Love it? Share it!

Are you trying to cut your grocery budget or trying to cook more from scratch? Every frugal kitchen needs these spices. Here’s why.

20 must have spices for every frugal kitchen

How Spices Keep a Frugal Kitchen

Growing up I learned some tricks for keeping a frugal kitchen without losing flavor and variety – SPICES! They say variety is the spice of life and what better way to add variety to food than with spices. A frugal kitchen often relies on stocking up groceries when they are on sale, which can sometimes lead to minimal variety.

That means this week may be a chicken week or next might be a burger week. If you use my frugal food tips, you may already stock and freeze, but what if you end up having to fall back on the same meat several nights in a week? Here’s where my must-have spices come in handy.

You can skip spending money on the sauces and flavor packets and go to your trusty spice cabinet. Dried spices have a long shelf life and are a more affordable option than buying bundles of fresh herbs every week. You can even skip buying spice blends and rubs that go heavy on the salt (and cost more) and make your own. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite blends soon.

20 Spices for the Frugal Kitchen Printable

For example, one night you can have rosemary and thyme baked chicken breast with mashed potatoes, and another night you can have Cajun spiced chicken with brown rice and beans. And while someone might complain about the food they can’t complain about having the same thing too many nights in a row since you relied on your spice cabinet to add some variety.

I recommend buying a small or medium sized container of each spice until you know how frequently you use it. If you find yourself going through it super fast then up-size the next time you buy it. I live close enough to a bulk food store that I generally buy mine in round clear containers instead of the small spice containers at the grocery store.

20 “Must Have” Spices for the Frugal Kitchen

  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Red Pepper (ground)
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Paprika
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder (not salt)
  • Onion Powder (not salt)
  • Ground Cinnamon *baking*
  • Nutmeg (whole or ground) *baking*
  • Ground Cloves *baking*
  • Ginger *baking*

Click image below for printable!

20 Must Have Spices for the Frugal Kitchen Printable

Love it? Share it!


  1. That’s a great list of spices for all kinds of recipes! Truth be told, I often reach for Coriander, dried celery, dried scallions, Bay leaves, sesame seeds, & a few blends (such as DIY Chicken Bullion mix, DIY Home-fries Seasoning mix, DIY Steak seasoning mix, DIY salt-free Old Bay seasoning, DIY BBQ Dry Rub, DIY Ranch seasoning, Madras curry powder, & a homemade Javanese Curry powder) .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *