We’ve all been there: You’re in the middle of cooking dinner when you realize you threw out the oregano during your last spice cupboard purge and need it for the Greek pork chops you’re making. So, you turn off the stove and run down to the Publix (or Piggly Wiggly or Harris Teeter) and grab the oregano from the spice aisle, shelling out however much they are charging for the stuff, because you need it for dinner. Next time that happens, head a few aisles over and you might save a few bucks.
Lifehacker recently published a great tip: Instead of buying spices in the spice aisle of the grocery store, head a few aisles over to the international or ethnic food section. Hidden among the rice noodles, refried beans, and hoisin sauce, many grocery stores sell a diverse selection of the spices necessary for whipping up a batch of mole sauce or attempting your own sweet and sour pork. The secret is that those spices are frequently half the cost of the exact same spices sold in the spice aisle, albeit sometimes sold in bags instead of bottles.
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The next time you need cumin for your famous chili con carne, paprika for a barbecue spice rub, or cinnamon for your snickerdoodles or Christmas cinnamon rolls, simply walk a few aisles over and you may save a bundle.
Other great places to pick up bargain spices include Cost Plus World Market, Atlanta’s Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, Charleston’s India Spice shop, Baton Rouge’s Red Stick Spice Company, or shop online at Penzeys Spices.