I am working right now in lowering my food budget. Not always an easy thing when you have high standards for your food quality and food prices rising. So I try to keep an eye out for good deals on organic grains. One of the biggest ways I save on grain is by buying in bulk. I am able to buy wheat berries in 25-50 pound bags for half the price it costs in the bulk section at my health food store. That adds up to big savings!
But recently, I have been able to buy some organic grains in bulk for much cheaper than hard wheat berries, which saved me a considerable amount of money. I thought I would share what I have found and hopefully pass long some of the savings to you as well!
(Note: I do grind my own grains, but that doesn’t mean those without a grinder can’t benefit from these prices as well. Some of the grains can be used whole in many dishes. But you can also use Sue Gregg’s method of grinding your grains in a blender for muffins, pancakes, etc).
Soft Wheat Berries
I order many of my grains through Azurestandared.com. I am close enough to one of their drop points that I don’t have to pay shipping, but they now do offer UPS shipping. If you can’t find something local, you can try to figure out how much shipping would cost, because with these prices, it still may save you a pretty penny.
As I was getting my order together this last time, I noticed that their organic soft wheat berries were significantly cheaper than their organic hard wheat berries. The hard wheat berries were a little over thirty eight dollars for 50 pounds, while the soft wheat berries only cost a little over 24 dollars! That’s a significantly savings for me! I did buy 25 pounds of organic hard wheat from a local mill, but I bought 50 pounds of the soft wheat from Azure. The hard wheat will be used to make homemade bread (you need the protein and higher gluten content for bread making), while the soft wheat will make much better, softer, sourdough pancakes, quick breads, Irish Soda Bread, and muffins. I love that I get to save money using a better flour for these projects!
I also noticed that their organic hulled barley is a great deal right now! It’s only $11.40 for 25 pounds. My husband has always told me that he liked barley, so he has been greatly enjoying having it recently. I have been experimenting with grinding some to add to my whole wheat bread ( it adds a nice sweetness), putting it in soups ( a favorite), and making a barley and white bean salad (very good!). I have also found that it tastes wonderful just cooked up whole and served with some maple syrup for a snack or breakfast. By the way, don’t get the pearled variety of barley, because it has had some of the nutritional outer layer taken off of the grain.
Buckwheat, while not as popular in my family as the barley, is also a nice, highly nutritious grain for a good price from Azure. It is also gluten free for those who need gluten free options. It’s only $3.35 for 5 pounds, $16 for 25 pounds, and $25.60 for 50 pounds of organic buckwheat. Although I haven’t experimented as much with Buckwheat, we have found several recipes that we really enjoy. We have greatly enjoyed simple Russian Kasha made from Buckwheat and We also like buckwheat crepes.
(Buckwheat, by the way, is not related to wheat)
Another great grain to look out for is millet. It is often at a great price (although not super cheap right now fromAzure). It is fairly easy to find non-organic sources for millet for around 60 cents a pound, or less. It can be used for part of the flour in quick breads and muffins, etc and adds a nice light texture. We have also enjoyed it in whole form in many dishes.
Most of all, I would just keep a watch on prices. You may be surprised at some great deals you find. Don’t get stuck in thinking prices stay the same, because they do change. Try to buy grains that are cheaper at the time you are buying. It’s also fun because you get to experiment with different grains. I wouldn’t have bought the barley, except that it was so inexpensive. But we enjoy it so much, I think it’s going to become a mainstay!
This Post is part of Frugal Friday!