Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
Every kitchen should have dried or fresh common spices to add flavour to the cooked food.
Making food smell and taste good is a part of healthy eating and adds to visual appeal.
Today, let’s explore the common spices in the average household.
Spices You Either Love Or Hate Them
It’s that time of year when we do a complete spice cabinet wipe and clean and an inventory of what we have on hand or need to replenish.
Supply your kitchen with these familiar spices and add a splash of flavour to food.
Having common spices on hand that many recipes call for is one of the most inexpensive ways to flavour a dish.
Choosing spices, you will add to recipes is something to consider before building a pantry.
Get your FREE Printable Common Spices Checklist below!!
Storing Herbs, Common Spices, Extracts
My father-in-law would ensure his organic herbs were dried adequately on parchment paper and sat in a box resembling a pop case.
He’d dry the herbs in the basement on a long 8-foot table during the winter, and eventually, he would have boxes of herbs to use.
There were always herbs hanging upside down from the ceiling as if there were bats in the house.
“Be careful what you walk into,” he used to tell me if I would go down to grab something.
Once dried, always store your spices in a dry space, such as a kitchen cabinet, where moisture won’t have the opportunity to get inside.
Having a good kitchen extractor fan when cooking and using it helps remove moisture from the space. We avoid keeping any spices in our freezer for this reason.
How Long Do Herbs And Common Spices Last?
Although expiry dates are essential, please don’t throw out a spice because it is past due.
Most seed spices will last you up to two, sometimes three years.
We judge by taste and smell since not all spices list expiry dates.
A strong aroma means your sauce is not done spreading cheer when mixed or crushed.
If you buy spices in bulk, you won’t know when to toss them, so use your judgment.
Many common spices, such as organic bay leaf, basil, and extracts, can last for years.
Most Pure Vanilla extracts should last a lifetime due to the alcohol content, so only buy what you will use.
Vanilla bean paste and other varieties of vanilla may differ.
Don’t buy a gallon of vanilla extract and let it sit for years if you don’t plan to use it.
Don’t Purchase Too Many Common Spices
Mrs. CBB made that mistake when she traveled to the Dominican Republic in her 20s and brought back a gallon to Canada.
She doesn’t even know what happened to that vanilla.
You don’t have to shop at a spice warehouse to get the best deals on common spices, especially when you only need small quantities.
Most common spices come in varying sizes depending on how often we use them herbs.
Some herbs, such as saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, can get quite costly.
Also, you’ll see an increase in cost when buying pre-made common spices packets.
We did the math on a bottle of taco seasoning from Costco for $4.99 compared to buying the packets of Taco Seasoning from the grocery store.
The price difference will blow you away!
- $1.29 – $1.99 a packet for 30g
- $4.99 for a bottle of 735g
In the large bottle of taco seasoning, there are 24.5 30g packets which would cost you on the high end $1.99 each, approximately $48.75!! Buy the big bottle for $4.99.
Instead, try making homemade taco seasoning and save money or buy it in bulk.
One of the biggest tricks we fall for as consumers believe that we must buy specific spice blends to flavor our foods.
It’s not a trick but a convenience and a great marketing plan that captures buyers’ attention.
When customers see an extensive juicy steak grilling on that perfect steak seasoning product, their stomach starts to do the shopping.
You will pay for these pre-made spice blends. However, there is a way to cut grocery costs, make them yourself.
Mrs. CBB has been on the Keto diet for almost three years now, and one of the most famous bagel spices is Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.
For many on keto, this bagel spice has circulated as a must-try, although it comes with a convenience price of $18.39.
I suppose that’s a great price for someone who doesn’t want to invest in a pantry of familiar spices.
Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Spice Mix
Alternatively, you can make it yourself by reading the ingredient list on your favorite spice mixes as we did below.
We’ve made our Everything Bagel Spice Mix twice now and tried to keep it as close to what we could remember of an Everything Bagel from Tim Hortons or The Great Canadian Bagel.
Mix the common spices below that you probably already have in your pantry in a bowl.
We don’t always have minced dry garlic or onion flakes,, so we substitute with the powder form, which works just as well.
It’s that easy to make and then store in an air-tight container.
We keep ours in a small mason jar that seems perfect for our common spices.
You can see our spice set-up from the; It’s A Spicy Price To Pay For Convenience blog post back in 2012.
We still have the same setup today! It works.
- Three tablespoons sesame seeds (not toasted)
- 3 tablespoons black poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons minced dried white onion flakes/powder
- 2 tablespoons minced dried garlic/powder
- 1-2 teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt, coarse salt, or flaked Salt, whichever you prefer
The idea is to play around with the ingredients to find your perfect blend of Everything Bagel tastes so you can add it to your favourite dishes and, of course, as a bagel topping.
Must-Try Bagel Recipes
The most popular spices revolve around organic, which cost more money but tastes far better.
If you are looking for budget-friendly watch prices, only buy what you need since spices range in price from low to very high.
Basil is very cheap to buy dried and easy to grow at home.
Yesterday we received our order for a bottle of pure vanilla extract from Amazon Canada because of the price, quality.
The vanilla smell is outrageous, and it tastes delicious as a good pure vanilla extract should taste.
No sugar is added to this, so it’s perfect for the keto diet.
We don’t include vanilla as one of our common spices as we consider it part of our baking ingredients list.
Yes, we keep two different lists for our spice and baking ingredients cabinet, but you don’t need to do the same as us.
