Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

How to Mill Your Own Wheat & Save Money Doing It!

Are you ready for a new hobby?  It’s time to learn to mill your own flour and save money and get healthier!  The awesome part is that once get past the start up costs of a mill, you are saving money too.  I love with health and frugal go together!  (Am I the only person who is now running through The Little Red Hen in my head).

Basic Flour Facts:

  1. Built to last. A grain of wheat has three main parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The tough outer coating (bran) protects from moisture, preserving the nutrients inside…for years.

  2. Die, vitamins! Die! After a grain is milled into flour, it becomes perishable. Air and light trigger the oxidation of oils and depletion of vitamins in just 24-48 hours.

  3. Goodbye, bran. To prevent flour from going completely rancid, manufacturers separate the wheat bran and wheat germ (which contain the oils) from the rest of the flour (the endosperm). This makes “white” flour with a longer shelf life than whole wheat flour. It also strips about 30 nutrients from the flour.

  4. Hello, enrichers. Though manufacturers can slow down rancidity, there is nothing they can do about nutrient depletion. Enter: food fortification. To restore some semblance of a nutritional food product, manufacturers have to add nutrients (thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and iron) back into the flour, creating the “enriched” flour we buy in the store.

  5. What’s in the flour? Manufacturers must disclose everything that’s added to their flour. They do not, however, have to disclose chemicals or agents used during the refinement process. In the US, these chemicals can include peroxides, chlorine, potassium bromate, and azodicarbonamide. These agents are all banned in the European Union and several other countries.

The flour options we have in the stores are not simply ground up wheat, but they’re not all the same either. Every brand has proprietary differences in how they manufacture their flour, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here.

However, there are some facts that are true anytime anyone makes flour:

-“Stone ground” flour is made using stone grinders, the more traditional method. Stone  grinders run at a lower temperature than today’s modern roller mills.

-Steel rollers were introduced in the late 1800’s and made “white” flour possible.

-The freshness and nutrient quality of flour is affected by: temperature, oxygen content in the air, and enzymatic activity.

-Higher temps = increased oxidation of oils = faster rancidity

-Vitamins deplete at different rates

-Freshly made flour will have the most nutrients and will not be rancid

Nutrient Comparison between whole wheat berries, whole grain flour, and enriched white flour

Nutrient

Hard Red Wheat Berry (1 cup)

Whole Grain Flour (1 cup)

Enriched, White Flour (1 cup)

Protein

24.21 g

15.85 g

12.91 g

Fiber

23.4 g

12.8 g

3.4 g

Calcium

56 g

41 g

19 g

Iron*

6.12 g

4.32 g

5.8 g

Magnesium

242 mg

164 mg

28 mg

Niacin*

10.5 mg

5.95 mg

7.38 mg

Vitamin A

17  IU

11 IU

0 IU

*added back to “enriched” flours

What advantages does freshly milled flour offer?

Since freshly milled flour hasn’t had time for the oils to begin turning, there will always be more nutrients in fresh flour than old flour. The lack of rancidity also make for a better-tasting flour. If you’ve been turned off by the taste of whole wheat bread in the past, consider trying bread made with fresh whole wheat. It will taste completely different!

How can I get freshly milled flour?

  1. Make it yourself. Invest in a grain mill to make your own flour at home. A higher initial investment, but it allows you to get the very best end price for flour. (more details below)

  2. Buy locally. Find a small business or local mill that offers freshly milled flour.

How do I get started?

Here comes the fun part! If you’re ready to start home milling, here are the basics you need to get started:

A mill. You can buy electric mills ($240) or manual mills ($220) or buy the grain mill attachment for your stand mixer ($130). If you plan on milling regularly, I’d strongly recommend an electric grain mill. The two big players are Wondermill and NutriMill. They’re fast and produce the best quality flour. They also last a lifetime, so buying used is a fantastic cost-saving option. (Note: The grain mill attachments for mixers don’t get great reviews. They’re well suited for small batches of flour but may compromise your mixer’s motor in the long run.)

Grain. You can buy wheat berries by the pound at places like Whole Foods, but for the best price, you will want to buy in bulk and try to buy locally to save on shipping costs. The store I shop with locally offers fantastic prices on grain. You can buy 50 pounds of organic wheat berries for $42. If you’re not sure you’re ready for 50 pounds of wheat, start with a 7-lb bucket for $17. There are many whole grain suppliers nationwide, and you may already have a good resource close to home! [For even better prices, find or start a local co-op that buys in bulk directly from grain suppliers.]

Storage. You want to protect your grain from moisture and pests. Store your grain in a solid, airtight container for the best results. I use a hard plastic 6-gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid for easier opening. These buckets live in my basement and have worked great for years. For smaller quantities of grain or short-term flour storage, I use extra-large glass canning jars.

The Logistics

Here are a few of the most common questions I get asked about home milling:

 Q: How long does it take?

A: It takes about 1 minute to mill 5 cups of wheat with an electric mill. You simply turn on the mill, add all your grain to the hopper, and wait until it’s done.

