If I'm going to be honest, I'm not quite sure how to start this blog so I'm going to begin by blurting out what has been running through my mind for a week: IF YOU AREN'T REFILLING YOUR SPICES AT MARILLAS THEN YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

There is definitely a more professional way to make this statement but after doing the math and comparing the quality etc. my brain is BUZZING. Let's begin at the beginning.

I have known for a long time that refilling spices is a bargain. I'm no stranger to a good old fashioned co-op and now that I have my own business I'm literally doing the math all day as my customers refill their own spices. 

Because of this, I took low spice prices for granted and so when I made my way to my local grocery store to do a price comparison video, I am fairly certain I was the one who was most shocked. 

I preach that refilling spices saves you money everyday of my life but it had been SO long since I looked at the going rate of spices on grocery store shelves that I was GOBSMACKED when I actually walked down the aisle and looked. 

Standing there in front of a wall of spice bottles, The first thing I noticed was each bottle was the exact same price. Across the board.  RED FLAG. A cup of Garlic powder should be a different price than a cup of basil. One is heavier than the other, each cost something different to process. How is the grocery store charging the same price for all of them? The answer is overcharging. Which brings me to my next red flag:



To give an example, a 2 oz glass jar of organic oregano was 8.49 on the shelf. (as was all the other spices in this particular brand's lineup) At Marilla's Mindful Supplies the same size jar of Organic Fair Trade Non-Irradiated Oregano would cost you 62 cents. A spice jar of Bay Leaves? 6.99 at the grocery store, 25 cents at Marilla's Mindful Supplies. It was at this point my brain exploded. I felt indignation and elation at the same time. Indignation that a grocery store as large as the one I was standing in would deem it appropriate to charge their customers so much. I know better than most, how much the spice costs them and I can even make an educated guess at how much the glass bottle set them back. To charge almost triple what they probably paid is completely within their rights as a business but it doesn't sit well with me. It certainly doesn't sit well with me when I spend many hours of my work day making sure that my prices are as fair as possible for every person who walks through our door. But in case at this point you are thinking "comparison is a thief of joy", it's not always the whole truth which brings me to my feelings of elation.

As a small business owner, it is common to be bound by higher price points. Some wonder why we bother when giants in the marketplace can almost always undercut us, but I think there is joy in sourcing high quality goods and providing one on one customer service that makes it worth it. That being said, having to grapple and justify higher prices can wear a person down. I know my product is fairly priced, but in a world of dollar stores and mega online marketplaces I often have to explain my pricing to help my customer understand it as well. 

Now that I've set the scene, imagine the joy I felt staring at those prices and KNOWING without a shadow of a doubt that my little business had the better deal. My tiny business that can't afford mega bulk price breaks is the unequivocal bargain. That felt so good I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Instead, I made a video and posted it on social media. (You can watch it on social media or youtube if that's your thing!) 

To add a cherry on top of this comparison, almost all the spices you find at Marilla's are organic, gluten free, fair trade, non-irradiated, and fresher than anything I have ever purchased at the grocery store. Buying spices at Marilla's guarantees you a better quality product, and saves you hundreds of dollars. 

Why am I telling you this? It's not to topple the grocery store, or line my pockets. I think my hope is that after reading this we will all check in on some of the assumptions we may have about shopping small. 

Is it always the more expensive choice? Is it always inconvenient? Is it always a sacrifice? I think these ideas are baked into our subconscious. Perhaps because we live in a time where "Shopping Small" has become a social cause and almost a duty we all feel the weight of. However, when it came down to it, I was reminded that when you actually go to the grocery store to record a price comparison video (as we all do haha) you just might be flabbergasted at the reality you find.

Ok, I think I've got this out of my system. Thanks for tuning in! Moral of the story:

You can save a lot of money by shopping small and refilling your spices at Marilla's.


Peace & Blessings






March 07, 2024 — Marilla Gonzalez

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.