Ever wonder when following a recipe why you have to use twice as much (or more of a spice) than what the recipe calls for? Is it a bad recipe? You must like extra spice, right?
I just went through all my spice jars to get rid of all the ones that are old. Yes, spices do not last forever. They lose their flavor or taste off when you use them once they get old. Whole spices and seeds will last the longest up to 4 years. Ground spices can last 3-4 years and leafy spices only 1-2 years.
The best way to store your spices for the longest shelf life is to store them in air tight containers in a dark area. The two biggest reasons spices break down quickly are air and moisture. Thought storing your spices on the counter or in a cupboard over or near your stove may be convenient for you but will cut the shelf life of your spices by 50-75%. Also, storing them near the dishwasher or over the dishwasher is also not suggested. The steam emitted from the dishwasher can effect the spices just like the steam from the stove.
When measuring your spices don’t shake the jar over the cooking pot. Measure it away from the stove and moisture. If you measure by feel pour the spices into your hand and then add them to the dish. Keep the spices away from all moisture.
I spend quite a bit of money on my spices and I want them to stay fresh as long as possible and to not be throwing away my good money. Hope this helps you save some money too!