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Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Posted by karenmaness (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 5, 10 at 13:41

We are pulling out a built-in desk and replacing with custom built cabinetry. I would love to have a drawer for organizing my spices where I can read the labels and get to them quickly. I looked at Lowes and HD and didn't see anything much in terms of spice drawer organizers. Please tell me about spice drawer designs/organizers that you all love (pics great too)! Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

How many different spices do you have? I use this one:

It works great - but is a bit small, I have two drawers so it works out for me.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

That's a neat one. I have lots (too many) spices but really only need to put the most commonly used ones in the drawer. I don't mind digging through the cabinet once a year to find the allspice, but I need the oregano handy! And like you say, you can always use multiple racks if you have the drawer space. Where did you get the spice rack, and what are the dimensions of your drawer?


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I really like the one that Many_hats cleverly installed. I don't know if she still visits this forum, so I'll just link a thread below, and her spice drawer is about 1/4 the way down the thread (the thread has many other ideas too). She placed a thin metal sheet (from HD) at the bottom of the drawer, under Life Liner shelf liner. She bought metal spice jars on the 'net that have magnetic bottoms (I think called "Soho" magnetic spice jars). The magnetic bottoms mean the jars won't jostle, and will stay put. The jars have glass lids to see into the jar, and she labelled the jar tops. It's so organized and well-thought out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with Many_hats' Spice Drawer


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

We just did simple IKEA glass jars in a drawer. The downside is that you'd have to buy the jars (about $1 each here in Canada). The upside is that no extra hardware was needed, and you can set the jars on an angle because of the way they are built which allows you to see the contents and put on a label. Please ignore our ghetto masking tape labels. ;) Half of the drawer is spices, the other half is some of DH's tea selection.

Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA jars


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

This one is mine -- in my baking area and right next to my cooktop.

I looked at the metal tins like manyhats, but they were too large for me to fit everything in.


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By the way

You can get those tins and the jars I used at Specialtybottle.com


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Mine came from bed bath and beyond- I have two drawers - only one fit per drawer -


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Here's ours:

spice drawer.jpg

The cab manuf was supposed to make one for us with 4 tiers, but sent us a Rev-a-Shelf one with 3 tiers (!). Luckily, our cab installer was awesome, and he added a fourth tier using a piece of maple shelving or something (it matched beautifully).


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Here's a homemade option that my DH and I came up with for storing thread spools in my sewing room that would work for spices just as well. The benefit would be not having to repackage jars of spices.
We made it with a simple length of quarter-round and a piece of fiberboard cut to fit into the drawer. The "troughs" were sized to fit the various sizes of spools, which would correspond with different bottles/jars of spices. The quarter-round was glued in place on the board. It took about 20 minutes to put together, cost less than $5 and it has been wonderful for keeping threads sorted -- and I can see all the colors easily at a glance.
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Here's a close-up that shows the quarter-round:
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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

There are a lot of ideas here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tubular Spices


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Mine looks like cat mom's, but is just a regular drawer with non-slip liner in the bottom. I have lots of jars and regular spice containers, too. They're lined up alphabetically, and are the easiest to access that I've ever had. When our son was home recently, he looked at the contents and said, "Wow--this is great because you can see all your spices at a glance. Much better than when you had them all lined up in the back of the cupboard." Believe me, that was a compliment.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Here's mine:
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The containers can be opened easily, but they also slide around to sprinkle or pour. I can fit 39 jars in my drawer, which is in an 18" cabinet.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Wow - what great ideas everyone has! For my kitchen, I particularly like the idea of standing the bottles up in a drawer so you can read the label on the top. Maximizes # spice bottles in the drawer, but you can still see at a glance what you have. Much easier to keep them alphabetized this way too, compared to what I'm trying to do now with them all crammed into a cabinet. I have some in a turntable thingy on the counter, but I want to declutter my countertop and consolidate all my spices into one place if possible. Thanks for all the great tips!


