Where to Buy Bulk Organic Grains for Your Stockpile

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By Daisy Luther

The economic climate has a lot of people feeling uneasy right now.  Lots of us have witnessed bare spots on the grocery store shelves and this is happening for a variety of worrisome reasons.  Natural disasters of epic proportions seem to be striking multiple times per year.

More and more, preppers talk about seriously and quickly increasing their stockpiles.

Do you read about people’s giant stockpiles of food and wonder, “Where the heck do they find those giant 50-pound bags of grains?”  or “How on earth do they afford that extra food on top of the high cost of their day-to-day groceries?”

You can build a 30-day food supply quickly using food buckets, but honestly, that strategy is for absolute beginners with no stockpile whatsoever. If you’re working on building a serious, long-term food supply, it’s going to be a lot more cost effective to purchase bulk quantities of high-quality staples.

A lot of us are looking for reliable sources of organic food. The grocery store is not your best bet. Most of the time, they don’t sell in the quantities we’re seeking, and often the quality is low. I personally use Amazon to build my grain stockpile, because it gives me access to a wide range of vendors, many of whom offer free shipping. Below, I’ll list a few of the items that I personally purchase on a regular basis to add to my pantry.

Here’s why grains should be the focus of your bulk purchases.

One of the mainstays of a prepper’s pantry is grains.

I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, I try to avoid grains as much as possible!”  It may be true that in your everyday life of working 9-5 in an office, then doing some hobby gardening that grains aren’t as vital, but in a long-term situation, grains are the best way to stock up on storable food. They provide more calories that can be stored for a long time than anything else you can put back.

If you have issues with gluten, don’t despair. There are lots of non-gluten grains you can store.  A simple omission of wheat products is the only adjustment you’ll need to make to your stockpile.  You can focus more on corn, oats, and rice.

Here are just a few of the reasons that grains are such a valuable addition to your stockpile:

  • They’re high in carbohydrates. While this might not be desirable in our everyday life right now, in the aftermath of a disaster, you’ll be burning off calories almost as fast as you can consume them.
  • They’re a great way to extend a meal.  How do you feed a family of 4 on what should be one serving of meat? Easy – add it to rice or noodles. It’s an inexpensive way to make the most of pricier ingredients.
  • They store well for long periods of time.  With the exception of brown rice, which has more oils that can go rancid, most grains can last for years if properly stored. They’re the perfect “store it and forget it” food for the pantry.

I strongly recommend organic grains. Yes, they’re more expensive, but they are not doused in pesticides or potentially genetic modified. The high nutritional quality is well worth the added expense.

How many pounds of grains should you store?

Food storage calculators recommend 300 pounds of grains per person for a one year supply. For a family of four, that is a whopping 1200 pounds of food that you should store if you are trying to build a one-year pantry!

That sounds like a really daunting number until you remember that it is divided over many different items.  Most grains can be purchased in very large quantities at a greatly reduced price.  When purchasing in amounts over 20 pounds, your food storage methods become particularly important.  When deciding what storage methods you intend to use, you must ask yourself whether you intend for these goods to be your long term food storage, remaining untouched unless disaster strikes, or whether you intend to rotate them from the pantry to the kitchen, using them and replenishing your pantry as needed.  Check out

When purchasing in amounts over 20 pounds, your food storage methods become particularly important.  When deciding what storage methods you intend to use, you must ask yourself whether you intend for these goods to be your long term food storage, remaining untouched unless disaster strikes, or whether you intend to rotate them from the pantry to the kitchen, using them and replenishing your pantry as needed.  Check out this detailed information on food storage methods. Do NOT skimp here. What could be worse than buying all of that food, only to discover it is spoiled or loaded with bugs when you need it the most?

Get good buys by doing your stockpile shopping online.

As I mentioned above, I’ve found that Amazon has  pretty good selection of bulk grains, and many are available in organic varieties. I make a point of ordering at least 20 pounds of a grain each pay period. It’s a nominal amount of money that allows me to build a stockpile of food insurance. Be sure to look for grains with free shipping, though, or the cost could be prohibitive.

