Some time ago, we purchased our own flour mill. I had done some research on grain mills, and decided that the WonderMill was the most economical for our budget, and purposes.
I've really enjoyed how wonderful it is to make flour from wheat berries that we have purchased in large bulk from Wheat Montana. Wheat Montana is located not too far from where we live, and my husband will stop there as he passes by on business trips, and pick up the bulk grains that we need. This has been a great savings for our family.
One 50-pound bag of red or white wheat berries costs $23.76 at the store in Montana. When you consider that you get about 1-1/2 cups of flour for every cup of wheat berries this means that you are getting 75 pounds of flour for the price of 50 pounds. That is a pretty good deal!
Here is how the pricing works if you buy the wheat berries on the floor from the Wheat Montana Store:
1 50-pound bag Praire Gold hard white wheat berries = $23.76
Multiplying 50 x 1.5 = 75 lbs flour
75 lbs flour divided by the cost ($23.76) = 0.3168 cents per pound of flour!
If you buy a typical bag of whole wheat flour in the store, it is generally going to cost you anywhere from $3.69 buying Gold Medal whole wheat flour to a higher end flour - King Arthur (my favorite before beginning to buy our own wheat berries) at $5.95 lb.
So, now that we are buying our flour in wheat berries like this costs it costs us $1.58 for 5 lbs, and if buying Gold Medal flour it would be $3.69 or $5.95 for King Arthur.
Or let's look at it another way:
75 pounds store bought whole wheat flour x 0.96/lb (cost averaged) = $72.30
75 pounds fresh ground wheat flour x 0.3168/lb = $23.76
This is a savings of $48.54 - not too shabby!
Besides .... even beyond the huge cost savings - there is something so exciting about grinding your own wheat, and using that wheat flour to make homemade goodies!
The next step in the process is taking the wheat berries and storing them in manageable containers so that they are easily accessible, yet will not be open to the air.
I put them in ziplock baggies like this one.
The next step is to put the ziplock baggies into larger plastic containers with lids, which can then be stacked in a storage area. This is a process that I use whenever I can purchase large amounts of food items in bulk, such as salt, sugar, beans etc. We also use mylar bags that we also use if we buy large enough amounts that we know we won't use in the next 2-3 months.
So, what I have done with the wheat berries is separated out about 25 pounds of wheat berries that I know we will use in the next 2-3 months and put them in ziplock baggies, and into the plastic storage containers. The remainder of the wheat berries are put into mylar bags for longer storage, and sealed. and also placed into the plastic storage containers.
If you are looking to purchase mylar bags, they can be found in many different places, one source is listed here: http://www.mylarbagsdirect.com/busimyba.html I honestly can't remember which website we used to purchase our mylar bags, as we did it several years ago. However, you could do a search on mylar bags and oxygen absorbers and shop around for the cheapest price.
Another secret that we've learned in stocking up on bulk foods is to go to the local grocery store bakeries, and ask them if they will sell you their used 5 or 7 gallon buckets. These buckets are food grade (most have had eggs or icing in them), come with lids, and most grocery stores in our area sell them for 1 or 2 dollars, with the lids! This is a great way to be able to buy food in bulk when it is on sale, and then store it safely away from light and oxygen.
Here is a peek at my Wondermill from the top. This is where you add the wheat berries that it will then grind into flour.
The Wondermill has different settings on how fine you want your flour, whether you want it pastry-grade, for breads, or coarse. This is very handy depending on what kind of flour you need, you can simply mill it for the exact purpose you are using it for, and in the exact amounts. This means that your bread, pastries, cookies, pies, etc., will be about as fresh as they can be, and the difference in taste is really remarkable!
The setting I used for my flour today was between the bread and pastry setting. I wanted the flour pretty fine, because I was making sourdough bread, which tends to be a heavier type of bread. You see though, just how wonderful the flour looks when the Wondermill has finished grinding the berries into flour.
And a peek of the final product of my efforts this past weekend - homemade sourdough bread made with the freshest and finest of ingredients - fresh home ground white wheat berries :)
I hope you enjoyed this post of how easy it is to mill your own flour, how much money you can save, and what an amazing difference milling your own flour makes for your family. :)
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