This is part of our 5-part series on how to save money on healthy food. Hope you enjoy, and be sure to share how you save money in the comments below!

Grains are my favorite place to save money on groceries because you can get the most savings for your efforts. All of the best ways to save money on groceries for grains also happen to be great ways to make your meals healthier, and who doesn’t want that? Of course, if you follow a Paleo or Primal diet, you don’t purchase grains so this isn’t even an expense. But for the rest of us, I hope this article is helpful.

Our family has to stick to a gluten free diet (yes, I’m very jealous of all you folk eating fresh baked bread right now), which makes buying grains a little bit more expensive, but all of these tips work equally well for gluten free and gluten eaters alike. I’ll share how to save money on groceries, as it pertains to grains.

Buy in bulk to save money on groceries

Bulk purchasing is a great way to save money on groceries as you can often get top quality food for wholesale prices.

  • Check out the bulk bins at the grocery store. You will pay close to wholesale price for grains you scoop yourself and you can buy exactly the amount you need. Just be sure the bins look clean and the food you get out of them is always fresh.
  • Go in with friends. If you are want to buy grains in bulk but can’t afford to or don’t have the storage space available then getting a group of friends together to split the cost is a great idea.
  • Find a buyer’s club. Many local co-ops and specialty food stores will offer them. A buyer’s club is a way for you to get bulk prices without either having to buy the whole 20 lbs or arranging for friends to split it with you. The co-op does all of the work of organizing interested consumers and all you have to do is place your order. There way still be a minimum for certain items but that number will typically be much lower than if you went it alone.
  • Know what to buy in bulk and what not to buy in bulk. For example, brown rice goes rancid relatively quickly while white rice stays fresh for much longer. Wheat berries and dry beans tend to last a very long time.

Do the work yourself to save money on groceries

As always, buying ingredients and processing or packaging them yourself can save money on groceries.

Buy dry beans instead of canned and soak them overnight before using them.

Buy bulk quinoa, rice or oats and season them yourself. It’s cheaper and healthier, a win-win! Cooking grains in broth is an easy and inexpensive way to add flavor.

Learn to sprout your grains to save money

Sprouting grains before cooking them is a great way to enhance the nutritional value of your food, which can lower your grocery bill because you will be nourished on less food. Sprouted grains have been linked with decreased cardiovascular risk, healthy blood pressure, and reduced allergies among other things.

Grind your own flour to save money

Many people grind their own flour and swear by it. Not only is it cost effective but I hear the flavor is exceptional. All you need are wheat berries (hard red, hard white, and soft white being the most popular) and a grain mill like this one. Though flour can go rancid in just a few months, wheat berries, when stored properly, can last for years (some sources say as long as 20 years!).

Make your own bread and baked goods

After you grind all of that flour go ahead and make some bread or muffins for the freezer. Homemade baked goods are infinitely more nutritious than store bought and are just a fraction of the cost – a great way to save money on groceries.

You can save time by making double or triple batches of bread dough and putting it in the freezer. Then all you need to do is throw it in the oven and you have fresh baked bread!

You can even make bagels, waffles, pancakes, and sweet breads to keep in the freezer for a quick breakfast.

Check out factory stores for money-saving deals

Depending on where you live you may have factory stores nearby where you can buy bread, flour or other grains. Often these stores will have bread nearing it’s sell-by date that you can pick up for cheap. Search for local bakery outlet stores or local mills online.

Stock up on sales when you can

Once you have a good idea of how your local grocery store rotates through sales you can predict when certain items will go on sale. Typically grocery stores put any one item on sale every three weeks. Therefore, if you buy enough to last three weeks you will always be able to get the best price. Also, baking supplies are usually cheapest in the fall when many of us are baking up a storm.
Keep an eye out for coupons too. You’re much more likely to find coupons for rice, flour, and beans than other real food items. Check your favorite brands websites for coupons. Stacking coupons on top of sale prices is a great way to free up some of your budget for the more expensive stuff like Meat and Dairy.

Buy online to save money on groceries

I have had great luck finding inexpensive grains online. The two websites I use often are Amazon and Vitacost. Between the two I have been able to find the best prices on the things we use the most. Of course, not everything is cheaper online so you have to be aware of the prices in your local area as well.

Other places to buy in bulk online are:

How about YOU?

How do you save money on groceries, real food style? Share with us in the comments below!