When compared with purchasing the same items in smaller quantities at the store, particularly if you opt for the organic, non-GMO varieties, ordering online seems to be the best deal.  Ordering online adds the convenience of delivery right to your door, if you so desire. I used to order directly from a mill when I lived in Canada, but I had to add shipping costs, as well as a hefty minimum purchase. With resellers like Amazon, you can purchase smaller quantities more frequently, which can mesh better with a tight budget.

Some items are better to purchase locally, however.   Pasta, cold cereal, and crackers, to name a few, are generally not the best deals when purchased online, because they can often be found as loss leaders at the grocery store.  For those items, watch the flyers for good sales in your area.

What grains should you store?

Following are some of the most common additions to a prepper’s pantry.

I’ve found that I can usually order these online less expensively than I could purchase them in smaller sizes locally, even with the very best of sales going on. I’ve embedded a link into the products, so simply click on the underlined words to go right to the item.  All of the items below are things that reside in my own pantry, neatly repackaged into long-term storage containers. At the time of posting this article, they all had free shipping.

Rice


Please, please don’t buy rice from China.  While it might be dirt cheap, their food standards are very low. You do NOT want your stockpile to be made up of food like that.  If you can’t afford organic or eco-farmed (this means there was no use of chemical pesticides but it isn’t certified organic), please buy American-grown rice.

25 pounds of organic brown rice

25 pounds of eco-farmed white rice

Flour


25 pounds of whole wheat flour

25 pounds of organic white flour

Wheat


35 pounds of organic wheat (already in a bucket for long-term storage)

50 pounds of organic winter wheat

Quinoa


25 pounds of organic quinoa

10 pounds of organic red quinoa

Cornmeal


25 pounds of organic corn meal

18 pounds of organic grits

Barley


25 pounds of organic pearled barley

Oats


50 pounds of organic quick-cooking oats

25 pounds of organic steel-cut oats

Bonus: Support American farms!

Nearly all of the recommended products are grown in the USA, with the exception of the quinoa, which is from Bolivia. I was unable to find out where the corn for the grits was grown, but Great River Mill responded to me immediately to let me know that the listed products were all products of American organic farms.

For Canadians:

These products won’t be available to be shipped to Canada.  When I lived in Ontario, my favorite resource was this:

Oak Manor Farms

They did not offer free shipping, but the prices were very reasonable and the quality was fantastic.

Don’t forget a grinder!

By purchasing grains that are not yet ground, you get several benefits. First, the shelf-life is often longer. Secondly, you can save a fortune from the cost of the specialty flours by grinding them yourself.  I have both an electric grinder and an off-grid, manual grinder.  Don’t skimp on quality – grinding grains is tough work. The WonderMill is a good choice because it comes with a lifetime warranty.

It doesn’t save you money if you must continuously replace flimsy grinders. On that same note, from someone who learned the hard way: don’t try to use your blender or food processor for this unless it is specifically rated to grind grains, like this attachment for your Kitchen-Aid Mixer.

Buy it here:


Electric Grain Mill

Manual Grain Mill

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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31 Responses

  1. This is a very sensible post. As I have commented on a couple other posts lately, it is essential that you consider the calorie needs of the family when preparing for long term disruption. For us in rural Alaska it is especially important because we are at the end of the supply chain and if interupted we will be the last to have it restored. Also our short cool growing season limits crops we can grow.
    I tend to keep at least six or seven varities of dry beans plus dry peas and lentils. This is addition to most of the items you listed. Different varities of beans have different flavors and texture so the add variety ot dishes. They also supply protein to suplement available meat.
    Fortunately potatoes and other storable root crops do well here.
    Don’t forget the livestock. I do feed the chickens a regionally produced layer ration but I supplement it with a wet mash including cooked potatoes, any peels and non humanly consumable scraps and dried off with locally grown ground barley.(the barley farm is only 250 miles away so we keep lots on hand) Also lots of weeds and cull vegtables in summer.
    I will have to look into Amazon for some resupply but even with Prime we are often told that many items can’t be shipped to Alaska.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Great River Mill is a great company. I buy organic barley, spelt (whole grain and white) and oat flours from them. The prices are reasonable and the quality is great.

