I like to save money, and I watch a lot of Food Network, so that means I cook at home alot.  And I've found that if you keep a few basics around, you can whip up just about anything.So, here are some maybe or maybe not surprising spices I always keep in my kitchen to make sure I can make some tasty grub.

1.  Lemon Pepper. 


I know you're probably wondering what's wrong with just using regular old pepper. Well, nothing is wrong with that, really. It's just that lemon pepper is so much better, especially on chicken.  And actually, sometimes I even use it on steak (some fancy restaurants squeeze lemon over a steak when it's done cooking).  It wasn't something I did until maybe about six years ago, but now I use it all the time.

2.  Garlic Powder. 


You probably have one of these in your cabinet, too.  I prefer it over garlic salt, and it's a little easier to use than minced garlic.  Even though we do have a jar of minced garlic in our fridge, sometimes you just wanna get straight to it.  This is an easy way to make garlic bread, too.

3. Rice Seasoning. 


Sorry for my bad picture. I think I tried to take too many and my hands got shaky.  Anyway, hear me out on this stuff.  It smells amazing and it's a great way to make plain old rice much more flavorful and interesting.  Especially since we're eating more healthily lately, it's a great way to wake up the old "rice on the side" routine.

4. Onion Powder. 


Again, this is a similar story to the garlic stuff.  Would I like to have fresh onions in my meals when needed? Sure.  Do I always manage to have time to get chives, shallots, green onions or any of the other fancy ways to make things give it that extra flavor? No. Lets's get realistic, here. So that's where my old friend generic onion powder comes in.

5. Seasoned Salt. 


I'm sure you have this stuff, too. It's just a wee bit better than regular old salt to me. I mean, sometimes I use sea salt or fine salt when required, and once upon a time we had like, pink fancy salt.  But if you're just going for an everyday meal, just break out the seasoned salt and you're good.  And, I tell ya, put all of these except the rice seasoning on a chicken breast and it's such a simple but tasty dinner.

What are some of the spices and seasonings you need to keep in your kitchen?  What are some things you've found that you didn't know about before?

Spicily yours,

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