One of my readers suggested I check out the spices in bulk found at WinCo Foods. So I headed to the new store in Roy, Utah today with my clipboard in hand. While there I gathered prices of typical food storage items (canned goods, grains, etc. ), as well as the spices to compare prices with other stores in my area. I also was asked by a manager which store I was from. :-) Have to smile at that. "No store, just comparing prices." "How are we doing?" "Pretty good." I will post my price comparison in September with my CaseLot Sale comparison, but overall I found the prices similar to Walmart. Winco does accept coupons, however, they are not excited about computer printed coupons. Rumor: a store may be coming to Layton on the east side of the freeway near all the construction there. We shall see.
Anyway, back to the spices. The spices are sold by the ounce or pound. I compared the prices per ounce with the Tone's spices I usually buy at Sam's Club in large plastic containers (about 16 ounces).
My thoughts are this: If you like to buy spices in large containers for food storage like those you buy at Sam's Club or Costco, you could refill when you get low and save some money on some spices. But not all. You have to have shelf space for larger containers at home though. Also using large containers is best for those who cook regularly from scratch. Personally I don't have large containers of everything, but I do have cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cumin which I use a lot of. Eventually I would like to have a larger container of oregano and one of parsley.
If you buy your spices in small containers, like those at the grocery store because you have a small family or don't cook from scratch often, you could REALLY save with WinCo spices. Just refill your containers. Read this article from Utah Deal Diva where she compares WinCo spices to Walmart spice prices.
Or you could buy their containers and start your own spice system. Winco sells plastic spice jars for you to put your own spices in at these prices: 16 oz. is $1.32, 8 oz. is $1.16, 4 oz. is .84 ea. Think carefully about the spices you use often to help you figure out the size to get.
I rounded the prices below to make it easier to compare. There are mores spices in the store, but I listed some that I could compare with Sam's Club. I still like the price of the LDS onions which I show below. I do not know the quality of the WinCo spices, so if someone has more experience, please share. It is definitely a personal choice. However, I like knowing that when finances are tight I don't have to spend money on expensive spices because I already have them in my pantry storage.
Tone's Spice Containers vs. WinCo's Spice refills
Basil 5.5 oz. - S $2.54 vs. W $.76 (.138 per oz)
Black Pepper 18 oz. - S $4.96 vs. W $3.98 (.221 per oz.)
Chili powder 20 oz. - S $4.28 vs. W $3.56 (.178 per oz.)
Cinnamon 18 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $1.85 (.103 per oz.)
Cumin, ground 16 oz. - S $5.77 vs. W $3.38 (.211 per oz.)
Garlic, minced 23 oz. - S $4.66 vs. W $3.70 (.161 per oz.)
Garlic, powder 21 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $3.49 ( .166 per oz.)
Gravy, brown 24 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 ( .144 per oz.)
Onion powder 20 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 (.173 per oz.)
Onion, minced 15 oz. - S $4.64 vs. W $3.09 (.206 per oz.) vs. LDS $2.40
Oregano 5 oz. - S $2.98 vs. W $1.00 (.194 per oz.)
Paprika 18 oz. - S $4.36 vs. W $4.30 (.239 per oz.)
Parsley 2.7 oz. - S $3.38 vs. W $.84 (.311 per oz.)
Taco Seasoning 23 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.43 (.149 per oz.)
(There definitely could be errors in my math :)