    300 pounds per person seems pretty high to me. That’s almost a pound of grains per day. I currently eat less than a cup of oatmeal, rice, and flour per day. A cup of flour is about 4 ounces or so. Maybe if I ran out of other food the amount would increase. Just seems like a lot.

    1. We don’t eat a lot of grains now, either, Donna. I suspect in a situation where you were reliant on your food storage, your carbohydrate intake would increase of a necessity. 🙂

      1. A pound of grain a day would be around 2000 calories. If you are down to relying on your stores because you can not shop normaly you will probably be working a lot harder than normal doing what you haveto to survive. This will require more food to keep you going. Serious gardening, foraging, wood cutting and other subsistance activities are hard physical work. Also you won’t know when you can resupply. Depending on the situation you may need time to work up to growing some of the staples yourself. I hope we don’t get down to that level but better safe than sorry with food items hat will keep long term.

    2. Hi Donna,
      I am hoping that you may be able to give me the contact details of a direct supplier of oats.
      can purchase 5 tonnes to start
      must be top quality product

      best regards,Ralph Connolly,Emerald Trading co.pty.ltd.

  3. Bulk grains are available from food co-opps around country (USA) through United natural Foods Inc. (The largest supplier of natural foods in the country). They have warehouses though out the US, and “buying clubs” (local food coops) are, and can be formed pretty much anywhere. Go to their website (UNFI.com) and contact them to see if their is a “buying club” in your area. If not, got together with your friends and make one. Great sale prices, monthly specials (which you’ll soon see coincides with the “natural food store’s ” sales, since they, too, order from UNFI. ) Not only bulk grains, but beans, coffee, tea, beverages, pet food, vitamins perishables, frozen food, etc. My group orders on line through the UNFI website, and each sends a check to the groups treasurer. Someone from the group meets the truck for the monthly delivery (with our club, deliveries are to the town hall). The UNFI driver unloads the truck and checks to make sure everything was delivered. Members pick up their orders at their leisure. It’s how I’ve shopped for over a decade.

  4. If you can grow Stowell’s evergreen corn, (a heirloom variety), it is not only good for eating and canning, but dried, will make a great cornmeal. peel back and tie together in a bunch, hang to dry (mine’s in the living room.. the wood stove does a great job). Leave the corn on the cob until your ready to use it, (or take it off and jar it, if mice are a problem). I like the Vitamix grain container for corneal and making other flour from grains (like brown rice flour), but have the old fashioned grain mill as a non-electric back up.

  5. Azure Standard is another service like UNFI… https://www.azurestandard.com. They have group buying clubs around the US, very good prices and quality products. I’m looking into setting up a buying club near me currently, I’ve been trying to source wheat berries to use as chicken feed but the prices are all outrageous! pre-mixed chicken feed is very over priced so I’ve been starting to mix my own, but wheat is one thing that is hard to find in bulk in FL for any kind of affordable price.

    1. Dorothy….I contacted Azure Standard (I’m also in FL) and they said they do not deliver here (yet) but to not give up on them as they hope to be delivering here soon. I am in west central FL…Tampa Bay area. Are you anywhere close?

  6. And remember, you will have to defend it, with your life.
    The unaware, outnumber the aware.
    The aware, should band together NOW.
    Ty Daisy.

  7. Anon, I like to take the “Loaves and Fishes” approach. Won’t “Give away the store”, but willing to share. There will be enough.

