Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Blends

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Make Your Own Herbs and Spices Blends

I love cooking. 

And I love spices. 

I also love cooking with seasoning blends — curry powder, chili powder, Herbes de Provence, Chat Masala…the list goes on and on.

I really enjoy trying new spices and blends and seeing how they can work with different foods.

If you check out my different popcorn seasoning recipes you will see what I mean!

But besides just being a fun source for culinary experimentation, there are distinct advantages to making your own homemade seasoning blends and they are a great way to introduce more healthful eating into your kitchen in a fairly easy way.

1.  You have complete control over the ingredients.

Have you noticed that a lot of spice mixes on the market include fillers such as sugar, anti-caking ingredients (so the spices don't clump up), or even MSG?  Or perhaps someone in your family has an allergy or intolerance to an ingredient in your favorite spice mix.  If you make your own mix, you can simply eliminate the offending ingredient or substitute another similar ingredient that works for you.

2.  Making your own spice blends saves you money – for two reasons.

  • First of all, spice blends always cost more than the sum of their parts.

Looking at prices in a popular spice catalog, if you were to purchase Herbes de Provence from this particular company, you would pay a hefty $21.45 for 8 ounces.  However, the prices for the individual spices that make up Herbes de Provence range from $3.85 – $18.99 per pound, with the average price being $12.00.  So you can see how you can easily save about 50% on your spice mixes by making your own.

  • Secondly, you can save by purchasing more of your spices in bulk when you make your own blends.  Spices are typically only for good for one year or so.  Basically, they are good until they don't smell strong any longer.  Of course, you can use them even after they don't smell as strong and just use more of them (which is better than throwing them out), but the best thing to do is to just purchase as much of a spice as you can likely use in one year and no more.  By making your own seasoning blends, you are able to purchase more of the plain, individual spices, thereby purchasing them in bulk and saving money.

Instead of purchasing only a small amount of oregano and garlic, you can purchase more than usual, knowing that you will use it up more quickly since you will be using it to make your own chili powder.

And last, but not least, one other reason to make your own homemade seasoning is…

3.  You can easily involve your children in kitchen fun.  Your children can learn to measure and pour and learn about good stewardship at the same time.

In future posts I will continue to share more of my favorite homemade blends.

For now, check out my posts on:

Wondering where to get spices?  My two favorite places currently are Frontier and Bulk Herb Store.

Bon appetit and have fun with whole savings and whole health in your kitchen!

Do you have any homemade seasoning blends that you make?  Please do share!
(Photo credit)

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Cathy Sue Smith says:

    Do you have a seasoning recipe that does not include onion or garlic. My sister is allergic to onion and garlic. I am always reading labels for her to find a seasoning that does not have these but all seem to have one or the other. I could make seasoning for her if I had a recipe. Thanks for much.

  2. what do you use for blending the spices together in a larger batch?

  3. Hi;
    I make my own (ABSOLUTELY HEAVENLY!) mixed-pepper powder, which requires about three to five days of work, but when I grind it all up the powder clumps as it sits in the spice container so it is one semi-hard block when I try to use it. What can I use as an anti-caking agent? I have tried a little bit of Gluten-free flour mix, but wondered if corn starch would be better. Any ideas. Thank you – – and thanks for this WONDERFUL! site.