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Sorry to hijak your thread Karen but where can I find the ones used by manyhats?? I like these because not only are the lids clear but it was mentioned that the smaller ones had holes for shaking and a wide port for pouring. That's exactly what I've been looking for!! She mentioned that she got them at Lee Valley but I have no clue. Is that a store, website, or something else. Specialtybottle.com has the tins with clear lids but couldn't find anything that shakes and pours. Thanks.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I have more than 60 spices. I store them in two double-height lazy Susan's in an upper cabinet. They are alphabetized. It is really easy to find what I want that way.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Chris45ny - Many_hats used the Soho magnetic jars. Just google "Soho magnetic jars" and you will find many sources, including Amazon.

I will link below to Lee Valley Tools' spice canisters that may be what she is referring to. Lee Valley has all kinds of cool stuff--you can spend a lot of time perusing their website!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley Tools Stainless Steel Spice Canisters


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

akchicago-Those are the ones. Thanks so much! sally123 also appears to have these same canisters so I posted a separate message for her but now I have the info I was looking for. I need about 40 so will have to see if I can bite the bullet and pay the price!!


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

No problem, Chris! I'm glad the thread was useful to people other than me.

Now to hijack my own thread... Akchicago, have you had any luck finding a sliding patio door? I believe you are the one I was posting with over on Windows... I'm still undecided and frustrated and wanted to see how your search was going. Thanks!!


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I can't tell if the Lee Valley containers are exactly what I have. Mine have lids that turn to places where they can be sprinkled or poured. The lids themselves just slide on and are easy to get off if you want to stick a spoon in, but it is nice to be able to use the sprinkle/pour option. Here's a picture:
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I got mine online at Pfaltzgraff, but if you google 'Kamenstein nagnetic storage tins' several places carry them. Mine came in packages of three. They have a magnet on the bottom so they can be stored on a vertical surface made of ferrous metal (hanging inside of a cupboard door or even on the refrigerator). If your drawer is not completely full the tins can slide around, so putting a thin piece of metal in the bottom of the drawer could solve that problem.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

lascatx , I was wondering what size bottle you are using from that site? Too many to choose from!


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sally123, I have the same ones as yours, but don't know the brand of mine. Sometimes my lids are difficult to get off. Any suggestions to help that?


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I can't believe so many of you are willing to repackage every spice you purchase and store what won't fit in your cute little jar somewhere else! Besides the expense, it's complicated and would make me hesitate to try a new recipe if I would have to buy new spices. I have 2 drawers, one for baking spices, one for cooking spices, and my drawers look like cat_mom. They are on either side of my range. The few things I buy in large containers are in side cabinets above. Think about the long term commitment to any new system you start.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Paula, it's really a one time thing and really easier in the long run. I've been using my drawer about 4 years now and I really couldn't have anything else that would work as well here. I buy the majority of my spices in bulk and have to put them into my jars anyway, so I went through a one-time purchase of bottles to get them all the same size. My jars were about 50 cents each, so even when I bought 100 of them, it's a pretty small purchase compared to the other things that went into my kitchen and the payoff in ease of use and organization has been more than worth it. I can cook faster, easier -- all my spices at my fingertips instead of having to run over to the pantry, open the door, hunt the door rack, hope it was put away in the right spot, jostle a couple of other jars to get out the one I need and then close the door and walk around to my cooking area. I just pen the drawer and pull out what I need and set it up on the counter if I am gathering a number of them -- haven't dropped one yet. It also helps me spot anything that needs replacement. I turn over any jar that needs filling and can spot them instantly. A few times a year I fill my most used jars, but I benefit from the ease of use daily. I'd easily drop $50 for anything that made my kitchen work easier and smarter for me everyday.

When I first started my drawer, I had a few extra slots. They have been filled and I do find that I occasionally use up something I don't replace or switch out something with another spice. I have that upper cabinet with my baking extracts, sprinkles and grilling rubs. I can put an oddball in there, so I really feel like I am less restricted than I have ever been in terms of having what I want and need to cook with -- with any recipe.