Q: Is it messy?

A: No. All the flour goes directly into the flour canister with no flour flying anywhere. In fact, my mill is currently residing in my husband’s home office (don’t ask), and he’d quickly kick it out if there was a mess issue. [I use the Wondermill electric mill.]

Q: Is it noisy?

A: Yes. This thing is a powerful workhorse and sounds like a small jet engine. But it only takes 1 minute, so the noise is gone before you start to hate it.

Q: What else can I mill besides wheat?

A: You can mill any non-oily grain or legume. You can make your own rice flour, bean flour, corn flour, buckwheat flour, spelt flour, sorghum flour, oat flour (from oat groats, not oat flakes), quinoa flour, millet flour, Ezekiel blend flour…tons of options! As with wheat, freshly milled flour from any grain will taste better and have more nutrients. You cannot mill nuts or oily seeds like flax. The oils would mess up the electric mill. However, some manual mills are more accommodating.

Q: How hot does it get? Won’t that oxidize the oils?

A: (This was my question as I started researching this topic.) My Wondermill gets to about 110-120ºF. From what I read, the oils oxidize around 140ºF. Stone mills run around 120ºF, so I feel confident that home milling is on par with stone ground mills.

Q: How long will my fresh flour last?

A: Generally, vitamins will begin depleting about 24-48 hours after milling. For optimal nutrition, only mill what you’re going to use in the next day. Freezing in an airtight container will slow down oxidation if you need to store it.

Q: Isn’t it expensive?

A: The only “expensive” part is getting started. After that, you’re saving money. Home milled organic wheat flour is about $0.84/lb. Store bought organic flour is about $1.70-2.50/lb…and that’s just for wheat. Specialty flours like buckwheat and spelt are expensive in the stores but cheap to make at home. You can even mill popcorn kernels to make corn flour for cornbread!

Q: Can I use it like regular flour?

A: Yes. Cup-for-cup you have to use a little more freshly milled flour than store-bought, because the store-bought flour has had time to settle and is more densely packaged than fresh flour. That said, there are different varieties of wheat. Some are better suited for cakes and cookies (soft white wheat), and some are better for breads and doughs (hard red or white wheat).

Q: How do I do it?

A: Just jump in and start trying! Buy some grain and a mill and get started. Follow the directions on your mill, or check out this product demo for some detailed help.

Not ready to start milling?

Here’s what you can do to find the best quality flour in your local store.

– Milling Technique: look for stone ground flours. Steel rolled machines run hotter and cause faster oxidation, faster vitamin depletion.

– Type of Flour: look for 100% whole wheat flour.

– Expiration Date: Products with short shelf lives are more natural than products with long shelf lives. A whole wheat flour with a long shelf life means that the manufacturer has refined the wheat germ in some way to prevent or slow down the natural oxidation of oils. Find a brand with short shelf life (such as Bob’s Red Mill) and buy in a store with high product turnover, so you’re purchasing the freshest product you can get.

– Store It Properly: store your whole wheat flour in an airtight container in your freezer and replace after one month.

So, you’ve found (or made) a nutritious organic wheat flour. Now what? Let’s make some bread! Next week, we’re going to talk about the bread industry. What are the ingredients in real bread, and what are we being sold in the stores?

The is part of an Organic Living Journey Guest Post Series now written by Mariana who has a mother’s heart and scientist’s brain.

    • Realbecca

      I love my grain mill!!! After burning up my Kitchenaid Professional Mixer with their grain mill attachment (which they will not reimburse you for, grrrr), I purchased a Nutrimill and have been making my own flour ever since. It tastes 100x’s better than the ‘whole wheat’ flour in stores, and don’t get me started on white flour. My husband actually eats my homemade whole wheat bread now–no longer a dense loaf :-)

    • Tracie Easterling

      I have just started on this new venture and I am loving it!!! I purchased a Nutrimill off ebay for a very good price. A great helpful website is breadbeckers.com

    • Julie

      Wow – I always thought that making your own would be more expensive or really hard to do. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ivan

      How much can you get non organic wheat for? I would love use fresh ground wheat, but I can’t countenance (or afford) paying significantly more than I currently do for whole wheat flour (about $0.44/lb).

    • lmoore77

      I have had a wondermill for about 2 years. It is great and so quick and easy. I grind wheat for making bread and then also for muffins, pancakes, scones, sweet breads…so many options. A great place you can buy the mills and other machines as well as grains of all sorts is Bread Beckers. They are located in Woodstock, GA and the website is breadbeckers.com Another place that I know has grains in Alabama is Oakview Farms located in Wetumpka. There website is oakviewfarms.com. Hope that helps some.

    • Janice

      I have ground oat flakes several times before, but it’s very difficult and aggravating. I tried both helping push the flakes into the hole for the grinder (has a guard so I didn’t hurt myself), and than putting a heavier grain (I. e. rice) on top of it to help push it through. My grinder has developed some age-related issues, so this doesn’t work at all anymore, but it worked fairly well years ago.