Costco's Affordable Saffron Is Turning Heads

In the ancient world, saffron was worth more than gold (per Britannica). But while other once-expensive ancient spices, like salt, are now easily found on the shelves of any grocery store for an affordable price, saffron still remains a pricey little product. Valued at up to $5,000 per pound as of 2018, it is the most expensive spice in the world today, according to Business Insider. This is because harvesting saffron is extremely labor-intensive. It must be harvested by hand from saffron flowers at a specific time of day, and it requires almost 170,000 flowers to produce just one pound of the spice. 

Used for foods like rice, seafood, and stews, saffron adds a subtle, earthy flavor as well as its signature golden yellow color to each dish. These days, it can be found in upscale grocery stores, although it is usually sold in small portions, such as ½ or ¼ of a teaspoon. Because of how valuable it is, the spice may even be under lock and key in a cabinet out of the reach of any would-be thieves, according to The Spruce Eats. But Costco is affording at least some saffron fans a chance to enjoy it on the cheap.

Costco's Kirkland Signature Saffron is a steal at under $12

Given how expensive saffron typically is, it's no wonder that when one a Redditor found a shockingly affordable jar of the highly prized spice at their local Costo, they couldn't help but share it with their fellow shoppers. "Small little find – Kirkland Signature 1gm spanish saffron," Reddit user u/ankitrajshree posted to the social media site, saying the saffron cost just $11.69 for a small 1 gram jar at their Costco warehouse in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Other social media users seemed impressed by the surprisingly low cost of the product. "That's a great price for saffron," u/redwingfan9 responded. "Amazing price," u/oc200 agreed. So if you've got a special occasion coming up, or there's a specific dish you've been wanting to make and you could use a little saffron in your spice rack, it might be a good idea to check your local Costco to see if it can help you get your hands on the valuable spice without breaking the bank.