Super Savings Saturday: 25 pounds of wheat!

Some friends were heading to the bulk foods stores and graciously picked up 25 pounds of wheat for me while they were there. I’m so thankful to have wheat to grind again. I bought one bag of whole-wheat flour recently and we noticed that none of our baked goods tasted as good with it. Freshly-ground whole-wheat flour just can’t be beat!

The wheat was a little over $19 for 25 pounds. It’s less expensive from Azure Standard, but they were all out of wheat when the truck came last month. I’m planning to order a 50-pound bag from Azure soon. In the mean time, I’m just happy to have wheat to grind again!

My mom also gave me some Lundberg Brown Rice that she got clearanced and we bought some basics at Aldi again this week: bread, peanut butter, fruit, vegetables, and cheese. Plus, we also bought some farm-fresh eggs from my brother.

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Comments

  1. says

    I used a bunch of “Free Product” coupons (Twix, Skittles, Snickers, Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs, Tombstone Pizza) this week, but I saved the most money making several things from scratch. I made a huge batch of corn tortillas from scratch for pennies, and Crock Pot Honey Greek Yogurt for only $0.08/oz. (Even the cheapest store brand is over $0.17/oz.) My best deals were the things I DIDN’T buy this week :)

      • says

        Hi Alissa.
        The Crock Pot Greek Yogurt is here: http://www.savemoneylivejoyfully.com/2011/09/greek-yogurt-in-crock-pot.html
        I used 2% milk instead of whole the last time I made it, and it was pretty thin. I had to strain it for 24 hours just to make it thick enough to eat. I would go with whole milk, or a combination of whole and 2%.

        The Corn Tortillas are here:
        http://www.savemoneylivejoyfully.com/2011/09/homemade-corn-tortillas.html
        They are so easy and yummy!

        • BethB says

          I make yogurt and to be honest, I have not noticed a difference between the thickness when I use whole milk compared to 1%. I know all the yogurt making tips say otherwise.

          I also make my own ricotta with 2% and sour cream with half and half and they both work fine.

        • BethB says

          Oops, I didn’t mean for that to sound contrary! Making the Perfect Yogurt is kind of an obsession of mine so I’m always interested to hear what people have to say about it.

          My husband thinks I’m nuts. :)

          • says

            Beth, I’d love to hear your tips on making it thicker with the 2%! I end up wasting so much more liquid than with the whole. The 2% is $0.08 per oz, while the whole is closer to $0.05 per oz. So, if you had time to share your tips, I’d appreciate it!

        • Robin says

          We have been making yogurt every week for over 10 years. Our method is decidedly low tech. The type of milk doesn’t matter. You do need powdered milk no matter what type you use.

          Makes one quart, 4–1 cup servings

          You will need:
          A candy thermometer
          A heating pad
          One quart glass jar(s)

          Ingredients:
          One quart non-fat or 1% milk
          1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
          2 Tablespoons plain yogurt with “live cultures”

          Instructions:
          Place 2 tablespoons of finished yogurt (starter) in a small glass, cup or bowl and allow to warm to room temperature. (Note: once you have made a batch of homemade yogurt, freeze some in ice cube trays, then store the cubes in zipper bags in the freezer for later use. Freezing has no effect – just let one cube per quart of milk get to room temperature before proceeding.) Put a quart of milk in a large saucepan or double boiler. Blend in 1/2 cup of powdered milk. Heat the milk to 180 degrees and cool it to 115 degrees. Add a small amount of this warm milk to the starter, whisk, then add this mixture to the saucepan of milk and whisk again. Mix well. Pour this into a quart jar, screw on the lid, place on a heating pad set on “medium”, cover with a towel, and cover that with a large pot. Leave undisturbed for 8 hours. Try different settings with your heating pad until you can maintain the 115 degree temperature. That’s less than 15 minutes of hands-on time. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

        • BethB says

          It won’t let me comment below. Anyway, I strain it. :)

          Seriously, trying to get it thicker is my main yogurt challenge and I haven’t found anything that works. Adding powdered milk works but we don’t like the way it tastes. For awhile I was trying pectin but that was a big pain and it didn’t really work. My original point was that I haven’t noticed it being any runnier with 2% than with whole.

