Stocking up on Grains and Legumes (Part 1), by Sky Watcher

As I write this I am currently awaiting arrival of my 6,711 pound order that I placed with Bob’s Red Mill.  Crazy?  Maybe, maybe not.  This is not something I entered into quickly or lightly.  Please let me explain my reasoning and methods of madness to you in the hope it may strike a chord with you in your own preparations.

Recent national and international events have spurred my husband and I into kicking our preparations up several notches.  We have only been seriously preparing for TEOTWAWKI for a few months.  After reading “Patriots” by James Rawles and “One Second After” by William Forstchen it was evident we had a long way to go.  Both of those are scary reads in that I can see either situation (and many others) happening today.

We decided to bite the bullet and pull money out of retirement to get fully prepared.  We see the dollar losing value everyday and food prices soaring.  We figured we needed to get tangible assets while the money was still worth something.  With the crisis in Japan now, food supplies will be even tighter to compensate for what Japan cannot grow and radiation tainted food that is unusable.

Awhile back I saw a post on this blog from someone who said that you could get wholesale prices from Bob’s Red Mill if you ordered at least 500 lbs.  That got me thinking and I e-mailed the company and found this to be true.  I was also e-mailed their 2011 Wholesale Price List and ordering form.

It pays to always do your homework before making such large purchases.  I spent a good couple months checking out food supplies from several emergency supply places online as well as local sources in my town.  I have found the emergency supply outlets to be short on supply as we all know and expensive for what I needed.  A years supply of food costs anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800 for just one adult.  Since we are looking at a supply for 12-15 people that would be $14,000 to $30,000 just for food alone.  I also found the variety to be somewhat lacking.  Other places carried only a certain item, like wheat berries, which would necessitate getting essentials from multiple sources, which gets confusing and tiresome.

I finally settled on ordering from Bob’s Red Mill and decided it was better to have more than enough rather than less!  Why Bob’s Red Mill?  I have used their products before and found them to be of high quality.  I like the fact that all of their products are from non-GMO seed and contain no additives or preservatives.  It states this on their web site.  I love the great diversity in grains they carry including several that can be sprouted.

Over a period of 2-3 weeks I sat down with the list and went down it item by item.  I looked the item up on their web site which includes a description of the item, suggested recipes and uses for the item, photos of the actual package labels listing nutrition info, and comments from previous purchasers. 

I focused on ordering whole grains as they will store longer than already processed ones if repackaged correctly.  They also offer a nice variety of seeds, beans, cereals, and baking amendments.

Working off the recommended pounds per year per adult person listed in “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” I calculated what I would need for 12 people for 1 year.  Since there are several smaller children in our expected group, I equated 3 of them to being 1 adult .

Here is some of what I ordered:

GRAINS (Rolled, Cracked)
50lbs Rolled Barley 
50 lbs Corn grits                       
37 lbs cereal grains          
50 lbs Millet                                   
100 lbs quick oats       
50 lbs Steel cut oats
8 lbs Rye flakes                       
50 lbs cracked Rye           
50 lbs Asst. Granola
50 lbs Triticale rolled flakes           
50 lbs Spelt rolled flakes

6 lbs Couscous                       
25 lbs Quinoa           
100 lbs Long brown rice
100 lbs Short brown rice                       
50 lbs Country rice blend
100 lbs Semolina flour                       
50 lbs Arborio Rice

100 lbs Barley                       
100 lbs Buckwheat           
200 lbs White corn
400 lbs Yellow corn           
150 lbs Blue corn                       
200 lbs Oat groats
100 lbs Rye berries           
100 lbs Spelt berries           
100 lbs Soy Beans
50 lbs Teff                                   
100 lbs Triticale Berries
1000 lbs Hard Red Spring Wheat           
1,000 lbs Hard White Wheat
100 lbs Kamut Berries           
50 lbs Amaranth                       
100 lbs Sorghum
500 lbs Soft White Wheat

BEANS/other protein source
75 lbs 13 bean soup mix                       
75 lbs Vegi soup mix
75 lbs Whole grains & Beans soup mix           
100 lbs Red Beans
100 lbs Black Beans           
100 lbs Green split peas
100 lbs  yellow split peas                       
100 lbs lentils           
100 lbs Red lentils
50 lbs Adzuki beans           
50 lbs Cranberry beans           
50 lbs Mung beans
4 lbs Hemp protein powder           
3.5 lbs Soy protein powder
25 lbs TVP.

