I often see pictures of guys on /ck/ with big ol' containers or bags of herbs and spices. Now, I walk into my local grocery store and a tiny thing of herbs/spices is often like $8 which is high in my opinion. Where does everyone get their spices from on the cheap? Do you use a bulk buy website that saves you on cost?
My local food coop I used to live close to would sell all their spices in bulk. A bag of spices of the amount you would usually get in those small McCormick bottles would usually cost 30-40¢.
Man, I miss that place.
Not really, because by the end of that year it will have barely any potency and basically be faintly-flavored dust. That being said, some things like garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper really don't lose their potency.
Other than oregano and thyme I use fresh herbs. In summer I grow them, in winter I buy them, which can get expensive, so I'm careful about where I buy them (price varies widely).
For spices I have both a Middle Eastern and an Indian market not far from my place. The Middle Eastern place sells spices in bulk with a high turnover, so I buy things I use frequently there. The Indian market sells everything in -plastic packages, but the price and selection are both great. At home all the spices go into glass jars.
I also keep a dedicated electric coffee grinder that I use for spices, so I buy most whole. (They stay fresh much longer this way).
Go to a Latino or Asian market. Spices are cheap as fuck, and usually better because most of their clientele know what that shit is supposed to taste like. Supermakets are trying to rip you off.
They're also a much better place to get things like avocados, because they're both cheaper usually sold when ripe or just about to be ripe. And get your rice there too.
Also beware of buying large containers of any spice you don't use very frequently. That shit loses its flavor over time.
For spices you don't use a lot, there are a couple of brands that have little envelopes with just a few portions of spices, and they're all less than a dollar. Great if you just need a handful of achiote seeds to make oil or just a couple cardamom pods for curry.