Prepping on Pennies: #2, Wheat’s on the menu!

It makes sense to stock up on plenty of wheat because it is one commodity that is very, very budget-friendly.  It is also one of the most versatile foods you’ll ever have in your pantry.  Here are a few of my favorite wheat recipes that will take you from breakfast through dinner.

image by K Hurley

Wheat Berries are what’s for breakfast!

I love, love, love a hot bowl of wheat berries sweetened with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar.  This hot cereal is versatile, and you’ll surely be able to create a version everyone in your family will love.  Here’s the basic recipe.

1 c. hard white wheat

2 1/2 c. water

The easiest way to prepare this hot cereal is to combine the wheat and water in a crockpot, set on low, and cook overnight or throughout the day.  To cook them on a stove-top, follow these directions from 101 Cookbooks.

To cook wheat berries: Combine 2 cups wheat berries, 6 cups water, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy (and a few of the berries split open), about an hour or so. The berries will stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Drain and set aside.

You can mix them with yogurt, dried fruit, nuts, butter, honey, syrup, and any spices that strike your fancy.  They are so nutritious.  If you think you will meet some resistance from your family, mix in a few wheat berries with their cereal or oatmeal to get them used to a new flavor and texture.

Wheat Berries make a great salad side-dish!

image by barefoot in the orchard blog

First, prepare wheat berries using either the crock-pot or stove-top method.  You can make this recipe while the berries are still warm or after they’ve cooled.

Place 3 cups of the berries in a medium size bowl and add:

4 T. olive oil

3 T. balsamic vinegar

salt to taste (optional)

pepper to taste

1/3 c. finely sliced basil

1/4 c. chopped rehydrated tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes

1/4 c. celery, chopped (dehydrated or fresh)

3 T. finely chopped red onion

This is delicious as is, but you can add olives, feta, and other herbs you may have growing in your garden or in the pantry.  This salad is absolutely delicious!  You can thank me later.

For every meal, a loaf of bread

Every bread maker has his or her own favorite bread recipe.  The one I usually use lists honey and dried milk as ingredients.  Whatever your recipe calls for, be sure to stock up on enough of the ingredients so you could make at least two or three loaves of bread per week.  In a survival situation, bread will add energy and calories to your family’s daily diet.  Just be sure to know how to bake the bread using at least two different methods, not counting your kitchen oven.  This is where a Sun Oven or a Stove-Tec Rocket Stove come in handy.  A Dutch oven over a campfire is yet another way to bake bread without depending on any fuel, other than a bit of wood.

Do check out The Fresh Loaf for bread-making tutorials, a great forum, and more bread recipes than you could make in a lifetime!

Have I died and gone to heaven? image by GenBug

Mexican food lovers rejoice!

Homemade tortillas are easier to make than you might think, and for the Mexican food lover in you, that’s great news!  Olé! Here’s a simple recipe passed on to me by Suzie Brown, manager of the Honeyville Farms store in Salt Lake City.  She uses shortening, which, as you know, has a very impressive shelf life.

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. vegetable shortening

1 t. salt

1 c. water

Combine all ingredients together.  Mix till smooth.  Form a small ball of dough, approximately 2″ across, and roll into a circle using a rolling pin.  As each tortilla is finished, you can either cook it in on a dry griddle or in a frying pan with some oil.

I’ll be posting a recipe soon for End of the World Enchiladas, using this very recipe for the tortillas, so brush up on your tortilla making skills and get ready!

Bottom line:  wheat is a must-have for your food storage.  Don’t be intimidated by all the wheat jargon cast about by bread-making experts and food storage snobs.  Shop around for the least expensive wheat you can find.  Get an inexpensive grinder and start experimenting.

Tip:  Some people buy their wheat from animal feed stores.  No kidding.  It’s the same wheat you’ll get from other sources but may not be as thoroughly cleaned.  When you’re ready to store it, or use it, just pour it through a sieve first to clean out any dried grass or small rocks.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2010 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
The following two tabs change content below.
I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

Latest posts by The Survival Mom (see all)

I want to receive updates and
EMP survival reports!


  1. Sue says

    You have made me very hungry! Just to mention-I often make my wheat berries in my solar cooker (cook-it). They come out perfectly after about 6-7 hours. Also have cooked them in my rice cooker adding extra water and that works well also. Thanks for the recipes especially for the tortillas-will try that one today.

  2. elizabeth says

    Thanks for a great post on the use of wheat berries … I normally just grind them up and use them for bread or baking sweets! I love the post for the salad, these are so healthy and that's a great recipe!

  3. says

    I have been "on the fence" about investing in wheat berries and a grinder. Your article has simplified the process and eased my nerves.

    Question ~ I've heard a 25 or 50 lb. container of wheat berries will last a very long time. Can you estimate the whole berry to ground flour ratio? i.e. How much ground flour would I get from 1 cup of wheat berries?

    Also, have you ever tried wheat berries in a pressure cooker instead of a crock pot? I've been practicing with my pressure cooker, in case electricity prices or availability become a problem, and I don't want to run an oven or crock pot for 8 – 10 hours. I've hand several successes.

