Shopping for Spices and Skipping the Plastic

If you enjoy cooking or baking as much as we do in our house, you probably purchase a variety of spices, which are usually sold in small plastic packages or in small glass jars. That used to mean that we would come home from the supermarket with numerous plastic packets of spices, some holding barely a tablespoon of spice. If we happened to shop in Sharm el Sheikh, we might purchase spices in glass jars (with plastic tops), some of which we managed to refill or reuse.

Spices, then, were high on our list of priorities for foodstuff we wanted to purchase package-free. We are lucky here in Dahab because there are several different shops in town that sell spices from bulk bags. But, of course, what we shoppers have to remember is to bring our own containers!

Our favorite shop to buy spices from is the spice/nut/candy shop directly next to Ralph’s German Bakery in Assalah Square. (I have no idea what the name of this shop is. Must ask the next time we are there!) When we started purchasing our spices in bulk, we brought along our own REUSABLE plastic boxes, like the ones pictured below.

spices (2)

Anise and ginger – two of the most-used spices in our house.

Then I came across a post in Dahab Gives and Wishes on Facebook where someone was offering three empty tea tins for free – so I grabbed them! They are perfect for filling up with spices and skipping ALL plastic. 🙂

spices (1)

This amount of cinnamon should last a couple of months.

This shop next to the bakery offers a variety of spices in bulk: cinnamon, ginger, anise, cardamom, cumin, coriander, pepper, and more! And, yes, like all of our plastic-free adventures, it sometimes involves some persistence on our part to REFUSE the plastic bags. But as we continue to visit this shop and request that they use our own containers, the shop keepers get more used to us and have an easier time dealing with the scale and boxes. So, as always, be patient in explaining your request and wear a smile on your face and most shopkeepers will be happy to fill your containers.

What spices do you use most in your kitchen? Are you willing to try buying spices in bulk? What would make this easier for you?

Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle


2 thoughts on “Shopping for Spices and Skipping the Plastic

  1. I’m lucky I can buy all sort of spices in bulk. It really cuts down on the packaging. And once you’re used to bringing your own containers, I think it’s actually easier and simpler, as you have nothing to dispose of after you use the spices up.

    • What I like best about buying in bulk is being able to buy large quantities. We use a lot of powdered ginger in our house so it’s nice to be able to fill up a large tin, and as you say, have nothing to dispose of when it’s finished. An empty tin simply means it’s time to shop! 🙂

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