Sally and trudy -- those tins are so cute and I really wanted them, but I don't think I ever saw the lids with the sprinkle openings. Very cool. If I ever reduce my collection to the point I could use those in my single drawer, I would do it. I like the clear tops a lot, but I need my collection, so I'll just open my jars (good exercise, huh? LOL)

poorowner, it looks like the bottle sizes have changed and mine are a little different than the ones they have now (and the price has gone up a bit). The ones most similar would be the ones under glass jars, clear -- probably the 4 oz size but those are a bit wider than mine. I would check the dimensions and get one wide enough to use a measuring spoon in and the tallest one that will clear your drawer opening. If you don't need as many as I did, you ca go with a wider jar or even those metal tins with the clear lids. I have some of my rubs in the larger (8 oz) version of those and have the shrink bands (bought from them also) to package them for gifts (another bulk use of spices). Hope that helps.


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btw

Paula -- wanted to add that buying in bulk means I have bags of many of my spices that wouldn't fit in any of the usual spice storage solutions, so the rest does need to go somewhere else no matter what I use -- as they did when I had an assortment of mismatched containers in my very large door rack. I suppose I could use a deep drawer and a filing system, but that wouldn't be nearly as easy to stock, use or replace when finished, a zip bag that didn't close properly could make a very big mess and I'd have flavor/odor transfers. And I buy in bulk because I do use many of these things in quanities that make sense to buy more of and being a Penzey's person, I get fresher spices at a better price and don't pay for or throw away bottles that I don't need. Yeah, I'm willing to use my jars and keep things fresh and easy to use. It really does work. But I do admit that I hesitated over buying a large box of jars and having to make the conversion all at once -- but it was only once. Keep whatever system you have if it works for you, but I have no regrets.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Paula: I like to buy spices (and flour and nuts) in bulk (we have a store near here called Home Economist and you can find many items in bulk at Whole Foods.) Then you buy just the amount you need, you don't pay for the packaging and the brand name label, and it's fresher -- it hasn't been sitting in a jar on a shelf for months. (The turn over at the bulk place is pretty fast.) I think that's why many people use the reusable containers.

It's greener too: you're not using up and tossing out a plastic container with a glued on label and plastic lid (that may have been packaged in an additional box, like vanilla bottles) every time you run out of an herb or spice; you just get a small plastic baggie of spice for much less. Or you can bring your own container and have them weigh it before you weigh it with the spice.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Paula: Some twenty years ago I remodeled a kitchen and got one of those drawer racks. Even though it came from the manufacturer, the drawer was too shallow to allow me to store the 4-inch spice containers, only the short 2-inch ones. I really wanted to use the rack but many of my spices would have had to be stored somewhere else. If your top drawer is tall enough to hold all your spice containers I think that is a great system. I ended up storing my spices in my usual way--in the upper cupboard next to my stove on those little racks that are like stairs. This, of course, requires writing the names of the spices on the caps because only the caps are visible behind the other spice containers. They also are frequently knocked over when attempting to get one from the back. I wanted all my spices in the same place, easily accessible and easily identifiable. When I saw this method on GW I knew it would meet my needs and have been very happy with it for the last year-and-a-half.

In planning my kitchen I tried to make it as functional and efficient as possible. I have two pull-out trash containers--one next to the clean-up sink and one next to the prep sink so one is always nearby. My pans are on a rack in a cupboard next to the stove so that I can grab one without moving several others to get to it. My utensil drawers have dividers in them with a home for each item so I know exactly where it is and don't have to dig around in a cluttered drawer.

Are these things a waste of money? If you are looking solely at money I guess so, since they aren't really NECESSARY. I've cooked for many years without them and could continue to do so. But I wanted a kitchen that was as efficient and easy to cook in as possible, and since I was planning one from scratch I could have that. I don't think having a spice drawer like mine is any more of a waste of money than having under-cabinet lighting or any of the other features many of us have.


