How to save money in the kitchen on spices.
The Price of Spices Oh My!
Have you seen the prices on spices in the grocery stores lately?
With Fall here and the big baking season sneaking up on me I was out shopping for some new spices. I had run out of a few of the basics I will need like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. If I wasn’t out of it they were a year or more older.
Spices are best if they are fresh and you’ve purchased them in the past year.
I had a recipe for a homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer that I found on Pinterest that I wanted to make. On my first ingredient run to the store I found that a small 0.9 ounce bottle of pumpkin pie spice that was needed for the recipe was $4.95.
WHAT almost $5 for a spice mix?
You’re kidding me right?
I mean the last time I bought a bottle it was about $2.95 a bottle.
I decided it would be cheaper for me to make my own batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice.
By buying the ingredients for the pumpkin pie spice mix I would be able to make it and I would still have the leftover spices for other recipes. This way would save me even more money in the long run.
I found a recipe for a homemade batch of pumpkin pie spice mix from one of my favorite food bloggers, My Baking Addiction.
I gathered most of the spices I needed for under $3 each but now as I was shopping for the last spice that I needed for the recipe….. ground cloves was almost $5 for a small container.
One of my favorite places to find spices at a reasonable price is in the Ethnic section of the grocery store.
The spices are almost half the price of brand name spices and are just as good. I don’t understand why this is but it is.
One other good thing about buying spices in the Ethnic area is that you can buy a large bottle or a small plastic bag of spices. That way you are sure to always have fresh spices on hand. Plus if you need a spice for a recipe that you rarely use and won’t be needing it for any other recipe you can buy a small quantity and not have to worry about the high price or having whatever is left over go stale before you need it again.
In the Ethnic section I found a large bottle of whole cloves for $1.95. They did not have any ground cloves although I believe I have seen ground cloves in the past.
I grabbed the bottle and decided to grind the cloves myself.
My new Blendtec Blender came with the Twister Jar. I have been looking forward to trying my hand at homemade nut butters or grinding some wheat berries into flour but haven’t had the chance yet.
I figured if the Blendtec Twister Jar can grind wheat berries, nuts and flax seeds then it should be able to grind the cloves with no problem.
This would be the first time I actually used the Twister Jar.
I washed out the jar, dried it and poured the whole cloves in.
I wasn’t sure what setting to use though. I didn’t want to use the pulse button because I didn’t want to be starting and stopping the blender.
I decided to try the Soups, Syrups and Fondue setting. It runs for a little over 70 seconds. I figured I’d let it run through the cycle and then check on the cloves to see if they were ground fine enough.
I hit the button and let it rip.
I let the blender run through the cycle and waited a few minutes so the dust would settle. Cloves can be a very strong overwhelming scent and I didn’t want to inhale a bunch of clove powder when I opened the lid.
This is what I found. The cloves were ground finely.
There were a few bits of pieces but I was happy with it and poured them back into the container they originally came in.
The whole cloves cost me $1.95 for a 1.5 ounce container. By grinding them myself I ended up with 3 times the amount of ground cloves then I would have had for less than 1/3 of the cost of the small .09 ounce container.
That is a huge savings.
I got to finish mixing my homemade pumpkin pie spice YEAH!
If you don’t have a Blendtec Twister Jar or a spice grinder you can still grind your own whole spices using a coffee bean grinder. Coffee bean grinders cost about $15 brand new. You can buy one new and dedicate it to spice grinding or you can pick one up at a garage sale or the thrift store.