Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Throwback: Save Money on Seasonings - MYOM (Make Your Own Mix)

Every Saturday, we post a piece from the CHG archives. This one is from February 2008.

The more I learn about saving cash on food, the madder I get with myself when I knowingly waste money. While this holds true for every aspect of grocery shopping, it’s double the fury when it comes to McCormick-style seasoning packets. Why? Well, almost any pre-packaged spice mix, rub, or powder can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Oftentimes, it’ll taste better, too.

Case in point: I’ve been running out of chili powder for almost a month now. It occurred to me several times to buy some, but always in places like the Q Train or the bathroom at Barnes and Noble. Finally, last Wednesday, I couldn’t wait any longer. My Turkey Chili with Beans needed a massive ¼ cup of the stuff. Pressed for time, I scrounged up a few dollars and hightailed it to Key Food, where naturally, they were all out. Rendered temporarily insane by sheer desperation, I bought a single packet of McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix.

It cost $2.39. ($2.39! Seriously! Not kidding! I just about choked.)

Slightly perturbed, I raced back home and immediately Googled homemade chili powders. Turns out, this Recipe Zaar mix could have been made under five minutes with spices I had lying around. Plus? PLUS? My calculations put it at a grand total of $0.18.

Needless to say, duh.

Yet, there was a silver lining, as a post was born. Listed below are roughly 33 recipes for 21 common seasoning mixes. Also included are five excellent Master Sites, in which you’ll discover dozens more concoctions beyond your wildest, spiciest dreams.

With the exception of Essence of Emeril and the Recipe Zaar Chili Powder, I haven’t tried any of these, so I’m referring them blindly. Also, I didn’t include any barbecue rubs. This is for two reasons:

A) There are approximately a billion available all over the web, and

B) I’m a born and bred New Yorker. I don’t wanna embarrass myself claiming to know anything about BBQ. (Bagels and pizza? Another story.)

Enjoy, and please go crazy in the comments section if you know of any other resources.

Master Sites
All Restaurant Recipes
Budget 101
Recipe Goldmine: seasoning search part 1 and part 2
Recipe Zaar: herb & spice mixes and marinades & rubs
Top Secret Recipes main page and search function

Adobo Powder
Chef Michele

Chili Powder

Chinese Five Spice Powder
Chow Recipe Source

Curry Powder
Alton Brown/Food Network

Emeril’s Essence/Creole Seasoning/Bayou Blast
Emeril Lagasse/Food Network

Fajita Mix
Townie Blog

Garam Masala
All Recipes
O Chef

Herbs de Provence
The Epicentre
Recipe Land

Italian Seasoning

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
All Recipes
Astray Recipes

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Group Recipes

Lemon Pepper
Fabulous Foods

Mrs. Dash

Mulling Spice
Mom’s Budget
Price Smart Foods

Old Bay Seasoning
Busy Cooks
Cooking Cache

Paul Prudhomme Seasoning (Cajun Meat)

Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
Paula Deen / Food Network

Poultry Seasoning
All Recipes
CD Kitchen

Pumpkin Pie Spice
Post Gazette

Shake and Bake:
All Recipes
Food Network

Taco Seasoning
All Recipes
CD Kitchen

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