    • Mom23Wolves says

      Pressure cookers rule. I have not tried this with wheat berries (I've not taken the plunge to stock them) but I have been nothing short of thrilled with other results. I highly recommend trying one. When I first got it, it arrived to stares, looks of amazement, even admonishments I'd blow the side of the house off. Myths abound. She could make the most amazing things with a pressure cooker, including baked potatoes, lima beans (which are normally very nasty), etc. as she had to learn — she couldn't afford the electricity. And things came out quick and delicious.

      My main regrets today is I didn't spend more time learning (or at least talking about) real skills my grandmother used. She also could throw down an amazing lunch of fried chicken, trimmings, etc. for 25 farm hands using a wood-burning stove. Not sure if she'd be proud or horrified I'm trying to figure this stuff out now …

      • says

        We're in similar situations. My 93 y/o grandmother can still "can" circles around me! She's done her best to teach me, now it's my responsibility to not let those skills go to waste or be lost to history!

        Our family's favorite pressure cooker meal is Charro beans (pintos w/ onions, bacon, left over meat, and seasonings). Rather than all day (or night) in a crock pot, I boil the beans for 2 minutes then let them sit for 1 – 2 hours in the hot water. Then I throw everything in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. With a side of cornbread, in my cast iron skill of course, my hubby and sons are smiling ear to ear!

        Guess what's for supper tonight!!! 😉

    • Barbara says

      How much wheat makes how much flour? Of course one pound of wheat makes one pound of flour. But how many cups that makes rather depends on how fine or course it's ground. I just (specially for you) measured some very fine ground whole white wheat flour. One level cup weighed a smidge under half a pound. About 2 1/4 cups would weigh a full pound. Courser ground would not fill the cup so closely, so would weigh a bit less.
      How long it lasts depends on how much you use it. I bake a lot! I even make lovely home baked crackers. If you rarely make home baked things, that wheat can last forever!
      How long it keeps stored– Oxygen free packed, protected from moisture and vermin it keeps for 30+ yrs.

  4. apartmentprepper says

    The tortilla recipe looks easy enough. I am inspired to try making flour tortillas. Can't wait to see the enchilada recipe. Thanks!

    • says

      I need to work on the enchilada sauce recipe a bit. I use chili powder, and sometimes the result can be bitter depending on which type of powder I use. We LOVE cheese enchiladas, especially with a frozen margarita.

  5. Barbara says

    From the right location, 25lbs. of wheat can cost as little as $7, so it's not too deep of a leap to buy. If you buy it from a feed and seed store, be sure you get FEED wheat. The seed kind is the same thing, but most often treated with a anti-fungal agent. Smell it before you buy it. If you smell a chemical scent, it's not FEED. It may need a little sifting, as feed wheat isn't cleaned (removing stones and straw) as well as that sold for humans.

    Bring wheat and water to a boil for 15 mins, then turn off and let cool. Drain. Dry. (I just let it sit in a colander, stirring around every few hours.) In small batches, crack lightly in a blender. (Or run through grinder on course.) You now have BULGAR. It's similar to quick cooking rice. (Can actually be used to make fried rice/ wheat.)

  6. juju_mommy says

    Great article and I will definitely be trying the recipes. I'm especially excited about the tortilla one. I've been looking for a simple tortilla recipe.

    For those of you in the south, our wheat resources are limited. Up north, many can find resources within driving distance and get the wheat for dirt chip. But down here no luck. And, the places online charge you an arm and a leg to have it shipped (it almost doubles the price). Honeyville Grain was a God send for me! It's like only $4.xx for shipping no matter the size of the order. I have 2 cases of their hard white wheat and plan to order a few more cases next pay day for my long-term food storage. I'll admit, I haven't used it yet (have the grinder just nto the time right now) but the quality has great reviews. Check them out if you are in the south and want an affordable option for ordering wheat online!

  7. LizLong says

    I've found my local LDS "Bishop's Warehouse" so I'll be going in the not too distant future to buy wheat, oats, #10 cans w/lids, O2 absorbers, milk, etc. My question is this: what's the difference between hard red ($6.35 per 25 lbs) and hard white wheat ($5.80 per 25 lbs)? Is one better than the other and for what purposes? I'm assuming it's good to have some of both, but I'd like to figure out how much of each. My thought is that I'll get 100 lbs of each to start. (It's not very close to my house, and that is, as has been noted, pretty darn cheap for so much food.)

    Link to the LDS order form (US English, US Spanish, and Canadian forms):,…
    Link directly to the US English version:

    You can fill out the form and it does the math for you. I like that!

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Liz, both hard white and hard red are wheats used in recipes that call for yeast. They're your basic bread-baking wheats. Which one you stock up on is a matter of preference. Try a loaf made of each and then try mixing half red with half white and see if you and your family like that flavor and texture. I have a lot more hard white than hard red. Soft white is another wheat to buy because that's the wheat used in baking most everything else, e.g. cookies, cakes, pies, etc.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *