Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Buying Food In Bulk by FLAG

A few years after our marriage we moved to a small town. A few towns over there is a farming community. I found that they grew corn and could purchase that in bulk. I was grateful but I didn’t use a lot of corn in our program when I started out. I found another farmer up north who would sell hard red wheat in buckets. So I purchased some from them. I still had to purchase oats and cream of wheat in the store which is expensive compared to buying it in bulk.
Then I heard about Walton Feed. I called and had a catalog sent to me. After talking to Walton Feed, I realized that I would have to do a bulk order and needed to get people in my community excited about grains so that the order would have enough weight. It was a challenge the first few years. Now I get calls from neighboring cities from people who want to be added to the grain order list the next time I do a bulk order. I would ask them where they got my number and they would tell me the name of the person, whom I didn’t know. I was grateful. The more weight the sooner the order.
I can still remember to this day my excitement of the variety of what was available to order as far as grains and beans. They also had dehydrated items, grinders, books etc. It has changed over the years and more products are available.
I got the catalog in the mail and started making a list of what I wanted to try. I ordered a bag of a variety of grains and beans. I was not sure of taste. What some of them looked liked. I just decided to think of it as an adventure and exploring a new world. By purchasing these other grains and beans, it opened more possibilities and variety to my food storage program. I was excited.
When I do a grain order people ask me to do a class about the different items available, their nutritional value, the best way to purchase an item, bag, bucket or can, I suggest to them to just buy it to try the item out. They are hesitant because of the cost of some of the grains. For example, quinoa is an expensive grain but I absolutely love the taste and nutrition of that grain. If they are not wanting to buy a bag of it, which is usually cheaper, I suggest they find a couple of friends and split the cost of the bag. If they can’t find anyone, just purchase one #10 can.
The questions that drives me crazy is, “Tell me what should I buy?” First of all, I can’t make that choice for a person or a family. Each family is different and have different tastes. I don’t like saying get this grain, have them spend the money and not be happy. No food storage program is going to be the same. A person is going to have to experiment with the different tastes and textures to find out if their family is happy with that grain or bean.
I always suggest that they get some wheat to store in buckets. It has a long shelf life if kept in a dry cool place and buckets are not damaged. But here again, they need to decide what kind of wheat to store. Should I store only hard red or hard white wheat? What about soft wheat? How much durum wheat should I store to make home made noodles or do I want to buy store bought noodles for my storage? There is also triticale which is a mix of hard red wheat and rye? Do some of my family members have a low tolerance to wheat? If so, spelt may be your answer. These are some of the questions I ask them. They give me the “deer in the head light look”, and respond, HELP!
I know some people who just hate hard red wheat. They stored it before white wheat started to be sold. They have now purchased enough hard white wheat for their family and call the hard red wheat, their “share” wheat when times get tough.

Personally, I store all of them and use them for many different types of breads, crackers, noodles and other dishes. There is just no way I would just have one kind of wheat. Home made graham crackers do not taste good with hard white wheat only. I need to use hard red wheat. My home made pancake and waffle mix is made out of soft wheat. Those are the only pancakes my kids will eat. When we got to functions where pancakes are being served, a 4th of July breakfast or a church camp out, I bring my own batter because my children detest the taste of bleached white flour pancakes. To them there is no flavor and they say it taste like paste. My children who are at college have me send them my home made mix to them. You might think they are spoiled, they are not, they just know what good food tastes like.
If you are interested in ordering in bulk, contact Walton Feed. They can tell you a person in your area that places orders with them. If there is no one close, you might want to start one in your home town and get it delivered to your door. You can have small amounts shipped through yellow freight or UPS. I usually co-ordinate my bulk order along with other people in cities close to mine so that we can get the truck in our area sooner. I have been very pleased with Walton Feed on replacing broken items, the quality of product and trusting me when I say I did not receive an item that they said that they have shipped to me.
Some of you may live in a city that sells grain and beans in bulk or can purchase them by the pound to try them out. If this is your case, what a blessing for you and take advantage of it. Start today by purchasing a new grain or bean and look on line for a recipe. Make sure that when serving the food to your family, don’t apologize for it, be excited. That way they won’t feel negative about the dish. Some of the dishes I have made have not looked too appetizing but have tasted great. My kids have learned to not judge a dish by it’s looks.

Buying in bulk is cheaper, helps you to take advantage of sales, helps to get your food storage moving, and is usually easier.
Good luck in your food storage pursuits!