Anyone who’s tackled a recipe that calls for saffron knows how expensive the spice can be. If you want to stretch your saffron threads to last a little longer, try using them to infuse water.
Food52 shares a trick that seems a little crazy, but not half as crazy as the pricetag on a new container of saffron. They suggest toasting your saffron threads in a frying pan, then crushing them into tiny pieces (painful to think about, I know). Add these thread fragments to a container of water at a ratio of one cup per half teaspoon of spice. After it infuses for a few hours, you can substitute a pinch of saffron with two tablespoons of the saffron water in most recipes. If you use all of the water, you should come out ahead.
They warn that this concoction will only last for about a week in the fridge, so if you aren’t planning to use it all, you can freeze it into ice cubes for safe keeping. This trick is definitely a little weird and foodies might scoff, but there’s no doubt it can save you money if you use saffron often enough.