Four Tips for Your Bulk Spice Shopping

My love for zero-waste shopping continues to grow and I doubt it will be slowing down. This past week I took my second trip to local organic/natural store Basil Bandwagon (find my first trip HERE) to stock up on bulk spices. Though I’ve shopped bulk bins for most other foods, I never shopped for spices before. So I thought I would share my tips for making bulk shopping super easy.


Make sure you weigh (tare) your jars before filling

When using your own jars, so you don’t pay for their weigh also, have customer service weigh them. It’s the most accurate way, since their scales are certified by weights and measures.


Bring your own funnel and spoons to fill with

I learned this tip the hard way. Though I had my own funnel, it was not easy to pour from the large bulk jug into my funnel without making a mess. There were some small wooden spoons available to use but those were also a tad too wide for my funnel. Make sure you bring a funnel and spoon that work well together!


Fill flakes before powders to keep funnel clean

If you are using a funnel to fill your jars, you may fun into the issue that I did. By filling my first jar with a powdered spice, it became coated in a spice powder with no way to easily clean it. Since I wasn’t about to ask for a paper napkin to clean it with, I had to use it as is. So I recommend (and will be next time) bringing a reusable cloth napkin to wipe it out after each spice. If you forget one try using the funnel for crushed or flaked spices first, they won’t coat the funnel as much.


Use reusable mason jar labels

Keep your shopping truly zero-waste by not using masking tape, which is usually available to write tares and PLU numbers. Create your own reusable labels with my tutorial HERE.  For all of my favorite zero-waste shopping supplies check out THIS post.




If you are local to New Jersey and have been hunting for zero-waste spices, teas and vanilla beans, check out Basil Bandwagon in Clinton and Flemington locations. It’s great to shop at a small business because they are the ones who have such great service. All the employees at the Clinton location were happy to help accommodate me and my reusable jars. I even used my trip to drop off lots of Terracycle items I’ve been saving to recycle, since Basil Bandwagon is an official drop-off location.


The best part about this zero-waste shopping trip was how much money I saved by not purchasing packaging. I saved nearly ¾ of the price of a brand new bottle and spice and these spices were even organic. Amazing! Get more for your money and go zero-waste.


This post is not sponsored by Basil Bandwagon in anyway, I enjoy shopping at this store and want you to know your options for zero-waste items.