Just after our purchase, we read that the price of vanilla will be increasing, which means we can expect increases on this basic spice that most people have in their pantry.
Vanilla prices are the highest they’ve ever been, says David van der Walde, director of Montreal-based vanilla importing company Aust & Hachmann Canada.
He said the wholesale price now runs as high as $850 (Canadian) per kilogram for premium beans — a 10-per-cent increase from last year, which was 30 per cent more than the year before that.
Growing Herbs And Common Spices At Home
I’m not a massive fan of spicy spices; the ones you have to hope and pray don’t upset any of your inner and outer parts the next morning.
Before he became ill, many people, including my father-in-law, would eat just about any hot pepper and loved spicy foods.
This is where my education on hot peppers, including chili peppers, began because although he couldn’t eat them any longer, that didn’t stop him from growing them.
He once told me that if you want spicy food or good flavours grow it yourself but don’t add too much.
The tiniest piece of hot pepper may be all your meal needs for flavour.
His garden was filled with herbs, spices, and various vegetables and fruits on his trees.
Although his garden will be no longer, we will still have the bounty from his fruit trees.
We can’t wait to celebrate his life through his fruit, an ever-lasting gift he left for us.
Related: Too much basil
Best Places To Buy Common Spices in Canada
In Canada, if someone wants a spice they aren’t sure about, they often go to the Bulk Barn.
Although we love the Bulk Barn, it’s not the only place to buy your spices, especially if you use them frequently.
The cost of spices can vary depending on where you purchase them but think of cultural stores when considering your spices.
You’ll be amazed to see lowered costs when you visit independent shops that offer culturally specific groceries.
Our local Indian store has some of the best common spices and the prices are far cheaper than walking into your local grocery store.
Best Places To Find Common Spices In Canada
Some of our favourite places to buy spices is at :
- Food Basics
- No Frills
- Indian Shop
- Chinese Shop
- Italian Shop
- Mail-order spices, for example, Amazon.
- Wherever the best deal is (read your flyers and check apps
- Winners, Home Sense, Marshall’s
Free Printable Checklist Of Common Spices
You can download the PDF of this list from our Free Money-Saving Tools List for your inventory or to put it into your budget binder.
We keep ours taped on the inside of our spice cupboard.
My Common Spices Kitchen Checklist was created with common spices that may be used in most kitchens to create delicious meals.
Adding Common Spices Labels
We label our jars with pre-made spice labels that we bought for $0.25 in the reduced bin.
If you shop around, you can find mason jars with a chalkboard; Mabel’s Labels or the Dollar Store has blank labels you can use.
- All Spice
- Black Peppercorns
- Bay Leaf
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Cinnamon ground
- Cloves whole or ground
- Coriander seeds or powder
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Curry Powder
- Ginger ground
- Minced or Powdered Garlic
- Mustard ground
- Nutmeg whole or ground
- Onion Minced or Powdered
- Sea Salt or Salt of choice
- Sesame seeds
- Turmeric ground
- White and Black Poppy seeds
Now that Spring has sprung, take the time to inventory your spices and replenish what you need and don’t have on hand from the following list above.
Have a Spicy Day, everyone.
Discussion Questions: What other common spices might be on your master spice list?
Free Money-Saving Tools
Click, Save, and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013, and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE.
We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Don’t pay someone for these services; I’ve done the work for you, along with some help from other amazing bloggers.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists created to get us on track working towards reaching our budgeting goals, and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list, and much more, all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and our family budget spreadsheet.
So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE guide that has taken 6 years to create.
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing, with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada, some amazing budget-saving tips will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder, especially if they struggle with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries, so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
Please comment below, as I enjoy hearing back from the readers.
March Grocery Game Challenge
Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC), but before you do, please read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule, which includes new prizes!
- Last shop February – How To Create An Organized Grocery List
- 13 Food Items That Do not Need Refrigeration Shop #1 March
- First-Class Grocery Receipt Pricing Errors You Might Be Missing #2 March
Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings or that you would like to track on your own)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $300
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Optimum Points to Spend: 2,900,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Our Grocery Shop This Week
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1 x 4 litres Sealtest Milk $4.27
- 1 x Omega Eggs dozen $2.99
- 1 dozen large eggs $2.49
- 2 x Philadelphia Cream Cheese 2/$6.00
- 2 x Neilson Cream 2/$5.00 plus 800 Optimum Plus Points
PC Optimum points earned 1300
Total Out-of-Pocket $20.75
Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $300
- Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $0
- Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month Jan,Feb $105 Saved
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $64.90 (not too bad for 2 months)
- Total spent this week: $20.75
- Total spent so far this month: $156.88
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under
- Total left to spend for the month: $143.12
- Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We’re eating from the freezer this week as we are too busy to shop.
We still have some mushrooms and a half-head of Romaine lettuce in the refrigerator.
Downstairs we have lots of frozen vegetables to make the sauce, chili, etc.
I will finish our fruit bowl with some mandarin oranges this week.
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll add it below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program, and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus, check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any links below don’t open properly, please report them to my email address or use the comment form.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
Grocery Game Challenge FAQs
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates, but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and is just one way to help cut your budget and save money if you find items you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. Many great Canadian Couponing websites online share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our iPhone, so if you want to have all your flyers in one spot, download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping, what we do to save money, and how it works for us.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge, get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- How much money are you spending?
- Where are you spending money?
- How much money are you saving every month?
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada, check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide!