Spices and herbs define the flavor of any meal. Experimenting with different combinations of spices and herbs is one of the easiest ways to vary your cooking and add diversity into your repertoire. When you go to the grocery store to find these savory ingredients though, the big question is: Should I buy spices packaged or in bulk? The following are some great reasons to try bulk spices and herbs with your cooking.
- Bulk spices are less expensive.
Many people may not realize how inexpensive bulk spices really are. When you buy packaged spices from brand names, most of the cost you pay is for the packaging, not for the spice itself. You can often get the amount of spice or herb that you need for a family meal for just pennies by buying in the bulk spice section. Why pay more?
- Buy the quantity you want.
Sometimes you just need a pinch of a spice. When you buy spices and herbs in bulk you can choose the quantity you want and pay only for what you plan to use. Buying in bulk also allows you to try unique herbs and spices without committing to buying an entire container, which is particularly useful with more expensive spices like saffron.
- See what you're getting.
When buying herbs and spices it is often hard to see the actual product through all of the labeling on the container. With bulk spices you can easily determine what the spice or herb looks like, whether it's dry or brittle, and how it smells. It is much easier to examine bulk spices for quality than it is to examine spice containers, which are often sealed.
- Easier storage.
You can quickly accumulate many spice containers in your cabinet or pantry that clutter your space and make it difficult to find what you need. Especially if you have a lot of spices and herbs that you have only used once or twice, you will find that these containers are taking up unnecessary space. Bulk spices can be purchased in small, thin bags that seal in freshness and are also easy to store. They can easily be packed into a small container for storage or in a refrigerator drawer, keeping them fresh while saving space.
- Less waste.
All of the costly plastic packaging of spice containers eventually ends up in the trash. Small bulk spice bags generate less waste and can be used repeatedly if desired. Also, if you buy a spice in a container and end up not liking the flavor, the entire bottle goes to waste, as opposed to just using the small amount that you can get from the bulk spices section.