Question for Mustangs and others re organizing spices

marie26September 26, 2009

Mustangs, I have a question about your spice drawer. Do you buy your spices in bulk or in the jars and just transfer them to your jars?

The reason I'm asking is because I've been buying bulk (when possible). I seem to buy too much to fit into one of those jars. I've also been buying exotic spices at the local Indian grocery in bags that hold much more than what would fit into a jar like yours.

I've been searching for a solution for spices for so long and have tried many different types but none seem to work.

What is the best method for organizing spices?

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you can keep the larger amounts in the freezer and then put the smaller amounts in a drawer..with labels facing up..

i put my smallest bottles in one area and larger ones in the same drawer..and then put them in alphabetical order so that they are very easy to find.

drawers keep the light out too..rather than having them where they will degrade..and keeps them cooler.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Just a note on spices....

While I love buying them in bags, remember, ground spices only keep about 6 months max. After that, they lose their punch. If your kitchen is humid or warm, they go even faster. Keeping them in a cold, dry place will preserve them a bit longer. However, there probably just aren't that many spices that you use a whole bag full of every couple months.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I buy bulk spices too--Penzeys is nearby and I'm an addict. I store some in bottles, in a drawers, alphabetically, labels on top. Straight spices/herbs in one drawer, blends in another. The rest is in the freezer, in their original bags, filed alphabetically in a box. After 6 months, ground spices might not be as strong as they had been, but they still taste good; you just adjust the amount you use to compensate.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:23PM
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I transfer the spices from their bags to jars of the appropriate size. Usually it's a recycled jar from preserves or peanut butter.

Then they go into the spice cabinet on the appropriate carousel: I divide them into "basic European", "tastes good in desserts", "Indian/Mexcan"

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 3:51PM
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Maria, Usually I don't buy in bulk because of how soon they go stale. When I do come across a Penzey's (only one in my state), I buy the smallest bottle. On occasion when I do buy an amount that I would use up in a reasonable about of time, I put the extra spices baby bottle liners and FoodSaver them into small packages.

Rarely are there spices that are cost prohibitive so I finally learned to "let go" if they only come in large quantities i.e. I throw the extra away. I probably wouldn't use up exotic spices anyway.

My everyday spices are in the drawer in bottles that I got at a grocery store in Italy for 50 cents each--with the spices in them. Before packing them, I emptied all the spices thinking it might be an airport security issue. I don't mess around with those machine guns walking around the Rome airport. Okay, there was that one time I had a rock from the Coliseum in my carry-on.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I bought stickers that have the names of spices on them. I bough tiny glass spice jars -- they fit upright in the drawer next to the stove. I put the stickers on the jar lids. I can't keep them in alphabetical order, but it beats digging through a cabinet. I buy spices in bulk. For those I use frequently, or in great quantity, I keep an overflow section of plastic bags from the bulk section in the cabinet above the drawer holding the spice jars. I just refill as needed. When one runs out, I put it on the shopping list. Hope it makes sense. Gotta get off the computer so hubby can use it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:17AM
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I'm a gardener and I grow as many herbs aas I can. Right now I have freswh parseley, tarragon, thyme and basil available a few steps from my back door. There is nothing as tasty as spaghetti with a few leaves of fresh-torn basil added! Everything else I buy in as small a container as possioble and keep in my kitchen in a narrow vertical cabinet. Salt is the lone exception-I buy a fairly large container. And I have four kinds of papper-we like a variety-black, white, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Again, think small container. Fresher and cheaper.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 9:33AM
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