Bulk Herbs and Spices to Save Money

Tis’ the season to bake, which means it’s time to stock up on essential holiday spices. When doing so this season, why not shop for bulk herbs and spices at your favorite grocery store to save money, while also helping out the environment.

Save Money Buying Bulk Herbs and Spices

Buying spices from the bulk aisle this holiday season is cost effective. A recent study by the Portland State University Food Industry Leadership Center showed significant savings on typical holiday spices when purchased from the bulk section versus the same spices in pre-packaged bottles.

Here is a sampling (shown in by-the-pound comparisons for consistency sake, even though buying spices by the pound isn’t the norm):

Organic Ground Cinnamon

  1. Bulk bins: $8/pound
  2. Packaged bottles: $59/pound

Organic Ground Cloves

  • Bulk bins: $23/pound
  • Packaged bottles: $79/pound

Organic Ground Nutmeg

  • Bulk bins: $28/pound
  • Packaged bottles: $77/pound

Help the Environment by Buying Bulk Herbs and Spices

The same study showed purchasing foods from the bulk bins helps to reduce food waste. In fact, that’s the number one reason people choose to shop for bulk foods. Whether they’re baking cookies for Santa or hosting a dinner, they can purchase the exact amount of ingredients necessary. That way they won’t find themselves throwing away bottles of stale spices months after purchase.

Plus, buying foods from the bulk bins helps to keep packaging waste out of landfills. In fact, the study showed bulk food bins help divert 300 million pounds of waste from landfills each year.

How to Shop for Bulk Herbs and Spices

Purchasing spices from the bulk bins is a snap. Remember to bring your own pen. Often the spice scoops in the bulk aisles are exactly 1/8 cup, so it’s easy to measure what might be needed for a recipe. In addition to writing the PLU code on a bag or tag, remember to write the name of the spice itself. This Food Network video shows just how easy shopping in the bulk aisles can be.

Shopping the bulk foods aisles, with all its benefits, is an easy way to secure your spot on Santa’s good list this year.


Contributed by the Bulk is Green Council

The Bulk is Green Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the environmental and economical benefits of buying natural and organic foods from the bulk bins. Learn more at bulkisgreen.org.