Refilling small spice jars

lpinkmountainMay 13, 2014

I'm away from my regular kitchen and I need some spices. I found an empty set of small spice jars in my folks' garage. I think it probably holds 1/2 oz.or maybe an ounce. I dunno, those short, squat ones. How can I go about filling them? I looked online at Penzeys, they don't sell spices in that small quantity. I searched on Amazon under "Spice jar refill" and "spice refill" and didn't find anything but the full jar sets. Back home in Allentown there was a spice booth at the farm market and they sold little packets, but I'm not there so I need something online. I can't even find FULL little spice jars here, all they sell are the larger ones. I don't use up spices fast enough to warrant buying those if I can help it.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My spice cabinet runneth over - I'd be happy to share if I have what you need. Post a list and I'll check.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a supply of those small zip-lock bags and would gladly fill some with what you need and I have on hand, pop them in a padded envelope and mail them off.

As malna suggested, post a list of spices you need.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've got lots! of extra cinnamon, peppercorns, and other bulk spices. Make a list, then we can post what we can send, then you send us the address of where you are.

Another idea is a bulk foods store or local co-op where you can buy just the amount you think you will need.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish I could find a bulk food store locally. They had small spice packets at Wegman's back home in Allentown too. I haven't checked out the local health food store in town, maybe I should. The ones in my folk's town were nice but they didn't have bulk items.

Thank you so much for offering your extras! I could actually ask my SO to raid my own spice stash back at my house too, now that I think of it. But he is so busy I hate to ask him to take the time to pack and mail them!

I'll take a look at the jars when I have a chance and see what I need. Off the top of my head, I know I need cumin and oddly, ground fennel. I can get the whole seeds but I like to mix celery and ground fennel as a sub for fennel bulb in recipes. I raided my mom's stash for cinnamon and curry powder, and I'm getting by with a supply of italian seasoning mix. I think I also need cayenne pepper, oregano and ancho pepper powder for chili. I have good garlic. I'm thinking something like apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice which I use in muffins, ground ginger and maybe ground nutmeg. I don't usually have the time or inclination to fuss with the fresh versions of those. I have a line on fresh thyme and sage, but I guess I could use some dried rosemary. I had a whole bunch of rosemary cuttings but due to all the upheaval I couldn't get it either dried or frozen in time.

I just moved into an apartment in MI so part of my life is in MI and part still in Allentown where I have my house and my SO. Don't ask me how it is all going to turn out, I really can't say, I have no idea and no sense worrying about it and speculating. Just focusing on one thing at a time. Right now I have a nice set of empty spice jars sitting on the counter of my apt. kitchen and I need to either get them filled or give them to Goodwill!

Thanks for the offers of help! You folks are the best!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you're still looking for bulk, is there an Indian market nearby? They often have bulk spices when others don't.

Also, is there a Whole Foods? They carry a line of whole and ground spices called Spicely which comes in little boxes, with tiny plastic bags of herb or spice inside. Many are organic. The quality is good. They also sell direct from the website.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in the boonies now. There's barely a grocery store in my town! Well actually there are two, right next to each other. Sure wish there was one on my side of town! The Krogers actually has a great "health food" and gluten free organic whatever section, but only the big jars of spices.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just happened to see this in the margin box. I buy from Penzeys and keep the extra in plastic shoe boxes. They are quite full right now because I miscalculated when I was figuring what I needed to make our rubs at the holidays. If you decide to let folks send you some supplies, let me know. I'd be happy to share. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate (new job or family situation? -- NMB, but hope it works out for you). It would make me happy to help out and to feel better about my goof.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CA Kate

Whole Foods carries a line of spices in small quantities in little green boxes. So far what I've bought has been reasonably fresh and of good quality. Of course the kicker is that you have to be near a Whole Foods store. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

L, I know it doesn't help right now, but they're going to open a Whole Foods in East Lansing, that might be close enough. I know the nearest other one is in Ann Arbor. No life north of Detroit, you know. Pfft.

I'd also be glad to share, and I'm in the same state, just let me know. You know where I am and I just happen to have a quart jar of dried rosemary. I've never had luck over wintering the stuff, so every fall I cut it down and dry it and start a new bush the next spring.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd be happy to send some spices as well. When you post the list, I'll take a look! I'm a Penzey's addict. I keep jars at hand and put the extra in the freezer and refill as needed.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Health food store. There are two in my general area: one sells in bulk where you take the exact amount you want, and the other sells pre-packaged in small plastic baggies.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 4:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I once bought a bag of dried parsley from Penzey's, not realizing how light dried parsley actually was. I think I just used up the last of it, probably took me five years! I really miss my old stomping grounds with the spices. I know I could drive to a bigger town but that isn't going to happen any time soon. Penzey's doesn't ship the small quantities, but surely there must be some place out there that does. I don't really want to buy the small jars since I have the jars already!

I have five small jars that take 1/4 cup by volume, and four larger jars that take 1/2 cup.

Here's what I need, all dried:

Ground fennel, not the seed
Dill weed
Cayenne Pepper
Ancho pepper or aleppo pepper

I also use these but in much smaller quantities:
Dried ground corriander, which I mix with fresh parsley for a cilantro flavor if I can't get fresh cilantro
mustard powder, not very often
chervil, which I sub for tarragon because I don't care for tarragon

The other stuff I have, like cinnamon, garlic, bay leaves and . . . dried parsley and dried mint and paprika, and curry powder. Sage I can get fresh, and I froze a ton of fresh basil in EVOO. I almost always have fresh lemon on hand for the peel and juice too. I can't wait to get cooking more! I need to get some of these herbs going in pots! I almost always try and grow basil at the very least.

I've always wanted to open a small herb shop, but I know there is no money in it. I've seen them come and go in my lifetime, and they are always a labor of love, not profit on a small scale selling fresh stuff over the counter. There used to be a place in East Grand Rapids when I lived there in the 90's, big jars of dried everything under the sun, and herbal tea mixes. Just too labor intensive and short shelf life to work as a small scale commercial enterprise. Something on the side maybe, but not full time.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have tiny spice jars too -I get small quantities at the local health food store. Much cheaper and fresher.

We had some kind of health food store war in town a year or so ago. Much hard feelings all around. This is in a town that can barely support one HF store. There was one - then none - then three and now two. While there was none I attempted to buy poppy seed at the local supermarket for $70/lb - no way. Had to go 20 minutes further. $7/lb.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm surprised to not see basic herbs, most often used, in small packaged sets. Even on amazon. As refills. They are mostly gifty sets and include some spices rarely used. In tiny jars and expensive. Usually starting around 50 bucks. sets of 12 or 24.

When i travel i go through my stash and take along a few most used and put in some small empty saved jars. Make a few spice mixes etc. Can be a bit time consuming.

I order seeds, then grind as i need. From MntRoseHerb. I can get the lb bags of what i use the most like mustard seed and smaller 4oz of others. Still can add up if needing all the basics all at once.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, lpink, for nudging me to refill the bottles on my own spice rack.

Put me down for these herbs and spices, which I'll pack in small zip lock bags and send in one envelope, if you message me with name and address to use.

Dried oregano, marjoram and savory.
Ground cayenne, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, and mustard.

They're all current for freshness.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, I saw those gifty sets in the stores, we have those, and I wondered what you did when they ran out. Kammenstein says you can order a free five year supply if you buy their jar sets. I looked online to see if I could get in on the deal! I have no idea where my mom got these jars, they weren't in the original box anymore, just wrapped in a plastic bag. There were labels too. Yes, the small packets are sold in many supermarkets even, I saw them all the time back out east. I dunno what the deal is in my area. I do know a small health food store will have a real hard time in a small town competing with the big box. I now have to order all my specialty flours and beans online. The health food stores can't afford to keep inventory on hand of something that doesn't move fast. People seem to go for the pre-packaged stuff like chips and cereals, instead of the bulk ingredient stuff. I know there is a co-op in town that does big orders of stuff, but I don't think that is going to solve my tiny spice packet dilemma, lol! Maybe I will have to find a "spice partner." Geez, where is Evil Jessy when you need her, lol!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I order my spices from A great majority of their spices come in 0.5ozs. I love the quality of their spices and if you order $50 worth of stuff, there is free shipping. The variety of vanilla extras they sell is really great and I find no issue spending $50 pretty quickly. The hibiscus leaves, which I use for the tea and the honey powder are also good choice.
Best of luck!
From A2

Here is a link that might be useful: Savory spice shop

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've got the rosemary covered, and if you want to take the top layer of enamel off your teeth, I've got some homemade chili powder, it's tougher than I can handle, LOL.

I'm going to have to make a trip to Penzey's in the next couple of weeks, I'm out of ginger and Mural of Flavors and am going to need cinnamon soon, so whatever we can't scrape together I can pick up for you there, I'll watch this thread and see what we come up with.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am preparing for my father's memorial service on Tuesday, but I will print out this list and look on Wednesday if not before. What I am showing you still need are


I know I have a lot of ancho -- that is one I ordered a pound of and then found a bag. I will also send you some pasilla negro chili powder -- it is a lovely rich flavor, deeper than ancho, but similar in terms of mildness.

I may have fennel, thyme and allspice, but will have to check. I have a friend who has not been to Penzey's and requested that I take her. That is on my list of things I am going to treat myself to after the service, and we'd better go quick or the summer schedules will begin and we won't be able to get together. Between Annie and I, we should be able to get anything headed your way soon.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wanted to add that I will also send you some bay leaves. DH just trimmed my bay laurel back and I have a lot to spare.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lascatx I just want to say SO SORRY about your father! My heart goes out to you for your loss.
I have been out of commission today due to a migrane. Dear CF friends you have really warmed my heart with your generosity. I really needed some too! Thank you so much! It may take me a day or two to respond, I have a busy work week ahead and this migrane laid me low over the weekend. Thank you, thank you!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lascatx, I'm so sorry to hear about your father, my condolences to you and your family.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use those really small canning jars for spice jars,works great for what I want,comes with labels

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm back and I have everything but chervil. Perhaps someone can fill that in for you. I will send you an email to get your address.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I didn't have a lot that's good enough to offer so didn't pipe up, but I have a new bottle of Penzey's chervil I'd be happy to share with you. :) Just let me know...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


ETS: Thanks for the kind words and condolences, The memorial service was very nice, but the military honors at the cemetery got me Good thing I took a cosmetic bag for touch ups before the public service.

This post was edited by lascatx on Thu, May 29, 14 at 1:46

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:06AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pasta rolling pin aka mattarello
I'm planning on purchasing a mattarello or pasta rolling...
What's Your Favorite Meal? To cook, to eat, to repeat...
Celebrate the continuation of the forum, and tell me...
Waterlogue app
Photo of vegetables for tonight's dinner run through...
I still love cooking....
I still love cooking and sorry to have been MIA for...
Happy Birthday Lars!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LARS! Wishing you a joyous year filled...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™