10 Tips for Keeping Your Spices Under Control
If you enjoy cooking…
you’re sure to end up with a formidable stockpile of spices over time.
Nothing can slow down the meal preparation process quite like being unable to find the appropriate spice.
You may know it’s in there, but finding it can be a whole other story.
If that sounds all too familiar to you, it may be time to do some serious work on your spice collection.
Believe it or not but there are ways to get those spices under control.
By implementing the following tips, you’ll never have to feverishly fumble through dozens of tiny jars to find the right spice again.
1. Do an Inventory –
You can’t hope to get your spices in order if you don’t know what you have.
How long has it been since you went through each and every one of your spices?
If you’re like most people, it’s probably been awhile.
Take them all out of the cupboard or wherever you keep them and create a list.
With everything staring back at you in black and white, you should be able to get a good grasp on the situation.
2. Eliminate Duplicates –
After performing your inventory, you’re sure to find at least a few duplicates.
In all the confusion, it’s easy to assume you simply don’t have a particular spice, so you run out and buy another jar.
There’s no good reason to have duplicates.
Either donate one jar to someone who could use it, consolidate two jars into one or throw one away.
3. Buy a Spice Rack –
This step deserves its own article.
At any rate, finding a useful spice rack is a daunting task.
To increase your odds of success, make sure to check several different sources.
The Internet is an obvious place to turn, but it’s tricky to figure out if a rack will work or not without seeing it in person.
4. Build a Spice Rack –
Are you handy with tools?
Do you like working with wood?
If so, you might be able to build your own spice rack.
This is a great way to get precisely what you need.
If you are friends with a carpenter, you might ask him to help you out too.
5. Buy Generic Spice Jars –
One thing that makes spices so confusing is that most people have several different brands.
As a result, a variety of different containers are used.
One way to make life easier is by purchasing a set of generic spice jars.
Look for metal jars with screw-on caps.
6. Label Each Spice Jar Clearly –
Once all of your spices are in matching jars, you’ll need to label them so that you don’t inadvertently use the wrong spice while cooking.
Again, uniformity is key.
It also helps if you have very legible handwriting.
To get around that issue, you might want to print out your labels instead.
Use a font that’s large enough to read from a reasonable distance.
You won’t have to squint or hold jars close to your face to figure out which spices they hold.
7. Write the Purchase or Expiration Date on Each Label –
Although your dishes won’t be ruined by spices that are technically expired, they won’t be quite as flavorful.
To avoid holding onto spices that have seen better days, prominently mark each label with the purchase date or expiration date.
When you replenish a jar, simply print out a new label and slap it over the old one.
You’ll never have to worry about using not-so-fresh spices again.
8. Keep Frequently Used Spices where You can Reach Them –
Depending on what you like to cook, you probably use certain spices a lot more often than others.
When arranging your spice jars, put those spices in the most easy-to-reach place.
9. Buy Frequently Used Spices in Bulk –
By purchasing the spices you always use in bulk, you’ll be able to replenish those jars as needed.
This will help you avoid the unhappy situation of not having the spice that you need when you need it.
10. Put Things Back Neatly –
The best spice rack, jars and labeling in the world aren’t going to matter if you just toss everything back haphazardly.
Be neat and orderly when putting your spices back.
Always put them in the appropriate place.
You’ll thank yourself later!
Do you have a tip that we should add?
Please share in the comments below…