Most people tend to pick up their favorite dried herbs and spices at the local supermarket as a matter of convenience. However, there are two very important problems with this idea. First, you never really know how fresh they are since most have been sitting in a warehouse for months or longer before being delivered for sale. Secondly, the price you pay is likely to far more than you would find in most specialty shops. While grabbing the rosemary along with tonight’s chicken might be convenient, if you plan to restock your dwindling collection, this is not the best way to go about it.
Double and Triple Prices
No matter where you happen to live, if you start doing a little price shopping you should see the problem with buying your dried herbs and spices at your local supermarket almost instantly. The average big box supermarket tend to sell their herbs and spices at prices that are typically two or three times those you are likely to pay in many specialty stores. For example you might find rosemary at a specialty store for approximately 75 cents per ounce, at the same time the supermarket is selling it for what amounts to as much as $15 per ounce.
Convenience is Not the Best Choice
To be sure the local supermarket definitely offers convenience and is always going to be there in an emergency. Of course you can also order the herbs and spices you need online, this is also quite convenient in terms of time and cost, but you typically have to buy institutional size containers. Chances are good your prized purchases will go bad long before you can use the entire quantity. This negates your savings as you may not live long enough to use say nine ounces of dried thyme.
Fresh is Better
One more good reason to visit one of your local specialty stores is freshness. Since the vast majority of these stores tend to have a pretty high turnover rate, you can count on the dried herbs and spices you buy to be fresh. Those found in most major chain stores are likely to have been in storage for a very long time before being sold, not exactly the type of seasonings you want for your favorite dishes.
Buying in your local specialty stores might seem more expensive at first. However, when you look more closely at the actual price per ounce, it becomes easier to see where the real savings are to be found. Take the time to shop around and you might be surprised at where you find the best bargains.