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Reader Tip: Purchasing Grains in Bulk

Cherie emailed in the following tip:

I started getting into bread making for our family of nine, so we purchased a Bosch mixer and a Nutrimill to grind our wheat. I was purchasing from a local whole food store, but I found a company that ships anywhere in the U.S. for less than $5. The site is honeyvillegrain.com.

I buy my oatmeal and grain from them by the 50 lb. packages as they sell many items in bulk. Some church friends of ours have even gotten together to buy quantities in bulk, then divide it up among their families so they can get the products cheaper. -Cherie

The prices of HoneyVille Grain looked mostly higher than what I typically pay, but it might be a good deal for some of you who don’t have access to a bulk food store.

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35 Comments

  • Stacy says:

    We have local groups that get together and order from Wheat Montana. (and we are all the way in Texas) The grain is very clean and either conventionally grown or organic. But you must meet a minimum order — that totals in the thousands for them to make the drop. $5K I think.

  • Jamie O'Hare says:

    The site is really expensive! The shipping may be cheaper, but the product is overpriced. I get 25lb bags of hard white or red wheat berries for $13 a bag a Walmart in Triadelphia, WV. I just moved here and have no idea why they carry it, but I buy a bag every pay period and store it in a pest-proof bin. I used to buy it for $8 a 25lb bag from Mormon friends who got it through Provident Living, and the most I ever paid for it was $15 for 25lbs from the Amish bulk food store in Shipshewana, Indiana. I love my Wondermill for milling grain, and I use my Kitchenaid or my $5 bread machine to make fresh bread daily for my family of soon-to-be 6.

  • Camille says:

    I’ve recently started seeing large bags of wheat berries at Wal-Mart. We also have a large LDS population (they purchase items like this for food storage), though, so it may be just a local thing.

  • Caroline says:

    I’m LDS and always buy from an LDS cannery, anyone can go there and buy food without being a member. Right now a 25 lb bag of bulk white wheat is $7.65. You can look at the link below to (hopefully) find a location near you. They are all over the US. Just call ahead about the best time to come. I just called today and they happened to be out of white wheat until their next truck comes. This doesn’t happen often, but I’m glad I called first. Also, you need to pay in cash or check; they do not accept credit cards. Anyway, good luck! Everyone who works there is really nice and will help you out.
    Here’s the link for the location: http://providentliving.org/location/map/0,12566,2026-1-4,00.html

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m in the Chicago area and order my wheat from a farmer who does twice yearly bulk orders: http://staffoflifefarms.com/

    His prices are less than the site listed and he carries lots of organic options.

  • Kim says:

    We order from http://www.breadbeckers.com . They also have co-op broken down per region.

    • Beth says:

      they are an hour from us and we do not buy from BB! We save over 1/2 by ordering through a co op through Walton Feed and even Wheat Montana. It is even cheaper to buy your grains @ Whole foods (50 lb bag) than go through Bread Beckers! We know them…but they are way over priced. BTW they get their grains and supplies from the SAME farmers as WF just in a bigger bulk!

  • Kate says:

    Many stores will also give a discount for buying an entire unit of bulk. For instance, I get 10% off when I buy a full 25lb bag of oats from my local health food store. You can also ask them what they could order other than just what they stock – they can’t carry everything, and their supplier catalogs carry a lot more than what they stock – including cheaper non-organic grains.

  • dana says:

    I just received our order last week from Azurestandard.com organic hard red wheat berries and organic soft white berries are 50 lbs for 19.95 + 8.5% transportation fee. Comes out to 0.42 cents per pound.

    Anyone buys organic type cheaper anywhere?

    The only down fall is drop off locations are only in specific areas. They do deliver to certain TX and Mo and KS u can call them for specifics. I highly recommended them a trust worthy company.

  • Jennifer Ott says:

    I also love Azure! Great quality. The only down-side is going to pick up the order, but they are so nice and help load everything! My parents live on the East coast, and we place an order for them before they visit each time!

  • A couple of the smaller ‘mom and pop’ health food stores in my area will sell me full bags of anything they can get for wholesale plus 15%. It’s a great way to save on wheat, quinoa, lentils, etc. Proper storage is important, but not difficult. There is a lot of information available online for anyone who wants to store bulk at home.

    The LDS cannery is also a wonderful resource, as a co-op that is local to me.

    • Mrs W says:

      What sites are good resources, you’d recommend to learn about proper storage for short term & long term?

      Gamma Seal lids are great to use on buckets for short term, wanting to get into the buckets often. I learned from the company, this tip: when washing the gamma seal lids do NOT wash the seal/rubbery ring (white one/gasket, I think it is called) as it could remove? (forgot wording) and it might no longer be airtight. So, just remove that gasket, wash & replace gasket after lid is dry. If that gasket every gets ruined, call for a free replacement.

      • Mrs W. Gamma seals with oxygen absorbers are good for long term storage as well, or you can purchase grain in sealed buckets, then replace the original lid with a gamma seal lid once you open it. There all sorts of strategies, everything from oxygen absorbers to dry ice, bay leaves to mylar bags. There are others as well – on the web I’ve found articles on some of the sites that sell grain. I don’t really have a list I refer to, I mostly just do a search when I need a certain type of information.