  8. I just wanted to chime in to say that I got the best deals at my Co-op as noted by another commenter. As a Co-op member, I got a discount, as a working member that discount grew and when I work with the staff and order in large amounts that don’t require repackaging, I basically get it at wholesale and I paid no shipping.
    I live in a small Vermont town now. When I lived in a major city in Colorado five years ago, we had no Co-op only a WFs and I didn’t purchase food for storage.
    I store some for long term in mylar and buckets with oxygen absorbers. Some I rotate in my groceries. But I don’t have 300# per person. Guess I’ll be ordering more this week after I check inventory.
    Thanks for info.
    Pam

  9. I did a little cost comparison a while back, cost of food, buying mylar bags, buckets yada yada. I found for grains and such, getting the emergency food buckets from Walmart was the most cost effective way. Now this is only for grains. I wouldn’t buy the meals if my life depended on it. Cheers, great blog

  10. I know of two other mail order firms that can be very useful. One is Frontier Coop. They have a wide selection of bulk items that can be purchased as individual items or if you form a buying club you can get several pounds of bulk items at a reduced price. The catalog I have is for wholesale pricing and would go great for a buying club. They also have bottled spices that one could try and see if you like it or not before you buy it in the one pound bags. They also sell two other brands of their company, Simply Organic and Aura Cacia, plus they have other manufacturers products. I am also familier with Bobs Red Mill, but I haven’t seen a catalog for them in a while. They sell grains of different types and sell them as whole or milled.

  11. Wondering where to buy the food storage containers. We live in Northern Nevada but aren’t too far from the Bee Hive state. Also wonder if our basement under the house that stays cool in the summer would be a good place to start the storage.

    1. We obtain food grade buckets (used for bakery frosting) from their bakery section in Costco (small buckets– 2- 2 1/2 gallon size, and Hagens, Safeway, in 3- 3 1/2 gallon size. They are usually free but Gamma Seal lids we get from Winco. The small buckets use small Gamma seal lids, and the larger (3- 3 1/2 , 5, 6 gallon)) use the normal larger Gamma Seal lids.

  12. Some reasons why I’m a fan of the Country Living grain mill:

    It has a lifetime warranty as long as you hand-crank it, but even if you want to motorize it the factory provides both a motorization kit as well as DIY plans and parts on their website at:

    http://www.countrylivinggrainmills.com/#

    It’s made in USA.

    It’s easy to adjust the fineness or coarseness of flour you can produce.

    It’s also easy, with the optional bean auger, to grind dried beans into flour and nuts into nut butter. You can also experiment with combinations of different grains, different beans or different nuts to tweak your imagination and tickle your taste buds.

    You don’t need one mill to hand crank and a different mill for motorized operation. The Country Living mill can do both, and switching back and forth is easy.

    Two experienced observations: 1) the optional metal crank extension arm they supply is too short. Instead, I made one with a cranking radius of 14 inches from a piece of oak — and that worked so well I’ve never felt the need to motorize. 2) But if a user still wants (or needs) to motorize with a DIY design, they should shoot for a final cranking rpm as close to 60 rpm as possible (although the factory says 120 rpm is the absolute upper limit). At 60 rpm, the grain is kept properly cool — without overheating, and the longevity of the grinding plates is preserved.

    A search online will turn up several after-market retailers as well as plenty of product reviews. My mill earned a well-justified kitchen countertop location since back in the Y2K days, and I’ve never regretted that choice ever since.

  13. If you haven’t heard of Azure Standard I highly recommend them. They are a shopping co-op with quite a few routes. There is a minimum purchase amount for delivery on the truck route, or they ship through the mail. The best part is you don’t have to buy in bulk. For our family the minimum is only about half our food budget. And they sell everything! If you’re lucky enough to live close to one of their routes it is a great way to shop! Just check out their website.

  14. Bob’s Red Mill Is Oregon and Employee owned. They have a great catalog. Plus a great website. They sell everything you mentioned in your list.
    Elbert Jones

  15. Our local Whole Foods lets you special-order bulk grains (e.g. in 25-lb bags). They don’t advertise that, but if you go to customer service they will take an order for you, and you can pick it up a few days later. I know WF has a reputation for high prices, but for bulk items they sometimes beat the best internet prices I can find.

  16. Hi Daisy.
    Long time subscriber first time contributor. I might be making a mistake by commenting before I read everything but this can’t wait. I am just now starting my long term grain storage and of utmost importance to me is procuring non GMO products. I used to think that if a item was organic it would actually be non GMO. I don’t believe that anymore but you seem to still believe that they are based on your statement regarding organic.
    Help me out here

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