More in the kitchen—the spice

Bj and I have a tiny little kitchen, but we have it set up to work for us. The old ironing board was turned into a spice rack when I first moved in, and I didn’t think I’d run out of space. But then I started canning (queue things like dill seed into the mix) and cooking more (lemon pepper, I’ve never heard of it!) and we were taking a risk whenever we opened that door. Plus we were keeping some spices elsewhere which of course ended up with us buying duplicates. I knew we’d have to start stacking the jars, but all spice jars I found were too tall, or too wide. Then I stumbled upon these (we bought the 4 ounce size) on a shelf above my head at the Container Store (not in the spice section).

Bliss! So far I’ve only moved spices into these jars when I didn’t need the sifting capability of the original ones (the only bummer about these jars). Just doubling up this one row has solved most of our problems.

I alphabetized the jars for the most part. You may notice some duplicates, whoopsies!

Also the stickers on the top of the jar was something I started a few years ago. I keep little circle labels and a pen in our everything drawer and write down the date when we get new spices (if they get put away with out this being done, I ball park it as soon as I notice). A few older spices got tossed this organization round as a result.

Now that I have this cute jar option I can admit I was mostly buying Morton and Bassett for the looks, hehehe.

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  1. These are great jars for spices. This is such a clever idea for the old ironing board cabinet. Instead of having wasted space, you turned it into something very useful. Oh, and I love the idea of dating the spices. Seeing this makes me want to tackle my spice cabinet.

  2. Don’t forget that when you need more spices for the jars, that you can buy most spices in bulk at Fred Meyer in the Nutrion Center. It can save BOAT loads of cash. My favorite example is a jar of Bay leaves will cost you about $5 (if not more) in the spice aisle. The same ammout of bay leaves in bulk will cost you 15 cents… MAX!! I have been known to purchase more that I need because that’s the only way to get the leaves to register on the scale… now that’s a score!

  3. Tina,
    WOW! I had no idea, that is so cool! It’s funny you mention bay leaves because i was just thinking about them. I was wondering if I could possibly dry them myself. I am totally going to see if the natural food store has a spice section. It will be especially good for my bulk cooking. Great tip, thank you!

  4. I was just going to comment about Penzey’s. There is one in the Pearl on 10th between Couch and Davis.

  5. I have to be honest here, not quite sure why we have those. We have a healthy chive plant in the backyard, so I’m guessing Bj used them for something. Or maybe it was for canning? Either way we bought them like that (Morton & Bassett).

  6. I can’t believe how organized you are! How do you have time to do this? 🙂 And excuse me…you’ve never heard of lemon pepper but you have crystallized ginger?! Wha?!

  7. A friend of mine bought her spice jars from
    They look very similar to yours, but with plastic lids instead. They are also really inexpensive. She blogged about her pantry overhaul here
    Years ago I bought some red plastic topped bottles from winco and used an old fashioned dymo for the labels. They sold them right next to their bulk spices (Fred Meyer, Winco and Roth’s all have good bulk items)
    I once bought some bottles from for a school packaging project. They have the best pour spouts if you want some for oil bottles. (I have these with these )

  8. Just one more random thought on spices. The summer before last I bought one bunch of dill weed from the farmers market and hung it upside down to dry in our apartment. I was pickling and I meant to buy dill heads, but picked up the wrong item, so I figured I might as well put it to use. Once it was dry I pulled off the leaves and put them in my dill spice jar. Sooo much better than that stuff that you buy in the jars and I am still using that same batch that I made from one bunch.

  9. i can’t remember if i emailed you last night or not. i’ve only been to the penzey’s on 82nd. but yes, there is one in the pearl and one i think in beaverton. i like that you can smell EVERYTHING before buying. and you can buy it in jars or in zip-top bags so you can just refill your existing jars.

  10. Ceara,
    The crystallized ginger is totally for Bj’s asian cooking. I’ve never used it. I know, I said I’d never heard of it and my friend who I was cooking with pulled out a Costco sized container of it, so apparently everyone else already knew about lemon pepper.

  11. this is just what I’ve been looking for but I don’t understand what I get to print them on.I really like the chalkboard finish.Can someone talk me through this.thanks!:)

  12. So late to this but Penzey’s is amazing. Their jars are as cuteas the Mortons but the spices are less expensive and fresher. They even sell refill bags.

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