  • Sophie says:

    If you are lucky enough to have a Costco that sells wheat it is a pretty good option. Ours is out right now, but I recently bought a 45 lb bucket of hard white wheat berries (Lehi Roller Mills brand) for around $13. Pretty hard to beat that price where I live (Idaho). I think it came out to .29 a pound, and the white flour we use for bread (that we also buy at Costco, Lehi Roller Mills) is .23 a pound, so not too bad IMO!

  • Abigail says:

    My family’s business, http://www.paulsgrains.com, ships grain orders all over the place. They do what they can to keep the prices competitive, and many of the grains are raised right there on the Iowa farm (organic since 1964).

  • Sarah says:

    Does anybody know of somewhere in the NE? Specifically PA. There’s not a cannery nearby, Azure Standard doesn’t deliver out here, and even though there are Amish stores around, I haven’t found anything that is as competitive as the prices some places are quoting.

  • Amber says:

    If you are anywhere near a Honeyville Farms retail location, the prices are MUCH cheaper in store. I travel 4 hours to get to one, and it is worth the trip (a couple of times a year). I buy 50-lb bags of wheat for under $15 in store, and sometimes they come on sale too. Oats are around $20 for a 50-lb bag. Lots of good stuff!

    • Fay says:

      Okay, so what do you do with all that wheat? How do you process it? Can you make 100% whole wheat flour from it or is it always just white flour?

      • Amber says:

        I have around 600 lbs of wheat stored, because I live rurally and don’t know when I’ll get back to a source. Wheat berries can last for 30 years when stored properly- temperature under 75 degrees, and a container that is airtight. I store all my wheat in 6-gallon food-safe buckets with gamma lids. (I’ve bought from Honeyville, Baytec containers, and Wal-Mart). I use a couple of oxygen absorbers when I fill the buckets. I grind my wheat into flour using a Nutrimill grain mill. It’s very easy, fairly quick-I really like it. It makes 100% whole wheat flour because you are grinding the entire wheat berry, not removing the nutritious parts like they do for white flour. Whole wheat flour can go rancid, so it is best to store it in the refrigerator or freezer after grinding. There are several different kids of wheat- hard white is my favorite. I use it for all my cooking and baking. Hard red wheat produces a heavier, denser product of darker color- it is generally the whole-wheat flour you buy in stores. Soft white wheat is considered pastry flour, it is not suitable for yeast breads. I found that it made things crumbly, so I use all hard white wheat. Hope this helps!

        • Fay says:

          Thank you so much Amber. This really helps a lot. I am lucky because there is a Honeyville Farm store 2 miles away from my house but never knew what they sold or what I would do with all that wheat. haha…

  • Spendwisemom says:

    Emergency Essentials and Walton Feed are other options. Walton’s looks less expensive up front, but you have to pay shipping. Emergency Essentials has a 6,9,or 12 dollar shipping for your order depending on how much you buy. Their prices look better than the ones in the article above. Buckets at Honeywell were twice the price of Emergency Essentials.

    • Beth says:

      our shipping with Walton is 12-14% of our order (by weight not total) and works out well. We go in with about 75 other families once a year to do WF and raw honey.

  • We have been ordering whole grains from Country Life Natural Foods for the past 10 years. They will ship via UPS all over the country and they also have a fairly large truck delivery area. They will deliver for fee to your home for a minimum order of $400 or $500. We have a great co-op out of my home and we place orders with them every 4 weeks. I rarely need to go to the grocery store for anything except produce as they have a great selection of other whole foods items too. Check them out at http://www.clnf.org.

    Their Wheat Montana wheat brand is certified chemical free and is wonderful!

  • We use United Foods. They are a bulk food and natural/organic warehouse company you have to “join” and have a minimum amount for delivery (maybe $500/month); our group has grown large enough that we now receive a 10% discount (maybe $1000/month). An example of prices for the bulk items: organic hard winter wheat berries 50# bag for $35.51 and organic quick oats, 25# bag for $20.18.

  • Mrs S says:

    Honeyville can be more expensive than a local store that sells such things, but if you are like me and live 40 miles from the store, it is much cheaper to have a large shipment of baking supplies (and they sell alternative flours for those of us with gluten issues!) shipped to my door for $5, rather than spending $40 for gas on a trip to the store. It all about your sittuation and what you have access to in your area. Honeyville also sends out 10% off codes for everything they sell if you are on their email list.

  • Jana says:

    I appreciate the great ideas and links to other bulk sites! About six years ago, I got so fed up with our local options for high quality grains and so tired of shopping at seven different stores that I helped start a bulk buying initiative in my community. Although I could only participate as coordinator for the first year (it was too demanding to care for a toddler, work part-time AND continue volunteering more than 30 hours a week), it has blossomed into a great community effort that now includes a community garden, a CSA and local educational talks on various topics. Even if you only have a couple families interested, talk to local bakeries about where they buy their goods or contact one of the larger wholesalers that sell to co-ops and make a bulk purchase that way. We are close to Amish country and can get some great deals directly from the farmers as well. Check out coopdirectory.org for info on local co-ops as well as support for starting your own! Good luck!

  • sarah says:

    I get buckets free from anyplace that makes cakes. they get the icing in different sized buckets. the gamma lids should work with these buckets, too.

  • Patti says:

    Honeyville has great merchandise. Sometimes their prices are higher but the shipping is so low it makes up for it a lot of times. I have dealt with them for years and have never had a problem.
    They do offer discounts sometimes as well as sale items.
    Sign up for their mailing list and you get notified of all the specials.

    No, I am not affiliated with them. I am just a satisfied customer.

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