Photo from FlickrIf you're of the like mind that spices are crazy expensive, I have a little secret for you. Stop purchasing them in your local regular grocery stores! Not long ago I sent a care package to my mom in Alaska, and several of the items she needed were spices. I could seriously go broke if I purchased every spice and spice combo I have my eye on. Now mind you, my advice here doesn't necessary work as well with spice combos, but really, a lot of those can be homemade if you purchase the individual spices. So . . . what you do is buy your spices in ethnic stores. These places, my friends, are gold mines. My produce market I love so much - large bags of cinnamon for $2. They have most of the usual suspects, too: thyme, oregano, basil, etc. What actually made me think of this tidbit of useful information was a recent visit to a Mexican grocery store. Granted the meat in that place skivved me out, but pre-packaged spices are a pretty safe bet. I mean, come on, who passes up a decent-sized bag of oregano for .89 cents. Seriously!? They had oodles of spices and a large selection of specialty dried peppers. Those can be pricey at my regular grocery stores too, so knowing where to go to find them cheap is definitely a plus. I'm sure many of you already know this secret, but even I forget sometimes when I run out of something from my spice cabinet. There you have it. Buy spices in ethnic stores and spend more money on yourself. Your kids. Your pets. Whatever!