      • Robin says

        Here is our recipe for yogurt. It is very low tech and NEVER fails. I have always added some powdered milk to increase the milk solids (even if using whole milk). We “chain” yogurt… that is use some from the last batch to make the next batch. The first time you will need to find some commercial plain yogurt that does NOT contain gelatin. Greek yogurt is no mystery, just strain some regular yogurt in cheesecloth for a while to lose some whey. It becomes thicker as the whey drains off.

        Yogurt, Makes one quart, 4–1 cup servings

        You will need:
        A candy thermometer
        A heating pad
        One quart glass jar(s)

        Ingredients:
        One quart non-fat or 1% milk
        1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
        2 Tablespoons plain yogurt with “live cultures”

        Instructions:
        Place 2 tablespoons of finished yogurt (starter) in a small glass, cup or bowl and allow to warm to room temperature. (Note: once you have made a batch of homemade yogurt, save some in the freezer for your next use–ice cube trays work perfectly. Freezing has no effect – just let one cube per quart of milk get to room temperature before proceeding.) Put a quart of milk in a large saucepan or double boiler. Blend in 1/2 cup of powdered milk. Heat the milk to 180 degrees and cool it to 115 degrees. Add a small amount of this warm milk to the starter, whisk, then add this mixture to the saucepan of milk and whisk again. Mix well. Pour this into a quart jar, screw on the lid, place on a heating pad set on “medium”, cover with a towel, and cover that with a large pot. Leave undisturbed for 8 hours. Try different settings with your heating pad until you can maintain the 115 degree temperature. It sounds complicated, but it’s less than 15 minutes of hands-on time. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

  2. Aileen says

    I’m so glad you posted this because we can’t make a decision about bulk wheat and getting a grain mill. Locally, we can’t find anything in bulk cheaper than the price per pound of a 5 lb bag of flour at the store. We live in NC so Azure standard is not an option right now. We are not sure if it’s worth buying a huge quantity that we would have to store if the price is no better than a regular size bag. It’s so frustrating because it sounds like so many people are really saving money by buying bulk wheat to grind and we can’t find a good deal. Do you know of any companies like Azure Standard in the southeast? I also check Amazon frequently and can’t find any impressive prices. It also seems that people absolutely love baked goods made with fresh ground wheat. I’m wondering if the great quality of food would make it worth spending a little extra??? I would love to hear what everyone thinks!

  3. Casey says

    What sort of gadget do you use to grind your wheat? Is this cost effective? I prefer whole wheat over white any day, but I’ve thus far only purchased already ground wheat at my local grocery store. I either buy Gold Medal ($3.39/5 lbs) or King Arthur’s ($3.99/5 lbs) There’s a health food store nearby but their prices tend to be higher than the regular grocery store. I’ve been making so much more from scratch recently, so using more actual ingrediants (flour included) instead of opening a box/bag etc of pre-made food. I looked for bulk wheat at my grocery store, they don’t seem to sell it.

        • says

          I’ve always just used a grain mill, so that’s all I can speak to. I’ve heard that a Vita-Mix doesn’t grind it as fine as a grain mill does (which is one of the huge benefits of grinding your own wheat; whole-wheat flour at the store is much more coarse), but I’ve never tried it myself so I can’t say for sure.

