TIP: I buy this stuff in bulk too. Costco has a giant container for around 5 bucks. Trader Joes has a really creamy crushed garlic. You can always crush it yourself, but that takes extra time and effort. I use crushed garlic in nearly everything (except of course - desserts).
TIP: I get these at Costco in a GIANT jar and the price for one jar is about what you'd pay for a tiny jar at Zupans. These little olives are great in hummus, sauces and as pizza toppings.
TIP: Never buy olive oil that comes in a plastic container; not only does it ruin the flavor but it can potentially be bad for you. I get the cold-press extra virgin olive oil from Trader Joes; around 10 bucks for a tall bottle.
TIP: No need to buy an expensive salt grinder, you can buy sea salt in a container that has a twist top that grinds the salt. I've gotten them at both Costco and Trader Joes.
TIP: I get these at Costco in a GIANT jar for approximately 7 bucks. They don't carry them year round, so stock up when they have them. Sun dried tomatoes are packed with flavor and can add zip to hummus, spreads, dips, sauces, etc.
TIP: I like the one from Trader Joes that contains sesame seeds. Asian markets are another great place for tasty, inexpensive teriyaki sauce. Just a little can add a lot of flavor to mock meat loaf, marinades and veggies.