Recently I found a great recipe for Good 'ol Rice and Beans which my family inhales. It calls for, among other things, 1 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin. That doesn't sound like too much but when you make this dish once a week or so it adds up. So I needed to stock up on chili powder (I'm doing ok on the cumin for now). I also noticed when I did my broccoli cheese soup recipe that my paprika is probably 10 years old (I know, I know, I'm busy, cheap, and I don't use paprika that often. Sue me.).
Spices are expensive! This topic came up over at the fabulous blog Get Rich Slowly. In the comments someone suggested checking the Mexican food aisle in your grocery store for cheap spices. I figured that while I was at Winco I would check it out. I was amazed! Here's an example: This bottle of Safeway brand chili powder costs $4.99 for 4.5 ounces which makes it $1.11 an ounce.These packages are what I purchased at Winco in the Mexican food aisle. The package of chili powder was $.62. Yes, you read that right 62 cents for one ounce, making it 62 cents an ounce!! That is almost half as much as the Safeway brand. The paprika was the same price, 62 cents. Versus this package of Safeway brand:This package is $1.96 for one ounce making it $1.96 an ounce! That is more than three times the mexican package.
While you can't find every spice in the Mexican food aisle (I didn't see chives for instance), you can find lots - cinnamon, cumin, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, and lots more. All of them for 62 cents. You can bet where I'm going to be buying my spices in the future!