        • Laura says

          Funny this topic came up tonight – we just invested in a VitaMix this week (great deal at Costco in Seattle, WA area). I just purchased bulk wheat berries and flax to grind and couldn’t decide between an actual grain/flour mill or a VitaMix. At first glance, I thought the VitaMix was crazy expensive but then when I broke it down, it made sense to go with the VitaMix. It has replaced our regular blender, juicer, coffee grinder and the grain mill we were about to purchase. And, it even makes ice cream (another gadget I had wanted to purchase someday)! Fewer appliances sitting around taking up space.
          I haven’t ground wheat yet – it came in 50 lb bags so I need to have a free afternoon to put most of it into longer term storage after I open the bags. I read many reviews about the VitaMix specifically for grinding wheat and it sounds like it does a fantastic job. You have to purchase a dry blade/container to grind the dry goods – the wet container is not designed to do that. Hopefully I will get to that this week and will let you know how it goes! Sorry for the long reply but I am just SO excited about our VitaMix! :)

          • susie says

            thanks for all the info. my bosch just quit working and I am wondering if we should get a vita mix or a new bosch. we do smoothes every day, but I also make a batch of bread almost every week and grind meat. any ideas anyone?

        • Laura says

          Just wanted to post my results with using the Vitamix for grinding my grains – I LOVE IT! I have been using it every day to grind hard red wheat and flax and I have no complaints. I have read some people are concerned with the heat it produces killing off the enzymes, vitamins, etc but I have been keeping the grain in the freezer and then grinding it and the flour is just barely warm to the touch when I’m done. I grind 1 1/2 cups of wheat for 1 minute and I’m done! To be fair, I’ve never used an actual grain mill to properly compare it, but IMHO the flour is very fine when I’m finished and I have seen an improvement in the texture of my bread so I am content with the Vitamix’s performance.

  4. Kristen Trappett says

    How do you store your unground wheat?
    I got into mine out about 2 weeks ago to find it moving, yuck!!!!! So needless to say I have been out of wheat and when I buy more I want it NOT to move. Right now we use a bucket, I am wondering if a Gamma lid will fix this problem or is there a better storage solution. Thanks

      • Shari says

        Wheat can be stored for 30+ years under the right conditions. Wheat is one the best things to store for long term storage. I have mine stored in 5 gallon buckets that I lined with a special metallic bag. After pouring the wheat in the bag/bucket, I placed oxygen absorbers inside too and sealed the bag. The lid placed on top of the bucket has a rubber gasket to keep it sealed too. For everyday use, I have a smaller bucket(icing bucket) that I put a gamma lid(purchased) on for easier opening. It is so much easier to unscrew the lid instead of prying it open. As long as you keep the air and moisture out of the bucket/container, it will keep a long time. Hope that this helps!

    • Stacy says

      Unground wheat we have always stored in those big aluminum tins that you get cookies/popcorn in. I buy them at Goodwill. We’ve had ours for several years with no issues. We also store rice and dry beans/peas this way.

    • Stephanie says

      Our local grocery store sells us the icing buckets from the bakery for .50 each and those have a nice rubber seal on them. Perhaps yours will do the same? They used to do it for free, but I am not going to complain at .50!!

      • says

        Take it from a wheat farmer’s daughter: storing (for at time, at least) in the freezer is an excellent tip. While some grains go buggy because the bugs get into them while they’re being stored, sometimes bugs are already hiding out in the berries when you get them.

    • K says

      I was just doing the math on this. I sold my wheat for $7/bushel after discounts. A bushel of wheat is 60 pounds. At the rate Crystal paid for it I would get $46.34 a bushel. I’d sell you my wheat any day for that price. I was happy for the $7. Discounts took almost another .46 cents away from me. (We get discounted for anything from too much protein, too little protein, moisture, falling numbers, foreign matter. )The middle man is certainly making the money!

    • says

      I have a friend who buys from her brother – he farms hard red wheat- and pays $9 for a 5 gal. bucket. BUT, the grain isn’t clean, meaning there’s a lot of chaf that is mixed in when the grain is harvested. Still it’s probably the best deal in town, but you would have to still clean it.

