How To Afford Whole Wheat Berries:
So, hopefully yesterday, I convinced a few of you that whole wheat berries are a ton better for you than white flour. However, we still want to save money while we are trying to eat healthy, right? So, how do I manage to get inexpensive wheat berries?
I have bought my wheat berries from many different places just depending on sales. I usually buy organic hard red wheat berries. I think that these are excellent to bake with, they also typically are about 15% protein which is pretty good. Typically I pay $12.50-$20 for 50 pounds. White flour is usually $.50 a pound. So, 50 pounds is about $25 if you buy your flour in five pound bags from the grocery store. So, by buying wheat berries, I am actually cutting my flour bill by as much as half AND I am being healthier. I know that many areas on the country are not able to get their wheat berries for this price, but the following are some ideas of where to start looking.
Where Can You Find Wheat Berries:
Now, this is the tricky question. I am very blessed to have many local resources around me. However, anyone can buy wheat berries, but the prices may vary some for you. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Find a local mill. We have a local mill that we are able to buy from if we have a large enough order. Several families go in together and we typically will buy 1,000 pounds of wheat berries total and split them among the families.
- Save up your Swagbucks and buy these from Amazon. I do this for many of my other grains, such as millet, rye, barley and quinoa.
- Find a local farmer who is willing to sell directly to you.
- Look for local co-ops.
- Go in with other families so that you can all share the shipping & hopefully get a lower price per pound.
- If you have Amish in your area, go to their stores and see if you can purchase some in bulk. We do have Amish in NC, and they have stores in Elkin and other towns.
- If you are friends with any Mormons, you can see if you can get in on their orders. They store food for years, and are able to get wheat berries very affordably.
- Look around online. Here are some of the current prices/places to buy I found: (Please note, I have not ordered from all of these places, so make sure to use your own judgement.)
- Dutch Valley Foods (I have ordered from here several times.)
How To Store Your Wheat Berries:
Many places will sell wheat berries in food buckets that are ready to store. While this may be very convenient, it can also be expensive. I typically get my wheat berries in tough paper bags. I then transfer the wheat berries into a food grade plastic container. The orange paint buckets from Home Depot are actually food grade if you look at the number on the bottom, and they are only $2 a bucket. Also, I have bought mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. These bags allow the wheat berries to stay fresh longer as well. When you get your wheat berries, my mother always taught us to stick the bags in a freezer for a week, pull out the bags for a couple of weeks and then stick in back in the freezer for a week. This should kill any bugs or eggs that might be in your wheat berries. I do not always do this step (sorry mom if you are reading this!), and I have never seen any bugs. I am sure that my mom is right, and I might regret this one day . . . but hopefully not. (-:
How Many Wheat Berries Do I Need?
Really the amount depends on your family. Our family of six (five that are eating) will go through about 400 pounds a year. However, I make everything from scratch including bread, tortillas, cookies, cakes etc., so, the amount can vary per family.
Where To Find A Bread Machine:
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, for years I just bought whatever bread machine was available at my local Salvation Army, Good Will and garage sales. Those bread machines tided me over until I could afford a more expensive bread machine via Swagbucks. I would not bother buying a new bread machine that only has one paddle. These can be pricey, and whole wheat dough will wear out most bread machines. If you do decide to buy a new machine, I would save up for a heavy duty bread machine with two paddles such as a Zojurishi bread machine.
So for the rest of the week, I will be sharing a few recipes that my family loves including one for those of you that don’t have a way to grind dry wheat berries using your food processor. I might even share a video of me making the bread so that you can see just how fast it is. (-: I promise, you can make delicious, healthy, homemade bread in less than five minutes.