  4. OneBirdieMa says:

    Hi! “Apple Pie Spice” Combine, by volume:
    7 parts ground cinnamon
    6 parts ground coriander
    5 parts ground allspice
    4 parts ground ginger
    3 parts ground nutmeg
    2 parts ground mace
    1 part ground cloves
    I prefer, personally, to make things up by weight rather than volume but I haven’t found a good source of info on weights small amounts of herbs and spices, so I stick with the old-fashioned by volume. Several things to note: Fresh-ground spices usually have much stronger flavor than those that have been stored. Finely ground spices will have more ‘bang for the buck’ than coarsely ground. And if you know you prefer less (or more) (or none) of a particular flavor, change the proportion. Last, when you make up a batch, do a taste test, the short instructions for which are: melt a small amount of butter in a small skillet, add a small amount of the spice and saute briefly. Then add several slices of good apple and saute a little while longer. Then add a little sugar, cook a little while longer, then remove from heat. Set aside two small amounts and refrigerate the rest. Taste one of the reserved amounts while it is still hot (well, very warm) and note flavor pluses and minuses. When the second has reached room temp, taste that, and again note the flavor highs and lows. Last, once it is chilled, taste the refrigerated part and again note the flavor points. This test will serve two purposes: you will know what the flavor differences are in case you are making a dish served at room temp or hot or cold; and you will know, if you ever make another batch, what you might want to do to improve it. The formula above is what I work with these days, but the original can be found under then name “Mixed Spice Blend” from The Rosemary House, given in Herb Mixtures & Spice Blends, ed. By Deborah Balmuth. // Separate comment: My personal preference is for Frontier Spices, and whatever herbs I haven’t grown myself.

  5. I would really like to know where to find the container with all of the little compartments to put all the spices in

    Thank you
    Happy Spicing

  6. I buy bulk spices all the time at my local Natural Home Market, In fact when it comes to unusual spices that I only occasionally use I will specify out only 1-2 tab. and buy only what is needed so I do not have them hanging around. Serously I have over 50 spices and blends in my culinary arsenal. I regularly make my own rubs for ribs, pork shoulders, chicken and wild salmon. I have the recipes written out and taped right to the jars (cover the recipes with packing tape so they stay clean) so as I run out I can quickly whip up another batch. Ie: St Louis and Memphis style rib rubs, spicy BBQ chicken (Paul Prudhomme’s recipe), the salmon rub is to die for used with planked (cedar or alder) wild salmon and then brushed with a soy, garlic, ginger, maple syrup reduction. OMG! I also have friends bring me unusual spices and mixtures from around the world. I recently recieved Hickory Smoked Salt and Saffron form the Middle East. Pinterest is a great source for rub mixtures I even have a board for rubs and seasonings. Also the international foods section of the grocery store is great for less expensive spices (Mexican especially) I have never had a problem. Also swap unusual spices with you neighbors. I recently had a neighbor borrow cardamon and I borrowed celery salt from another neighbor. Foodies unite!. I also have the community herb garden and encourage neighbors to help themselves. The more herbs are clipped the better they do. This summer we had over 15 different herbs including 5 differnt basils, 2 different thymes, and the staples: Parsley, sage rosemary, chives, real peppermint (not spearmint) as well as greens like kale, arugula and sorrel. Educate others when you can..

  7. I appreciate your providing this mix. I’ve yet to run across a masala recipe that doesn’t call for whole spices that you have to grind. I don’t mind that except I already have all the spices ground. And since I too am frugal…..:D

  8. jars and canned products do not agree well with me and i avoid.
    i realllllyyy miss chicken with bbq sauce!!!
    What can i do to sub the tomato paste in this recipe?
    Do you have any recommended homemade bbq sauce recipes for chicken (without jars/cans, and without sugar/sweets/fruit [i avoid that too])

  9. please email the answer…I was trying to get Davette’s base spice recipe and could not open up her website. Do you have the base recipe?

    thanks so much, love your site!

    • How sad. Her blog has been suspended. I just messaged her on Facebook :).

    • Davette’s Base Spice Recipe

      1 cup Celtic Sea Salt, fine grind OR
      1 cup Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt, fine grind
      1/3 cup Garlic powder
      1/4 cup ground Black Pepper

      1.Measure all of the ingredients into a 1 gallon size zip seal bag and seal. (save yourself a headache and get the bags that are easy to seal; you could also just whisk it together in a mixing bowl.)
      2.Shake the bag until the ingredients are well mixed. (once you are sure the bag is sealed, you can have your kids do the shaking for you.)
      3.Pour into an empty spice shaker or salt shaker and you are ready to go. If there is more left than will fit into your shaker, keep it in zip-seal bag and refill as needed.
      4.*If you would like more seasoning and less salt, increase the garlic powder to 1/2 cup and the pepper to 1/3 cup.

