If you purchase a small container of saffron, usually around 1/2 ounce to an ounce, you will find around 50 threads inside if your were to separate them. You can use 3 threads per meal. So that means that the little tiny box of saffron gave you almost 17 meals.
Now at Trader Joe's they have saffron for $5.99. If you can get 17 meals from the threads, you have spent a grand total of 35 cents a meal. Daaa, even a pauper can afford this. Now I am going to post a few articles using saffron and when the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of saffron, you simply take the saffron and place it in a small cup and add in some very hot water. You do not need 1/2 teaspoon if you are on a budget. Put in 3 threads and the hot water. A good way to measure saffron is to put four times the water on the thread. When it is time to add to your rice or your meal, pour the saffron and the water in. The longer the saffron sets the better.
Your dish of course would be better if you could use more, but if you can't, then follow this simple rule.
Good Quality Vs Bad Quality of Saffron
As in all things there are good bottles of saffron and there are bad. In my opinion there are three grades of saffron:
Now you may buy Iranian saffron at $80 dollars a bottle and it may be no better than a $20 dollar bottle of Spanish saffron. Just because it is from Iran, does not mean it is the best. Sad to say there are many crooks in this world. Not everyone is honest, so that label that says Iranian #1 quality saffron may not be legitimate. There are many grades of saffron on down to grade #10. There is some cheap #10 saffron here in Jordan that I would not feed to my dog, if I had one of course.
Others have questioned Trader Joe's price for Spanish saffron and only a specialist could tell you if it is top grade or not. I have searched the internet and cannot find proof it is good quality. Saffron for cancer and saffron for cooking rice is two different things. There is argan oil for cooking and argan oil for better health. What is the difference? Argan oil for health and beauty is cold pressed and the cooking one is pressed from slightly roasted kernels.
Always buy from a reputable company and never buy from some small blog or Etsy company. I hate those one page ads where you see a product , two paragraphs of information and then tell you to add this product to your cart? Well who are you going to call when there is a problem?
Saffron should be in everyone's diet. It is an "eye" saver.