      • says

        Easy instructions for cleaning wheat:

        1. Have a bucket (or container) of wheat.
        2. Get an empty bucket or container.
        3. Go outside on a day that has at least SOME breeze.
        4. Set the empty bucket on the ground.
        5. Take the bucket that has the wheat in it and, holding it 2 feet or so above the empty bucket, slowly pour the wheat from one bucket down into the other bucket.
        6. Repeat process 2-4 times as needed.

        It’s quite satisfying to watch the chaff blow away while the wheat falls straight down. My wheat-farming family has been cleaning wheat like this for decades and it works great.

  5. Susan says

    Crystal,
    I usually use whole wheat pastry flour in my recipes. Do you have any tips on grinding it to that consistency from scratch? I’ve found my family gripes a bit about regular whole wheat flour, but never about the pastry version!

  6. says

    Crystal, I have a crazy egg question for you. I’ve noticed that you buy your eggs from your brother. Two of my children have started raising hens to sell their eggs. They have a large area to free range but we also feed them. The feed has gone up $3 for a 50lb. bag – we’re just buying at the local feed store. Does your brother know of a better place to order feed? I’ve looked online but so far have not come up with anything.

  7. susie says

    we make cracked wheat hot cereal also. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of wheat. just like oatmeal, but a cook it about 10 minutes. its good with maple syrup and rasberries

  8. Missi says

    I’ve read in another post that you usually bake with all whole wheat or half whole wheat. Do you grind your white flour as well?

  9. Stephanie says

    I love azure, and to those who asked about storage, we use a food grade 5 gallon bucket with a gamma lid. I have done this for over 6 years and never found anything moving. Azure also sells both buckets and gamma lids for cheaper than you can get anywhere online. I have bought red wheat, golden wheat and whitewheat (for pastries). We like it all, but find that all of it bakes better after being soaked.

  10. Karen says

    Our two favorite grocery stores have a good sale this week. One has a coupon book for .59 head of lettuce, .99 1/2 gal milk, .99 bologna (going to try and freeze a couple of packs) and .99 flour. There is a limit of 1 each per trip. Our other grocery store has Ragu 10 for $10 with in ad coupon. I have coupons for .75/2 making 10 of them just $6.25.

  11. BethB says

    For years I’ve been flirting with the idea of a grain mill and this past summer was almost ready to take the plunge. But since I already do so much cooking from scratch and DIY stuff and I can get WW flour for 50 cents a pound locally I decided against it. I love that you and so many other people grind your own, though! Maybe some day.

    I finally poked around Azure standard and now feel less guilty about the prices I pay locally. :) For most things I can watch sales and buy the 5lb bulk bags at our coop and get similar prices. Buying 25lbs of black beans to save 30 cents a pound seems a little crazy even for me! Ha ha. And here in Wisconsin I have plenty of access to reasonably priced maple syrup and honey so I don’t feel the need to have it shipped from the West Coast. But holy cow, those are some great prices on Sucanat and rolled oats! I’m trying to convince a friend to go in with me. Thanks for posting about Azure.

  12. Robin says

    We buy flour at WalMart… I know what you’re thinking. BUT it is made by Wheat Montana and I absolutely love this stuff. Non GMO, certified chemical free, nothing added. Just not organic officially I guess. WalMart carries the white whole wheat, whole wheat and unbleached flours. Today, I happened to notice that they also have a 25lb bag of unground wheat for just under $14.00. I don’t know about prices for unground wheat, but what I’ve read in this post, this sounds cheap. I just thought I’d mention it… they might even sell the wheat directly. The website is http://www.wheatmontana.com.

  13. says

    If you live in an wheat-farming area, check around and make friends with a farmer. You may still want to order some kinds of wheat. (i.e. Your local farmer may just grow hard red and you want hard white. Or you find the protein level (and rising ability for breads) to be better in what you order online.) But (seconding what previous posters said) getting some from a local farmer is going to be FAR cheaper.

    When my parents come to visit me, I usually check with the moms around me and find out who wants wheat from the farm. My parents usually sell it at $5 for 25lbs or so.