Would you pay $343.38 for a pound of bay leaves? While I know that sounds too absurd to consider, you’re already paying that much, if you buy yours by the jar. And here’s the crazy thing: those same bay leaves cost just $21.99 a pound, if you buy them from the bulk bins. Is a plastic bottle really worth the extra $321.39? Apparently grocery stores think so. I sure don’t.
On several occasions, I’ve recommended buying your spices from the bulk bins to save money, but I haven’t shown how much it will save you. And I think you need to see the math to be convinced that we’re talking about a significant savings opportunity. So, I did a side-by-side price comparison — jarred spices vs. bulk bins spices. I checked the bulk bin prices at Earth Fare (a health food chain), and I checked the prices on the spice aisle at Kroger. To make the comparison as fair as possible, I recorded the price of the cheapest jarred spice option that I could find. In many cases, that meant the cheapo $1 bottle. How did the two compare? See for yourself:
|SPICE||JAR PRICE||BULK BIN PRICE|
As you can see, 8 of the 13 spices that I priced were cheaper in the bulk bins, and in most cases, significantly cheaper. However, there were a handful of spices that were cheaper to buy by the jar – cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, celery salt and nutmeg. Because your prices may vary widely from mine, I recommend doing your own price comparison for the spices that you buy regularly. A few minutes of number crunching could translate into some pretty impressive savings.
I restocked my bay leaves out of the bulk bins last week, and paid just $.23 for everything you see here.
For more grocery price comparisons, check out: