer

    Natural food stores almost always have a bulk spice section. You pay pennies for exactly the amount you need and it’s a whole lot fresher

  32. Junip

    I buy bulk spices from Amazon, specifically the brand Frontier. They are the same company that makes the “Simply Organic” spices. Quality is always great and they come in these silver foil bags. Usually sold in 1 or 2 lb quantities. We use a lot of spices in my house so that’s why we switched to bulk, but you could always split an order with a friend too.

  33. cindy

    ERecently aldi ads have advertised the use of fewer dyes and artificial ingredients. Maybe some of their products are now free of the dyes that some are so sensitive too? I live penzey’s spices. Also aldis and dollar tree. Hope this helps!

  34. Grey

    I buy bagged spices i Bulk from San Francisco Herb co. They are super cheap, and low shipping costs. THey have their own spice mixes too that have no added dyes and such as well.

  35. Kelly A.

    My favorite is Winco’s bulk section. The savings are amazing. I have regular savings of 75-90% off bottled spices.

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