Homemade onion powder.  The dried onions cost $2.50/lb at the LDS Church's Home Storage Center.
See the Home Storage Center order form.
What other seasoning (other than salt!) can you get for that much per POUND? 

When you grind up the onions, they reduce in volume by about half; the custard cup had been full before powdering.

Here’s something  from Providentliving.org:

“Three-Month Supply

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.”

            I guarantee that if I didn’t have a bunch of spices in the cupboard and in storage, I wouldn’t have a “normal, daily diet”!   The holidays are a great time to stock up on spices and other baking supplies, as they go on sale a lot between November and the end of December.  Sometimes there's a 'Buy One, Get One Free' sale.   Two suggestions there:  either get double and be set for the next few years on that spice/extract, OR talk to  friends/neighbors and see who'd like to split with you.   I tend to think that neighbors helping each other that way helps build Zion anyway.  

            Now- how long are your spices good for?  Spice companies tell us to throw out herbs (leaves) after they are one year old, whole spices and seeds after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years,  as they lose potency, BUT- I'd rather have 6-year-old cinnamon than none at all!  I've had older, too, and found them to be fine.  Maybe not gourmet level, but still flavorful.   You can usually tell by smelling in the jar.  If there's not quite enough flavor when I cook, I just add a little more.  No problem.   The cooler and darker your storage area, the better they’ll keep their flavor.   It helps if they are good quality.  I’ve had a brand or two of cinnamon that tasted a bit like dirty bark to begin with. And you can’t always tell by price.   Sometimes I find good quality spices at the dollar store or Big Lots.  I’ve even been able to find almond extract, lemon, etc, there.

            The spices I use most  I buy in BIG containers (like 16 oz. or so)-  cinnamon, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and ginger- the big containers stay in the basement and are used to refill my little ones in the spice cupboard.  The big containers come from Sam’s Club or Macey’s, or whoever has a good price.  Smith’s sells spices in bulk over by their ‘natural foods’ section.  You get whatever quantity you want in a little baggie.  It’s usually a lot cheaper than in the little jars.  And if you like onion powder, you can make it yourself much more inexpensively with the dried onions from the DryPack Cannery- $2 a pound! That’s dirt-cheap for spice. See below with the other recipe.

                Spice Things Up! 

from The Wooden Spoon Cooking School, taught for a short time at the LDS Church's Welfare Square.
    Basic food storage can be pretty drab.  If the idea of living off of basic ingredients for a substantial amount of time already makes you want to turn green, then you quickly need to add to the basics you already have.  Seasonings and spices will add variety and store nicely!

    Beef, chicken, or ham bouillon granules are excellent secondary storage items.  Wheat and rice, either brown or white, cooked in bouillon, take on wonderful new flavors, as does barley.  In fact, bouillon is an excellent base for many soups, sauces, and casseroles.

    Soy sauce, with its Oriental flavor, is another excellent seasoning.  Fried wheat or rice with fresh vegetables and sprouts is enhanced with soy.  It also adds good flavor to a stir-fry or even to some stews, chicken, or fish dishes.

    Legumes respond well to seasoning salts and spice blends like chili powder, curry powder, poultry seasoning and celery, garlic, and onion salts.

    It is important to keep some sweet spices on hand, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice.  Simple rice pudding, for example, is dependent on such spices for its unique flavor.  The simplest cookies and cakes are enhanced with their use.

    Dried parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary are great to keep in supply.  They can be added to any dish for “Italian” flavors, or added to a simple stew to compliment the natural flavors of the other ingredients. 

    Cocoa, sweet cocoa mix, or a cereal drink like Ovaltine is a good supplementary item to store along with the basic nonfat dry milk.  Punch powder is a welcome flavor in lean times.  Nor should we forget vanilla, almond, maple, and lemon extracts.  All of these items store well.

    Many of these items can be bought in bulk at warehouse retailers (Sam’s or Costco), and can be stored for a great length of time.  As with all food storage items, these should be rotated regularly.  A year’s supply of flavorings could make the big difference between stark or satisfying eating.  

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a simply way to get some inexpensive seasoning:
Homemade Onion Powder

2 cups dried onions
1 8-ounce jar with lid (label it!!!)

Put the dried onions in a blender and food processor, chop until powdery.  Pour into your jar.   Done.  

What else I like to know about it: 2 Tbsp. of onion powder is equal to about 4 Tbsp. (1/4 c.)  dried onions, which is about 1 medium onion.  SO- when your chicken noodle soup, or whatever, calls for 1 medium onion, dump in 2 Tbsp. of onion powder, and your (my!) kids won’t complain about onions in the soup.   Some of my children THINK they don’t like onions- but they say the soup “doesn’t taste right” the times I’ve left them out.  So now I’m sneaky.  I guess they just don’t like the texture.


Easy Creamy Turkey Soup     

Ready In: 35 min.    Yield: 4 ½ -5 cups

1   Tbsp.   dried minced onion, or 1 ½  tsp. onion   powder
1   stalk   celery, sliced in 1/4" pieces   
1   can   (10-3/4 oz.) cream of celery soup ( or cream of chicken, or mushroom)     
1/4   tsp.   thyme     or rosemary
1-1/2   cups   cubed cooked turkey   
3   large   carrots, cut in 1/4" pieces   
1/2   to 1 cup   milk   
1   cup   frozen peas    

            Mix together onion, celery, soup, thyme, turkey, and carrots.  Stir in enough milk to make the consistency you like.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in peas and remove from heat.  As the peas heat through, they’ll cool your soup enough to eat it.


To make this faster, you can microwave the celery and carrots, covered and with 1 Tbsp. of water, for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Then just heat the soup until the peas have thawed through.  This will reduce your total cooking time by about 15 more minutes. 

This is also good using leftover Christmas ham instead of leftover Christmas turkey, though I’d substitute a couple cubed potatoes or a can of green beans for the carrots.  


Here's some great info-

If you click on no other link, check out the spice chart (#3)

(1)The dozen "most essential" spices


(2)how, when, and how much spice to add:


(3)quick reference spice chart: what different herbs and spices taste good with:

GREAT for printing out and taping on the inside of your spice cupboard!


(4)details on each spice: the spice encyclopedia


(5)antioxidants in spices:    remember hearing how awesome pomegranates and blueberries are for containing antioxidants?   1 tsp. of cinnamon has more than a whole cup of pomegranate juice or a half cup of blueberries.  Several other spices are also high.




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