First on spices: most know that I rant and rave (ok, not exactly) about buying spices in bulk versus getting them at the dollar store, etc. I promise you, they definitely taste better. Moreover, chances are you will STILL get a better financial deal, and today I have proof!
I usually buy Italian blend herbs in bulk from my favorite natural goods store. They no longer carry it, so I was looking at having to buy it online Before I did that and had to pay shipping, I decided to try Whole Foods.
Long story short: they will not replace my normal natural store (yay, local business!), but they do have the Italian seasoning I want. Specifically, I bought a pre-packed quarter pound of herbs for $2.29 before tax, which works out to be about 57 cents per ounce. Check the bottles you buy from the dollar store: I'm willing to bet a quarter that they're a buck for about half an ounce, aka 4 times the price!
The picture below is to give you an idea of just how much 4 ounces of herb actually is. I'd already refilled my spice jar when I took this picture, too! Assuming I just use this to cook, rather than making gifts with it like I normally do, this will last me more than a year.
And now, coupon ethics. My grocery store has a setup where you scan your own groceries as you shop, then go to self checkout, scan your coupons, pay and leave. Pretty nice! I scanned a coupon today that rang up fine, and I looked at it and it expired yesterday. ACK!!! So, if the self checkout will accept expired coupons, do you think it is OK to use them, or should I just trash them? Opinions, please!