I organized my spices and kitchen drawers today

marie26November 22, 2008

It took 2 hours but my kitchen drawers are finally organized. I had purchased a top of the counter utensil container recently because of the minimal drawer space. This has been helping. One day, I'll find a beautiful pottery container that I'll switch to.

I had my spices in one of the drawers and finally threw out all those that were at least a year old. I knew which ones these were because they were in spice bottles that I brought with me almost a year ago to this house. Since I've moved here, I've been buying bulk spices only because they're so easy to find. But there were a few bags that had no label or name on the twist tie so I threw those out as well.

I made a list of the labeled spices I got rid of (which are not the ones I use regularly) so I'm ready to buy new ones. The stores around here don't have ziplock bags, only small bags that you must use the twist tie. Maybe I should be bringing ziplock bags with me.

When you buy bulk spices, do you just label the twist ties or is there a better method?

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Good for you, pitching anything over a year old! Since spices don't stay fresh for long, I buy the smallest bottles available when I do buy dried spices. I also have an herb garden, so I have 24/7 access to fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, and thyme.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:07PM
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Yesterday, I also went through my lower cabinets and then did the pantry which was getting to the point of embarrassment. We hardly ever eat peanut butter but I have 2 jars. Other than that, I found a couple of items that I was ready to rebuy. Not too bad. But I've changed my shopping habits and have been buying mainly for the week and not stocking up like I like to do.

We were just given a really small stand-alone freezer so I must go through my fridge freezer and organize it into the 2 freezers. I purchased 4 plastic containers that are tall to hold the bags of frozen foods.

My fridge's freezer works very well but a block of ice keeps forming on the bottom that I end up having to chip away at. I need to get someone in to fix it but I've been putting it off.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 2:04PM
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"I made a list of the labeled spices I got rid of (which are not the ones I use regularly) so I'm ready to buy new ones."

Why buy new ones if you don't use them? I would wait until I needed a spice and then get it.

When you buy spices in bulk transfer them to containers and label them. They stay fresher that way. Glass jars or metal tins work better than plastic for freshness. I like glass jars as you can see the spice and makes it easier to find than having to read every single label on all the tins.

If you do buy jars of labeled spices from the store save the jars for reuse for when you buy the bulk spices.

You can order custom labels online or print out you own.

I have no connection the the following company. Google for similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spice Labels

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:20PM
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Dilly dally, Why is glass better than acrylic for spices?

There are, of course, certain spices that I always like to have on hand. Those are the ones I'll be replacing.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:11PM
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I never mentioned acrylic. I did say plastic, which is an umbrella term that covers a broad spectrum of manufactered polymer material.

You mentioned finding spices in bags without twist ties in the kitchen drawers and having to throw them out. The spices were stored in plastic bags, right? Or did I misunderstand? And you also asked if it was a good idea to bring Zip-Loc bags to the bulk spice store when you buy spices.

It is a better idea to store spices in glass or metal canisters than in plastic bags.

Plastic transfers air in and depending on the size molecule, contents out, since it is more porous than other materials.

Since you mention acylic though..........like many other plastics, it has less than half the density of glass, so microscopically it is porous enough to let in more air through than glass. But this is not an issue for most short term storage.

Haven't you ever discovered a forgotten food product stored in a plastic material, in your cupboard where the plastic felt sticky? It is because the contenets are working their way through the plastic. I hate all the new plastic packaging they have nowdays that replaced glass jars. Some plastics are just not meant for long term storage. The ones that work well for it are the ones that cannot be recycled generally.

Also, I do not think that the bulk spice place will allow you to bring in your own bags but maybe they will. I am asssuming they weigh in the bag,s and by law the bags must be calibrated out of the measure. This can be done easily with the new digital scales though as they can be reset with a few punches into the program.

Here is a link that might be useful: All About Plastics

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:54PM
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I know I first mentioned plastic but I do have some acrylic spice jars. I had just called them plastic.

The twist ties came off of a few bags that I had brought home from the supermarket in the past few weeks. I had written the name of the spice on these twist ties. Obviously, these were spices that I don't often use and were for a new recipe. I usually transfer the spices to the spice containers but I got lazy with these. Actually, this is what got me to clean out that drawer.

If I can't bring my own ziploc bags to the supermarket, perhaps I can bring labels with me to stick on their bags. I just wish the store would come up with a better system.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:09PM
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Did you click on my link explaining plastic? No?

Acrylic is plastic. Plastic is not always acrylic. Like a poodle is a dog, but a dog is not always a poodle.

What kind of store is this? A chain supermarket? A little local spice boutique? Don't they weigh them and put the price and name right on the bag with a sticker? If not just bring a Sharpie along. I can't believe this store has a system where they don't label the contents of their containers.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 6:14PM
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I have never been to a store that labeled the spices for you. This includes small specialty health food-type stores and supermarkets as well as regional-type foods that sell bulk spices. Writing on their bags is a good idea.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:36PM
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I don't usually post here, but read ever once in a while.

Marie, I take a skinny tip sharpie pen with me, when I go and buy bulk. That way, I can write on the bag what I have. I still transfer the content in to glass jars when I get home.

Years ago, like LOTS of them, LOL, peanut butter came in glass jars. I have them in all sizes. I transfer EVERYTHING from packages that isn't a one use package. That keeps smells from escaping.

You reminded me, to transfer some spices to the cute little jelly glasses I found recently.

Gotta go do it. ;)


    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 9:24AM
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Has anyone thought of using Steel Conatiners. I had this Indian friend and she uses what she calls as MASALA DABBA. i googled it and i hav ordered mine.It is a round steel containers that is filled with 7 boxes.It even comes with a small steel spoon.I am happy with mine. And my spices stay fresh as well as i just hav to take the whole conatiner at one time rather than going for different bottles (no matter small).
I would suggest to google it I thnk it is worth a thought.
Hope this is helpful

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:35PM
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shwetagarg, I own one of those Masala Dabba's. I bought it a couple of months ago from the local Indian store. After I purchased it, I thought that the spices somehow would pick up the scent of another spice because there are no individual lids (if that makes any sense). I am guessing that this doesn't happen since you are happy with this.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:13PM
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I had to write again. I looked up Masala Dabba on Google and was shocked at their prices. Mine didn't come with any spices but I paid only $8.00 for it. It's exactly the same as shown on some of the sites. The cheapest I found online was $19.00 plus shipping. So, I'd suggest that anyone who is interested in getting one would be to go to a local Indian store.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:18PM
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You are right Marie
The spices though dont have individual lids..they have a common lid with another lid tht covers the whole box. This makes the spices tightly packed and also when handled fairly decently...the inside lids also protects the Spices from mixing with one another. To be on the safer side i do not fill the jars to the brim.
I do agree they are expensive on net,I got mine when i made a trip to india with a friend and i think it costed me 5 bucks. I have the largest size that was available at that time. It has 7 jars with 7 spoons. So when cooking I have it in hand and i just put one spice after another without running to the pantry.
I love it!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:07PM
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