  10. I’ve used spices from (Marshall’s Creek Spices). I’ve never gotten them through mail order, but they’ve been setting up shop at a local flea market for years and I buy a good portion of my spices from them. My favorite from them is a blend they make called Essence (like Emeril’s). They have a good selection and seem to add to it all the time. Thanks for this posting!

  11. Laura Bickmore says:

    Hello again, Adrinne – so if those aren’t your spice storage containers pictured above, what do you store your spices in? I would love to buy bulk, but I just have a small pantry and haven’t found a good bulk system that works yet – bags of spices in a shoe box just doesn’t seem to cut it… 🙂 Thanks!

  12. I order from Penzey’s Their stuff is fresh, bright and amazing quality and their prices are so reasonable. check out the web site.

    • Hi Karen. I used to go to Penzeys all the time, but I will say that I have recently switched to Frontier and Mountain Rose Herbs (and the occasional Costco purchase). We have done several taste tests here (blind :-)) and Frontier won every one. I like that I can get organic spices from them or Mountain Rose Herbs for the same price (or less) than Penzeys. I did love the experience of going to Penzeys, however.

  13. Thank You Adrienne!

    For the sandwich sprinkle, to the Base Seasoning [] add 2 Tbsp. Paprika and 2 Tbsp. Onion Powder. Everything can be adjusted to your taste (you could up that to as much as 1/4 cup each).

  14. Would you like me to put it here in the comments section or give a link to my post?

    • Whatever you like – thank you! However, perhaps a link would be best. Then, if my family likes it, I can write a post on it and link to you :-). You are also welcome to email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com.

  15. I love making my own seasoning blends. My all-purpose version my son has nicknamed “the Sprinkle”, goes on just about everything that isn’t sweet, but he especially likes putting it on his sandwiches. (He wants me to leave the recipe to him in my will, lol) I’m going to try you curry blend, because I don’t like spicy either.

    Up here in Alaska everything costs more, but especially the spices. Even with shipping it is generally cheaper to order them. (I like Penzey’s and Mountain Rose, too.)

    • Hi Davette – Would you mind sharing your “Sprinkle” recipe :-). How cute!

      And Alaska – how wonderful. I have always thought how much I would love to visit there. A family from our neighborhood moved there a few years ago and one of our local ice hockey players (professional) is from there as well. Take care, ~ Adrienne

  16. Paul Bulger says:

    I like Penzeys but spend too much. Local Fred Meyers store has bulk spices and it is much cheaper and fresher than buying those little bottles. I mix a general Italian marjoram, basil, oregano, etc However big use is a cinnamon, nutmeg sugar (splenda ) for toast, pancakes, waffles, cakes.

    • Thanks for sharing! We used to make our own cinnamon sweetener blend as well so you have reminded me of something that we have forgotten about!
      Have you ever tried Mountain Rose Herbs or Frontier brands? They have organic for less money than Penzeys, which only carries conventional. By the way, just in case you aren’t aware and are trying to avoid sugars, did you know that the filler in Splenda is, in fact, sugar? I have met people who had diabetic reactions after eating it. Take care.

  17. Ya know, I usually only make my own when I run out of the stuff I bought and needed it right away. It really does make better sense to make my own. We stopped using lemon pepper seasoning specifically because it had MSG in it…I’m sure homemade would taste much better too! Thanks for the post!

  18. Is this your spice cupboard?

    • No, but it’s really neat, isn’t it? If you see the photo credit at the bottom you can see it isn’t mine.
      The photographer stated that it is made from hardware containers that are typically used to hold tools. Cute, but probably not what I would choose as they are not food grade :-).

  19. Where do you get your bulk spices? So far I’ve found Harvest Health to be cheaper than the grocery store. I wasn’t sure if you had other sources.

    • I LOVE We purchase from them regularly if you would like to join us. In fact, we will be ordering this Wednesday and you can get 15% off anything and 25% off all bulk (excluding sale prices). Mountain Rose Herbs is great for organic and it is better for smaller portions. However, I think Herbtrader’s quality is superior.

    • GrammaTeddyBear says:

      I buy my bulk herbs through Azure Standard, along with all of my groceries and I LOVE them!! Check them out at the website as well as on Facebook!