Other items included baking powder and other baking amendments, variety of seeds (flax,pumpkin,caraway,poppy,sunflower,chia,sesame),
Dates, currants, raisins, cashews, evaporated cane sugar, etc.

Some things I did not order but that were available were salt, baking soda, yeast, brown & white sugars, corn starch, other kinds of nuts, pinto beans, etc.  I was able to find local more affordable sources for these items taking into consideration that I was going to have to pay for shipping on all this poundage.  Considering the price of escalating fuel I didn’t want to unnecessarily waste food dollars on shipping costs.

Why did I choose what I did?  I considered very carefully things that I could use for multiple uses.  You can see the nice variety of grains and beans there is.  Variety is an important thing to consider in food storage for long term. I did not order a lot of flour since it is an already processed product and thus would not store as long.  Instead I ordered whole grains that can be ground into whatever type of flour I need with my grain mill.  Some of the more unusual grains you may not be familiar with are very nutritious and good sources of protein.

The different type of grain berries (Rye, Spelt, Triticale, Kamut) can be sprouted for variety and added nutrition.  As well, the Adzuki and Mung beans can also be sprouted.  There was recently a blog on here about sprouting for added nutrition.

Because these are non-GMO grains, seeds and beans, I can even plant them in my field for growing a never-ending supply, harvesting seeds to perpetuate the crop.  I can feed these to my livestock to supplement their pasture grazing.  Thus there are multiple uses and none should go to waste or spoilage.

My family currently consists of 4 people.  While this supply is geared for 12 people for one year, until the Schumer hits and others arrive, my family of 4 can subsist from this for 3 years.  I plan on a yearly basis to order for replacement anything we have used so as to keep the level up and even add to it.

This is certainly not our whole food storage.  I have cases of canned fruit, vegetables and meats.  We also have approx. 130 fruit and nut trees planted which will start bearing in another couple years as well as a whole slew of garden seeds.  I do have more fats, sugars, salt, and powdered milk to buy.

Once I was thoroughly ready to place my order I carefully filled out the Wholesale order form and faxed it in.  I was sent, via email, an order acknowledgment to review and approve.  Being such a large order I checked it over very carefully.  I did find a couple of minor errors.  Those were corrected within minutes and a new acknowledgment sent to me.  It listed how many pounds, shipping costs, and approx. date it would ship out.

It did take about 7-10 days for the order to ship out.  I was then called by the freight company to schedule date and time for delivery to my home and provided with a tracking number.  I was told the truck driver would call 30 minutes prior to delivery to ensure I was home.

The shipment arrived! Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned.  I was given a window of between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for delivery and it ended up being like 6:45 pm.  I had placed a call to the freight company.  They called the driver and he was running late because some of his freight has fallen over in back and he had to go back to the terminal to get it repacked.  I thought: “Yikes, I hope it wasn’t mine!”   Well, it was.  All in all the three pallets I was to receive ended up being four re-packed pallets.  Of all of this there were 6 bags of wheat that were broken.  The driver and I documented what was broken and signed.  I then took digital pictures that I will e-mail to Bob’s Red Mill in the morning.  Since they are a reputable company I’m sure it will be no problem getting replacement goods. 

Now the hard part starts!  Part 2 of this article will be my experience and learning curve in repackaging all this into 5 gallon buckets with mylar liners.  Bob’s Red Mill even provided me with several product labels free of charge to help me label all my buckets.  

How much did all this cost?  For 6,711 lbs of foodstuffs it was $5342.98 which works out to $0.80 per lb.  Shipping was $844.30 or approx. $0.12 per lb.  So overall just $0.92 per pound of food.  I consider that a very reasonable amount for the food and shipping.

Grand total of $6,187.28.  Peace of mind in having a secure food supply?  Priceless.