Monday, August 9, 2010

Comparing WinCo Spices to Sam's Club Spices for Food Storage

One of my readers suggested I check out the spices in bulk found at WinCo Foods. So I headed to the new store in Roy, Utah today with my clipboard in hand. While there I gathered prices of typical food storage items (canned goods, grains, etc. ), as well as the spices to compare prices with other stores in my area. I also was asked by a manager which store I was from. :-) Have to smile at that. "No store, just comparing prices." "How are we doing?" "Pretty good." I will post my price comparison in September with my CaseLot Sale comparison, but overall I found the prices similar to Walmart. Winco does accept coupons, however, they are not excited about computer printed coupons. Rumor: a store may be coming to Layton on the east side of the freeway near all the construction there. We shall see.

Anyway, back to the spices. The spices are sold by the ounce or pound. I compared the prices per ounce with the Tone's spices I usually buy at Sam's Club in large plastic containers (about 16 ounces).

My thoughts are this: If you like to buy spices in large containers for food storage like those you buy at Sam's Club or Costco, you could refill when you get low and save some money on some spices. But not all. You have to have shelf space for larger containers at home though. Also using large containers is best for those who cook regularly from scratch. Personally I don't have large containers of everything, but I do have cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cumin which I use a lot of. Eventually I would like to have a larger container of oregano and one of parsley.

If you buy your spices in small containers, like those at the grocery store because you have a small family or don't cook from scratch often, you could REALLY save with WinCo spices. Just refill your containers. Read this article from Utah Deal Diva where she compares WinCo spices to Walmart spice prices.

Or you could buy their containers and start your own spice system. Winco sells plastic spice jars for you to put your own spices in at these prices: 16 oz. is $1.32, 8 oz. is $1.16, 4 oz. is .84 ea. Think carefully about the spices you use often to help you figure out the size to get.

I rounded the prices below to make it easier to compare. There are mores spices in the store, but I listed some that I could compare with Sam's Club. I still like the price of the LDS onions which I show below. I do not know the quality of the WinCo spices, so if someone has more experience, please share. It is definitely a personal choice. However, I like knowing that when finances are tight I don't have to spend money on expensive spices because I already have them in my pantry storage.

Tone's Spice Containers vs. WinCo's Spice refills

Basil 5.5 oz. - S $2.54 vs. W $.76 (.138 per oz)
Black Pepper 18 oz. - S $4.96 vs. W $3.98 (.221 per oz.)
Chili powder 20 oz. - S $4.28 vs. W $3.56 (.178 per oz.)
Cinnamon 18 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $1.85 (.103 per oz.)
Cumin, ground 16 oz. - S $5.77 vs. W $3.38 (.211 per oz.)
Garlic, minced 23 oz. - S $4.66 vs. W $3.70 (.161 per oz.)
Garlic, powder 21 oz. - S $3.87 vs. W $3.49 ( .166 per oz.)
Gravy, brown 24 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 ( .144 per oz.)
Onion powder 20 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.46 (.173 per oz.)
Onion, minced 15 oz. - S $4.64 vs. W $3.09 (.206 per oz.) vs. LDS $2.40
Oregano 5 oz. - S $2.98 vs. W $1.00 (.194 per oz.)
Paprika 18 oz. - S $4.36 vs. W $4.30 (.239 per oz.)
Parsley 2.7 oz. - S $3.38 vs. W $.84 (.311 per oz.)
Taco Seasoning 23 oz. - S $3.88 vs. W $3.43 (.149 per oz.)

(There definitely could be errors in my math :)


  1. I like to buy in bulk and just re-fill the smaller containers I already have.
    A lot of spices lose their potancy (sp?) as they age, and that's no bueno. :)

  2. I like to buy spices at Winco when I am trying out a new recipe.
    If I don't have the spice in my cupboard already and I need it, chances are that I won't be able to use even the smallest packaged jar at Walmart. I can by just the amount I need, and I don't have to let the rest of a bottle sit in the cupboard for a year.

  3. Thank you for this comparison...very informative

  4. An interesting comparison. We don't have Winco in Las Vegas, but I have heard that their prices are pretty good.

    I buy most of my spices at Sam's Club, though I have bought some online in bulk from Herb Products Co. in California (5 pounds of curry, anyone?

    I recently heard of another bulk place and I have beencomparig prices there. I use these online sources for spices that Sam's doesn't have, like curry ;-), tarragon, etc.

    Since we're living on our food storage and I don't have money to restock my spices (and I've now run out of oregano) I'm really grateful to be growing my own (oregano for the first time this year). I'm working on drying as much oregano as possible right now, and basil will be next.

  5. The only thing I dislike about bulk spices is not knowing how fresh they are. One thing I do, is to put all my bulk spices in canning jars, seal with my vacuum sealer and put them in the freezer. I've cut down dramatically on freshness problems.

  6. spices are cheapest regularly at the dollar store

    and two or three times a year Walgreens sells their spices 2/$1!

  7. Thank you for your amazing website and for putting all this information together. This is such a great resource- I'm glad to have found you!!!!

  8. For people of faith, a benefit of Winco that you didn't mention is that it is an employee-owned company, which is a form of experimentation with a more socially just (Golden-Rule-compliant) way of doing business. This factor nudges me to spend 100% of my grocery budget at Winco in Mesa, AZ.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!