Cutting the Cost: Grinding Vs. Buying


If you asked me the best way to save money on gluten-free food preparation, I’d tell you to grind your own grain.

Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in the grocery store, compare the price of a pound of rice and a pound of rice flour. It’s astonishing.

When I first began baking gluten-free, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of making my own flour mix, so I experimented with a few pre-packaged mixes. It didn’t take long for that expense to get old. We still love some of those mixes, especially Pamela’s, but it wasn’t long before I learned that making one’s own gluten-free flour mix just isn’t that big of a deal.

From there, it was a very small step to grinding my own grain. Especially since my generous Mother-in-law gave us her extra K-TEC Kitchen Mill.

I’m not sure how old it was when we got it, but we’ve had it for 2 1/2 years, and it’s still going strong.

So just how much can you save by grinding your own grain?

  •  We use about five pounds of flour per week. Four of those pounds are rice flour (except for the occasional splurge on something like millet, but that’s not very often, so I’m going with the cost of rice for now).
  • The last time I checked the price of rice at local stores, the cheapest thing I found was $.69/lb. Pre-packaged rice flour runs at about $3.00/lb (or more!). That’s a savings of $9.26 every week!
  • The K-TEC Kitchen Mill is $179.95 through Amazon.com, so at $9.26 saved per week, it would take about 20 weeks to pay for itself. Not bad!

By my calculation, our little grain mill has paid for itself more than six times over so far. That’s $1,080 over the last 2 1/2 years that we wouldn’t have if we’d been paying for pre-ground grains!  

As for purchasing a used mill, as one of my readers pointed out, gluten residue is very difficult to completely clean out of grinders. So if you have severe allergies, be very careful about buying a used mill. I do not recommend it.

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