What to Do with Old Spices

It is a good idea to clean out your spices on a frequent basis. Most herbs and spices lose their potency within six months to a year and need to be replaced. You can try to use them after that time, but as I once read somewhere, if you have old herbs and spices, then you are essentially just putting dirt on your food. But don’t give up your spices just because of that fact. Cooking with spices can be very frugal. You can make some very flavorful low cost meals with the addition of spices.

So what can you do with the old herbs and spices; plenty actually.

Try simmering them on the stove to make your home smell nice. Of course, cinnamon and nutmeg are very yummy to smell, but you can also try savory spices, such as Italian herbs to warm up your kitchen and your home. or, if you won’t be able to attend to the stove, just put the spices and water in a crockpot on low.

When you are done simmering, pour the mixture down the sink to freshen your drain. or even better, pour it on the ground at your front or back door. You’ll get a pleasant scent whenever you enter or exit your home. Visitors will notice the scent, too.

Use the herbs for decoration. Whole cloves stuck into an orange or lemon look very pretty, and then give off a great aroma.

Crush the herbs and sprinkle them on your carpet before you vacuum. They will freshen the carpet, as well as “deodorize“ the vacuum. Try rosemary or a sweet scent, such as ginger.

Here is a really fun idea. Put old spices into an old sock and tie a tight knot. Then slip the sock in with your clothes in the dryer. Cloves and lavender seem to work especially well. Cloves in particular are a deterrent to moths, so you’ll have the added bonus of clothing that is protected from holes.

Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Computing Blog here at Families.com where she shares everything from the latest news on technology to cool downloads and fun websites.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com