Bulk Shopping : 25 Essential Spices for your Pantry


I have been patiently waiting for the new bulk foods store Dutchland Foods to open it’s doors in Marion. The rumored opening is sometime in August, but I have not really seen anything official.

This new store opening in Marion is a pretty big deal. 

The town of Marion has been without a grocery store for a while now, and personally I am super excited to have another bulk foods store option in the area. I love to shop in bulk, and I usually do all my pantry stock up shopping at Sauder’s in Seneca Falls which is a haul for me. Having a closer bulk foods alternative will be fantastic!

Why Bulk?

 Bulk Shopping : 25 Essential Spices for your Pantry Keeping a well stocked pantry helps me avoid processed and prepackaged foods, save money, and make my family real food meals. Oh, and and I really hate grocery shopping.

A while ago I started to experiment with homemade substitutes and pantry staples, and found that many foods that my family consumes daily or weekly can be made from scratch with basic ingredients at a fraction of what it costs to buy prepared. I have shared a few of my favorite recipes here and am planning on sharing more in the future, but today I thought I would share my 25 Essential Spices for your Pantry, and a few shopping and storage tips.


Before stocking up

  1. Start by taking inventory of the spices you already have on hand. 
  2. Weed out any spices that have passed their prime. Generally speaking, any ground spices over 1 year old should probably be tossed. They begin to lose their potency after about 6 months.  Although I always use the highly scientific “sniff test” to gauge freshness, and determine if I should keep or toss.
  3. Round up storage containers and labels. Store spices in airtight containers. I prefer glass jars, and use mason jars and  Anchor Hocking Glass Country Comfort Jars. The plastic cases or bags that bulk spices come from get messy in your pantry pretty quickly.

 Bulk Shopping : 25 Essential Spices for your Pantry

The 25 Essential Spices for your Pantry

  1. Basil
  2. Oregano
  3. Bay Leaves
  4. Rosemary
  5. Thyme
  6. Dill Weed
  7. Cinnamon
  8. Ground Mace
  9. Smoked Paprika
  10. Ground Cumin
  11. Ground Nutmeg
  12. Ground Ginger
  13. Ground Cloves
  14. Cloves
  15. Allspice
  16. Red Pepper Flakes
  17. Coriander Powder
  18. Cayenne Pepper
  19. Garlic Powder
  20. Onion Powder
  21. Celery Seed
  22. Ground Mustard
  23. Black Pepper
  24. Cardamon
  25. Chili Powder
  26. Parsley- I love dried parsley, but really don’t consider it essential. But because I use it so often I wanted to include it here. It’s great for adding a color to dishes and livening them up. I dry my own from my garden to use in soups, stews and sauces all winter.

These 25 herbs and spices will cover a lot of ground, from everyday homemade convenience mixes to baking up sweet treats around the holidays. But I have put together a few of my favorite seasoning mixes using these spices and herbs:

Favorite Recipes for Homemade Spice and Seasoning Mixes


  1. Thanks for the suggestions but I do believe that #8 and 9 are the same as #19 and 20. Did you happen to mean garlic salt and onion salt? Just wondering.

    • Trisha, thank you for catching that! I must of omitted 2 things while I was trying to organize the list a little. I rarely use garlic salt and onion salt, I like to be able to adjust the salt in recipes indepently because I have a family member on a sodium restricted diet, but I agree under normal circumstances those are usually pantry staples 🙂

      I had to go back through my pantry and try to figure out what I left out, and have come to the conclusion it was Mace and Dill. Mace I use in some recipes like apple pie, apple sauce, and cakes. It tastes a lot like nutmeg, but a little lighter and sweeter.

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