|My spices are organized with the small ones and the most commonly used in front, and less used and multiples behind in the back.|
For a price comparison, I just picked the first two spices that popped into my head--cinnamon sticks and chili powder. The common brand McCormick cinnamon sticks at my local grocery store costs $8.19 for .75 oz. At Mountain Rose Herb I can buy 8 oz of organic fair trade cinnamon sticks for $10.25. Did you catch that?! For almost the same price, at the grocery store I can buy less than 1 ounce of conventional cinnamon sticks, or online I can buy a half-pound of organic fair trade cinnamon sticks! That's $10.92 per ounce vs. $1.28 per ounce, and the $1.28 is far better quality to boot.
How about McCormick chili powder? $3.99 for 2.5oz. vs $12.00 for 1 pound (16oz) at MRH...which is $1.60 per ounce vs. $.75 per ounce, less than half the cost. The amount of savings between those two spices vary greatly, but save you will, even with the additional cost of shipping. (To save even more, consider making a joint order with a friend/family member so that you can split the cost of shipping.)
If 8oz or 1 lb sizes seem daunting to you, MRH does sell 1 oz and 4 oz sizes--you just will not save as much money. Consider splitting the 8oz or 1 lb packages with friends. Depending on how much you utilize herbs and spices in your cooking, splitting might be a better option for you size-wise, but you can still reap the benefit of significant savings.
Generally most herbs or spices possess a shelf-life of 1-3 years before they start losing flavor and potency (they don't go 'bad'), so keep that in mind as you choose your sizes. Herbs tend to lose their flavor quicker than spices. Store herbs and spices in airtight containers, glass being best. Resist the urge to shake them over steaming pots, as moisture ruins them. Instead pinch some out with your fingers or pour a little in your palm and then shake over the pot. If your spices or herbs have lost some of their potency, you don't need to throw them out, just use more than you ordinarily would.