A better spice rack/container system? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-17-2011, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What kinds of containers do you use for herbs, spices and bulk teas you purchase?

 

I guess I have a few items that came in the container I bought them in, but I mostly buy herbs and spices in bulk and store them in standard glass spice jars. I keep the jars in a cupboard with most used to the front. Many thing are not labeled and oh how DH loves that hahaha

 

When buying in bulk I use small plastic baggies. trying to pour into the small jars is a bit of a pain. And then I always buy a bit more than will fit in the jar so I have a full jar and an extra baggie. Anyone else in this boat? LOL Then I have a collection of spices/herbs that never make it into a jar – this seems to occur for once in a while herbs.

 

I do have plain jars around the house. I have quart, pint and ½ pints for canning/food storage. Plus a few smaller jars that came from specialty foods. I am using some of these for my herbal teas.

 

I need a new system or bigger jars or something. Any suggestions?

 

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#2 of 8 Old 03-18-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat.

 

It drives me crazy- not only spices, but flour and sugar and pastas and things I typically put into other containers but always have amounts leftover.

 

Part of the problem is that I get my spices in many different forms (bulk knowing I'll use a lot and want back up, bulk knowing I only need a pinch since it's rarely used, glass jars of spices, the pre-packed "re-fill" bags from the grocery store). I usually transfer them into stainless steel magnetic spice containers which we keep on the side of the fridge.

 

I was thinking of taking a container to scoop only as much as you need to the bulk store, but then there's the whole cross contamination thing....unless you wrap the bag around the container, scoop into the bag to fill, then take the bag out and move on? I dunno, this issue perplexes me as well.

 

 


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#3 of 8 Old 03-18-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I think I need bigger jars for some herbs because I am constantly buying more than the little standard bottle will hold. I was at a friends house and noticed she was using some glass jars - pint sized with plastic lids that maybe coconut oil came in. She had them on a small shelf but yeah it took up the whole wall next to the stove. Too big for me.

 

For larger bulk items that might go in a quart jar or bigger (flours, rice, pasta, oil) you can sometimes take the empty jar to the counter, have it weighed, then fill it and pay for only the food - not the jar. This only seems ok at really small health food stores. And I am usually shopping at a larger place with huge check out lines. At least I've been reusing the plastic baggies if they are not too dusty with something spicy.

 

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#4 of 8 Old 03-19-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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Subbing to this thread!

 

We buy spices in larger quantities often from Indian shops. We also cook a very wide variety of ethnic foods so have almost every spice in the lexicon. Right now, most are decanted into the larger spice jars from Ikea and some in small mason/canning jars and these are in a basket with a lid. This basket sits on top of two large rubbermaid containers that hold our bags of flour fromt he local mill (still in the paper bag - I don't think the bins are food safe).

 

It is annoying to sift thourgh the basket.

 

I have been thinking of the magetic ones that go on your fridge but it would be expensive to set up.


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#5 of 8 Old 03-21-2011, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was intrigued by the metal magnetic storage jars and checked Amazon for brands and feedback. The feedback is that the cheaper ones are really cheap. The spendier ones had good ratings. But all of them have the lid that just lays on top of the can - not twisted on and not sealing to keep the spices fresh. And that the see through plastic lid part broke easliy.

 

But it was cool that the spice cans would stick to your fridge, so you could pop up the ones you were using for dinner!

 

We use a Lazy Susan in the cupboard that we can spin around. But we use this for items like Vanilla, liquod smoke, food colouring, sprinkles, essentials oils.... not regular spices. This definitely would not be a good use of space for larger containers.

 

Rhianna

 

 

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#6 of 8 Old 03-28-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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I struggled for years with this problem.  We use a bunch of different spices on a regular basis, but didn't have enough space on our spice shelf for all of them (and no extra space to add shelving or move them into a cupboard or drawer).

 

I really liked the look and convenience of the magnetic metal tins, but the price was not do-able.  I kept searching everywhere.  I finally stumbled upon some heart-shaped metal tins with plastic window at Michael's right after Valentine's Day. The lids fit very snuggly.  A box of these tins (~15) was marked down to under $20.  I purchased two boxes of them.  I spent some time printing labels for them, which I affixed to each lid and hot glued round magnets on the backs of them (also purchased at Michaels).

 

I've used this system for about 4 years now and love it.  I buy my spices in bulk and transfer enough to fill the tins.  The remainder stays in the baggie (labeled!) in a small box in the top of my pantry until I need a refill.  Works really well for me.  I do still have one small spice rack for the odd spices that we use a ton of or we have to buy in jars.


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#7 of 8 Old 03-28-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post

 

I was thinking of taking a container to scoop only as much as you need to the bulk store, but then there's the whole cross contamination thing....unless you wrap the bag around the container, scoop into the bag to fill, then take the bag out and move on? I dunno, this issue perplexes me as well.

 

 


Wait a sec - I thought I was so smart this morning when I remembered to bring my empty flour jar to the bulk aisle, got it tared, and refilled it with no floury mess on my own counter. What kind of contamination did I forget to worry about???

 


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#8 of 8 Old 03-29-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don’t have the cash to buy new containers so… I’ve decided to make a list of herbs/spices I have – and add some I need to buy.

 

Pick the ones I use least to remain in the smaller standard jars.

 

Ditch the narrow mouth jars DH brought along. These are ridiculous – they were made for juice and have a opening that is a centimeter wide. Cute bottles, but very hard to fill.

 

Pick the ones I use a lot and migrate them over to larger jars. I will use jars I save when I occasionally buy “gourmet” foods like capers or olives. Usually ½ - 1  cup size. I’d love to use wide mouth ½ pints because they stack so well but I do not have many of these to spare.

 

Hopefully this will keep me from having separate baggies.

Label everything! This might be the biggest step with the most impact LOL

 

Not sure how I will store these in my cupboard. Maybe just keep it most used in the front.

BTW: I reuse bags all the time for bulk items. I also use jars if I can weigh them first. I do not want to pay for the jar weight. I don't think there is a cross contamination issue. I mean how clean can people's hands be when they use the scooper.... wait, pretend I never mentioned that. hahaha

 

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