Monday, February 15, 2010

Spices

If you are going to start saving money, you will be saying "bye bye" to pre-made meals. For example, microwave rice with dehydrated veggies, taco starter, chili starter, marinara starter. Basically, you will be living without an aisle or two at the supermarket (with some exceptions, of course).

Spices at the traditional grocery store are RIDICULOUSLY priced. I've found that Sam's Club (or Costco) have the best prices on great spices. Hey, that's a nice little rhyme! Stock up your spice cabinet with new fresh spices and throw out the nasty ones that you got with that rack for your engagement. My good friend taught me to organize them in shoeboxes and just label the tops with masking tape so you can easily see them & grab them without having an avalanche of cumin come raining down on your head. Yes, it's happened. Most of the ginormous bottles of spices run about $3-$5 at Sam's Club. That is generally LESS than what you pay for the tiny bottle at Jewel or even Wal-Mart.

I've found that the ones I use the most are Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Mrs. Dash, Adobo Seasoning, Basil, Oregano, Chili Powder, Kosher Salt & Black Pepper. I have big bottles of these at ALL times.

Others that I have, but use less often are Thyme, Rosemary, Ground Mustard, Fennel Seed.

In the summer, I grow my own Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Sage and Chives. (I tried strawberries this year and they had a turf war with the chives)

My oregano seeds were taking a long time, but I did have a lot of fresh oregano by the end of summer which was great for my Greek chicken.

There are always "the freshies" that I have to have on hand at all times as well: Garlic, Ginger (I buy the root and keep it in the freezer), shallots (kind of a garlicky little mild onion).

Learn to love your spices! You will need them if you are planning on making any of my recipes ;)

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