Frugal Grain Grinder using Cuisinart Coffee Grinder

In my quest to eat healthier, I’ve been wanting to try to grind my own grains. But I’ve found the cost of grain grinders to be somewhat prohibitive, especially since I don’t know if I’ll grind enough to make such a big purchase worth it.

While I was visiting my good friend, Julieanne, last week, she mentioned that she was looking into getting a Cuisinart coffee grinder for grinding grains. Like me, she didn’t want to spend the money on an expensive grain mill, if she wasn’t going to use it very much. She got the idea from the Sue Gregg website.

A few days after my visit with Julieanne, I headed to Costco for a basic shopping trip and came across this Cuisinart coffee grinder for $30! You can’t beat that price!

So now I have a grinder that will work for small amounts of grains. If I find I’m using it a lot, I may someday splurge on something that’s a bit more heavy-duty, but this is a good first step.

Do you grind your own grains? Is a grain mill worth the price?



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By , on Nov 10, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{18 Comments}

  1. My dear friend, Wardeh (www.gnowfglins.com) has used a Vita-Mix for grinding all of their flours for years now. While they are pricey, about $400+, you’ll notice that this is what is used in all of the Orange Julius shops and Jamba Juice, etc. She uses her Vita-Mix machine/blender at least three times a day – thousands of times, now, since she bought it – and it is still going strong and acts and looks like it is brand new…so different than the current KitchenAid products on the market. I’d love to have a Vita-Mix, but the price says “ouch.” That’s why I’m going to use the Cuisenart coffee burr mill for now. We don’t eat a lot of bread, but do eat lots of other homebaked goodies and biscuits, etc. If we suddenly get rich, I’d love to buy a Vita-Mix and a Bosch mixer, but that’s a dream for someday in the future!

  2. KathyinMD:

    I’m with Annie Kate. If you’re gluten-free, this would be an excellent strategy.

  3. I’ve had a mill for about 14 years and it has truly been a blessing! I’ve loved having one- HOWEVER- I was not able to afford one for quite some time and I bought a little $15 mill (then it was $9) like that at Walmart(sold to grind coffee beans). I still keep that little one on hand to grind flax, oats for oat flour, and coffee beans.

    But my mill– oh how I love my mill!

    Once or twice a week I grind up a whole batch, make bread, and store a few cups in the freezer to have on hand when I need it quickly. ..I bake so much now, that my mill is priceless to me– years ago I just baked bread maybe once every two weeks so it wasn’t as important as it is now.

    On my blog on the right, there is a link to Preparedness Pantry. They have Vitalmills for $$$$129!!!!!! Those mills are very similar to one that I used to have and they are very good- loud, but good. (I have a Whispermill now, and its still loud. All of them are within a few decibels of each other.)

  4. Vanessa:

    If you have a kitchen aid stand mixer, there is a grain mill attachment you can buy for it. I don’t know how the price compares, but it would be worth looking into.

  5. Denni:

    There are a lot of them on eBay with free shipping. Most are hand crank, but the kids could do it for you. It could be a lesson in how things were done before electricity : )

  6. tip on cleaning coffee grinder. freeze white vinegar and then grind the cubes to clean the coffee taste from the grinder. This is also a great tip for cleaning yourgarbage disposable.

    I so want a wheat grinder but also can’t justify the cost right now.

  7. marci:

    Got my electric stone wheel grinder at a garage sale :)
    $10 in the box, with all the attachments and the instructions!

  8. David Y:

    Just curious, as a relative novice baker.

    What is the advantage of grinding your own wheat, oats, etc. over buying the flour? Where do you buy the wheat?

    Anyway, let us know how things turn our.

    • Lynnae:

      It’s generally less expensive to buy whole wheat berries than whole wheat flour.

      You can buy wheat berries at some stores (our Winco has hard red wheat), a mill (we have a local one), or through an online company like Azure Standard (probably the most frugal option).

      Wheat berries can also be stored a lot longer than whole wheat flour, so it’s easier to buy in bulk.

      • David Y:

        Thanks Lynnae. I will them them out. It sounds like a good thing to have.

  9. Erin:

    What an awesome idea. I’ve been lusting after a wheat grinder myself, but haven’t taken the plunge. I’m excited to hear how this works for you, so please keep us posted.

  10. Denise:

    I asked for, and got, my grinder, for Christmas a couple of years ago. Most weeks I make one loaf of bread (there are only three of us). At that rate making mixed loaves (1/2 whole wheat), I find that I go through about 5 pounds of wheat a month, and I need to grind once every other month. At that rate I can see how paying for a $300 grinder out of your own money can seem impossible. I still like being about to store the whole wheat berries and know I can use it!

  11. trek:

    I made my own oatmeal flour from rolled oats. The blender does a great job and cleanup is easy. Much cheaper than buying oat flour.

  12. Debbie:

    My in-laws gave us an electric mill a couple of years ago for Christmas, and I never used it until a couple of weeks ago. It is amazing. I was using hard white wheat and the texture of my bread was so good. I have also started using fresh ground whole wheat in almost all of my baking/cooking. I always used to only buy whole wheat and it was getting pricey – $6+ a week. I have never used a coffee grinder, so I can’t really compare, but I would definitely recommend an electric mill (mine is The Kitchen Mill by Blendtec).

  13. I bought the Bosch Nutrimill a couple years ago with our tax return. I make 6 loaves of bread at a time. The cost breakdown for the bread comes to $1 a loaf. I think that I use it enough to make it well worth it. I use the flour for all kinds of baking and of course all our own bread. They are pricey but if you can do it later I think you will be very happy with it. I love mine!

  14. Caroline:

    I thought about this and researched it, but ultimately decided to buy a kitchen mill/wheat grinder instead. I wasn’t sure if I’d keep up with grinding my own wheat if I had to do small amounts. I also wants to make sure that the consistency of the flour was the same. I was also worried about how long it would last since a coffee grinder (I also looked into spice grinders.) are not meant for this purpose and since I make my own bread, it would get a LOT of use.

    I ended up buying a Blendtec Kitchen Mill. It did cost a little bit, although it is the least expensive of the most popular brands. I did a cost analysis of what I was currently paying for flour, how much we used per month, how much the wheat flour would cost me when purchasing the kernels and how long it would take me to get my money back from the grinder. I found after four years of grinding my own wheat that I’d “break even” and that’s not taking into account two growing children who will eat more as they grow. I expect to my grinder to last for 20+ years. I have had it about six months now and LOVE it. I have used it to grind wheat, beans and cornmeal. I’d say it’s definitely worth the money spent on it.

  15. I have been reading more about grinding flour on several blogs, but never considered it for the same reasons that you posted. But I do have a coffee grinder that I don’t use anymore…I decided that buying already ground coffee was far more convenient…anyway, I think I might try this now. I just have to figure out how to clean the coffee grinder so that my flour doesn’t taste like coffee.

    Thanks for the tip.

  16. Annie Kate:

    Yup, we do this too, only we use the lesaat expensive coffee grinder available at Walmart and it works quite well. Since our family is gluten free, this saves HUGE amounts of money on the expensive specialty flours.

    Annie Kate

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