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Paula, I am NOT going to pile on you here (good grief, people) I just want to say I had the exact same thought as you! I would not duplicate my spice storage in two places :)

We all have different needs, there's no one size fits all, I don't do a lot of cooking with exotic spices for example so don't have the need for these kinds of set ups. I keep things simple-buy the labeled spice, store the labeled spice. I currently use a lazy susan, but in the new kitchen hope to do a tiered drawer storage (similar to the one cat mom posted.)

Sally 123 that is a smart container-it almost makes me think I need a storage system like that ;) off topic-what are your countertops and backsplash? I like how well you coordinated the colors. Thanks!


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Bumping an old thread...

Since the spice thing comes up often on here, I thought that I would bump this forward for anyone who is considering doing a spice drawer with the containers that were originally posted by sally123:
 photo IMG_0910.jpg

I just ordered and received a bunch of these in preparation for when our kitchen is finished. The Pfaltzgraff site said that they were backordered until February, but I decided to order anyway because our kitchen probably won't be ready for at least that long. I just received them yesterday...so, the "backorder" really wasn't true in my case since I ordered them just a bit before Christmas!

Currently, Pfaltzgraff seems to have the best price that I've found for them - a set of 3 for $3.99 and they are having a 20% off sale also using the code: TWENTYOFFONE (apparently you can order as many of one item as you want because it took 20% off each set that I purchased) and they have free shipping over $75.

I haven't used them yet, but do really like the containers since they can be used as "sprinkle", "pour", or "scoop", as needed. Since they have the magnet at the bottom of each jar, I'm hoping to get a thin sheet of metal cut to size of the drawer and I'll install it in the bottom to keep the spices from jostling around. I'm also thinking of using a few of these in the junk drawer to keep things like rubber bands, push pins, and the multitude of other things that wind up accumulating in there.

Just thought that I'd pass along the info for anyone who might be looking for a spice drawer solution.


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Square tins for more efficient use of drawer space

Specialty bottle offers SQUARE-shaped tins as well as the round ones. I prefer the square ones because they store much more space-efficiently.

Here is a link that might be useful: square spice tins with transparent lids.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Bellsmom - true enough about the square shape and I considered those...unfortunately, those don't have the "sprinkle" and "pour" options in the lid, which means that I have to open the containers every time I want to use just a small amount of a spice...and me, being a klutz, realizes that I will most certainly spill my spices quite regularly if I have to open them all the time!

They also don't have the magnet at the bottom, which I was also looking for, so I would have had to purchase, cut, and adhere magnets to the bottom of each of them as well...more opportunities for klutzy me to mess things up!

It is true that yours might fill space more efficiently, but I felt that having a little space that occurs naturally in in the round areas will make it easier for me to pick up the individual spice containers, which was also a determining factor for me.

Of course, there's not just one right solution, and your suggestion is great...I have some of those containers for some other things in my house - thanks for posting that for others as an option, but it wasn't the right choice for my spice drawer.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

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Here is mine from Ikea. Not expensive and you can add them on as you like.
Excuse the mess to the left. i use it for seldom used stuff. i plan on adding on more of the spice holders there.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

No drawer here, just sitting on turntables in the cabinet above the stove.


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FYI - I was just at Costco and found a set of the containers andreak100 is referring to (Kamenstein nagnetic storage tins). There are 12 containers plus a magnetic board. I thought it was a great deal, I guess the price isn't the best ever, but I thought very good.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I'm having trouble finding just the Kamenstein magnetic storage tins without it being offered together with the magnetic boards. I just want the containers. Has anyone ordered them like that, just the tins?


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Yes, strayer, that's what I was just posting about a few weeks back. I found and ordered them at the online Pfaltzgraff store - there's 3 to a pack, and no magnetic board with them...here's a link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Kamenstein Magnetic Storage Tins


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

Oh, thanks. I must have missed that post or not read carefully. Thank you so much.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I don't have a label maker. Can I print Avery labels out on my printer and that will work? Will they stick?


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

strayer, the Pfaltzgraff site has the Kamenstein tins without the board (they have the steel and some colored ones)


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Those of you who transfer your spices from store bought containers or loose bags to jars you bought just for spices - what do you do with the "leftovers"? I had considered doing this, but then figured I would need someplace to store the rest of what's in the store-bought jar (when its too much for the special jar) anyway, so it seemed not to make sense.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I just buy what I need. I don't use the tiny jars so I don't need a back-up stash. I buy Simply Organic spices in a 4 1/2" square bottle. It's a pretty bottle and doesn't roll around in the drawer. Whole Foods sells SO, as well as Kroger and smaller health-food type grocers. Coupons on the SO website!


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I hate corner cabinets so I used the space beside my oven for my cooking spices, oils, and vinegars.


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I too like the Kamenstein round tins with the shaker/pour clear lids. Here in Canada, they are available at Walmart as individual tins, sets with just tins, sets with magnet boards or strips, sets with magnetic tiered shelves. I think that if they're available here, they must be in the U.S Walmarts. The individual tins are available in 2 sizes, but the sets only seem to be available in the smaller tins.

A couple of years ago, I bought 3 sets of 6 tins with the magnet strips for $7 each set (50% off). I don't do a lot of baking, so just needed a few. I have them on the side of my fridge (the side that can't be seen from the main part of my kitchen). I bought spice labels at DollarRama for $1 (40 preprinted labels and 10 blank). For $22, I got all the things I needed.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I too like the Kamenstein round tins with the shaker/pour clear lids.

So I repeat my question - what do you do with "leftovers" since you have to transfer your spices to the tins?


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I too like the Kamenstein round tins with the shaker/pour clear lids. Here in Canada, they are available at Walmart as individuals, sets with tins only and sets with magnet boards,strips, tiered shelves, and carousels . The individual ones are available in 3 sizes, but the sets only seem to come in small.

A couple of years ago, I bought 3 sets of 6 tins with the magnet strips for $7 each set (50% off). I don't bake a lot, so that was all I needed. I have them on the side of my fridge (the side that can't be seen from the main part of my kitchen). I bought preprinted labels at DollarRama for $1 (40 pre-printed, 10 blank). So, for $22, I was covered.


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Sorry about the double post. I thought the first post went into computer la la land.

I buy the spices that I use all the time at Costco and store the containers in an upper cabinet. For the ones I don't use so much, I buy at Bulk Barn, so I only buy what I need and put the little bag in my recycle bin .


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Thanks - that sort of resolves it for me - I'm not willing to store bulk spices and have to transfer them to little jars or tins, so I'll stick with store-bought bottles!


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sjhocketfan, I buy nearly all my spices in bulk bags from Penzey's. I do buy a few that I know I won't use the larger amounts of in the small jars and a small jar fits into my drawer jar. For the ones I buy in bags, I put the leftovers into a shoe box size plastic container. Those tuck away in the back of the upper pantry cabinets where food bags or boxes would tend to get lost, but things like chip bags or cereal boxes and paper goods are easily moved aside to get them out. It works for me. Much better and cheaper than a constant shuffle of assorted grocery store containers.


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My Simply Organic bottles hold about 1/2 cup of spices and herbs, so that's all I buy. I refill my most frequently used spices about once a month or so, so I am not a slave to refilling. You can use a funnel but I wing it. It is much cheaper to buy in bulk.


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sjhockey - I buy some in bulk, and then what I won't be able to put in the containers, I store in the vacuum sealer bags so that they retain more of their potency. I have several sizable spice that I bought when we were last in Istanbul, so those I need to get in bulk. Some get the vacuum sealed bags put in the freezer and some just go into our cold cellar. But, the Kamenstein jars I have hold somewhere around 4 oz each, so if many of your spices are that size or less, you could use the Kamenstein jars without needing to worry about storing the rest. Personally, I like to only keep smaller amounts of a spice out at the ready so that it will keep more of it's potency.


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I have several sizable spice that I bought when we were last in Istanbul, so those I need to get in bulk.

Me too (only once in Istanbul, but I have at least 5 or 6 large packages of spices --- loved the spice markets).


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RE: Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

I was inspired by this thread and just ordered 45 of the kamenstein canisters. Pfaltzgraff.com has 25% off of everything today.


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