Would You, Could You Spend $25 on a 5 Pound Bag of Flour?

Kacie over at Sense to Save is teaching herself how to bake, and recently asked in a blog post Can a $9 bag of flour be frugal? My short answer to that is yes.  When you consider bread is $2 to $5 a loaf, you can make several loaves with a five pound bag of flour.  Kacie mentioned making flour tortillas and those are also very expensive nowadays.  However, I should say that I personally find that fresh baked goods are exquisitely delicious no matter if the flour was the store brand $0.69 for five pounds or King Arthur, so you can be many times more frugal with less expensive flour. On the other hand, there is the organic aspect, which always jacks up the cost. Then again, organic bread is probably $10 a loaf somewhere.

Although Kacie’s post isn’t the main point of my post today, it was the inspiration. Thanks, Kacie!

Several months ago, I have recently embarked on a traditional foods diet proven to heal gut dysbiosis which can be the root problem for many illnesses.  I’ve written before about how I’m exhausted all the time, and finally it was time for me to do something. I’ve already know all my life that diets don’t work, and my one stint with dieting (low fat) in my early thirties messed me up more than anything. Sure I lost the extra fifteen pounds of baby fat but then I was having odd cravings for foods I’d never cared much for.  I swear donuts would sing to me from the bakery shelves, and I ended up WITH an eating disorder due to dieting. So I had basically sworn off dieting. I’d just have to get used to fluffy Mrs. Accountability, and that was that.

Then I read Gut and Psychology Syndrome and GAPS Guide, initially to help Mr. A heal from his health issue.  In reading the books, I found that some of my issues could be addressed, at the least alleviated, and best case scenario, totally healed and eliminated.

I started this back in December; essentially I have eliminated all commercially processed foods, and a few other specific items, one being my main overeating trigger food (I now realize) grains and gluten products.

I discovered that almond flour is quite an amazing substitute for regular flour. Mr. A found two small bags of the Bob’s Red Mill on clearance at the grocery store, so I got to try it out.  It’s not exactly the same, but it comes pretty darned close for quick bread (think banana bread or zucchini muffins) products.  The only problem is the cost is absolutely frightening.  The best price I found was online, for $28.99 plus shipping for a five pound bag. I was inspired to try almond flour by Elana’s Pantry, a food blogger who has celiac disease but Elana recommends a specific brand which she finds has been ground more finely than other brands.  The finer the flour, the better the end product. I did buy her cookbook, which has so many great recipes.

One thing I was very pleased with was pancakes. I have not been able to eat them for years, simply because they affected me badly – I would feel awful and tired after eating them, although I love them.

Some of the recipes in her cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook sound delicious, but you would have to be making six figures a year to afford to feed a family this way. I’m dying to try this Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream, but raw cashews probably cost $75 a pound for heaven’s sake. Oh no wait, I was wrong.  Amazon has a source available five pounds of raw cashews pieces for $48.80. Still, that’s horribly expensive!  According to Barry Farm there are four cups of cashews in a pound. The recipe calls for 1 cup, end results serve four – I’m estimating that to be 3/4 to 1 cup of “ice cream” per serving?   My five pounds would equal 20 cups, and that breaks down to $2.44 per recipe, and sixty-one cents per serving.

Regular ice cream can be had on sale for 1 dollar per 1.75 quart container, or if you’re desperate to have ice cream at regular price, $5.99 per 1.75 quart container.  1.75 quarts is 7 cups.  $5.99 divided by 7 cups is $0.85.

Hmmm… one cup of the cashew ice cream is cheaper than getting a cone from Dairy Queen or Baskin-Robbins, something I rarely did when I was eating commercially produced foods.

Anyway… let’s just be thankful I haven’t decided to go all organic.  I’d really throw us into the poor house if I felt compelled to eat $6 bell peppers.

Even without doing organics, I have had some good success with my new way of eating. I have lost weight, the brain fog has cleared, my mild depression has lifted, I am better able to cope with stress, my blood sugar is stabilized and no longer crashing, and two great and amazing things have occurred, which I didn’t even expect.  Number 1, my feet stopped hurting, and Number 2, I can sleep at night without my back stiffening up and hurting terribly.   These two occurred within two weeks of beginning this journey.  Back in November, (prior), I woke up one night, and you would have thought an eighty year old woman was hobbling across the room for all the moaning and groaning from the pain – but no more!  I have more energy, although I have not yet experienced incredible amounts of energy which I’m hoping will come eventually as I continue on this journey to better health.

Is there anything you buy that you feel is terribly expensive, but you consider it to be worthy of maintaining your health?

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9 comments to Would You, Could You Spend $29 on a 5 Pound Bag of Flour?

  • Hey Mrs. A,
    I love cooking and baking, but when I’ve gone low carb, I’ve skipped the fancy bread/pasta type of imitation products. I don’t care for the artificial sweeteners and strange ingredients, and am not a big bread lover anyway.
    And there’s the cost. There’s no way I could justify the cost.

    A couple of good resources for a paleo/primal diet are:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
    http://freetheanimal.com/

    [Reply]

  • S J

    Welcome to my world. I discovered your blog about the same time I discovered my gluten intolerance. Eventually, you finally decide that baked goods only fit in your budget as a rare, special indulgence. Between indulgences, however, homemade carne asada tastes just fine wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Also, crockpot365.blogspot.com has great frugal gluten free crockpot recipes and a wonderful cookbook. You have inspired me to plant a vegetable garden in my part of the desert, so now I can pass on the $2.50 per pound green beans and pick them out of my own garden. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    [Reply]

  • S J

    CORRECTION: the wonderful website is crockpot365.blogspot.com

    Sorry!

    [Reply]

  • Do you have an Orowheat outlet nearby? They sell Bob’s Red Mill packages for about $2.50 apiece. Check here to see if there is one in your neighborhood and avoid the outrageous shipping costs.

    http://www.bimbobakeriesusa.com/our_brands/outlet_stores.php

    For your bread-buying readers, I’ve had really good luck buying fresh bread at the outlets, too. Last time I went, I spent $14 and got 10 loaves of HFCS-free bread, English muffins, and bagels. I froze them and we’re still going through them.

    [Reply]

  • Mrs. Accountability,

    That is cool; I didn’t know there was such a thing as almond flour. It’s too bad that some of the cheapest foods are so bad for us. That said, I still love the occasional french baguette with cheese every now and then… bread sometimes just smells and tastes so good.

    Don’t worry too much about the “organic” label; it is misused and doesn’t even mean all that much. Just continue what you’re doing now, eat real vegetables and foods, and wash them well!

    I have not read that specific book, but I have had issues lately with a “foggy head”, that improved drastically once I switched to a significantly more primal diet. I can only say that my diet was likely to blame. The doctors could never find out what was wrong with me (well, I am still waiting for the results from a MRI), but after I noticed that the foggy head symptoms often coincided with a sick feeling in my gut, and after I read that an imbalance in the gut and digestion problems could lead to certain compounds being formed which could cause “foggy head” symptoms, well, that is when I decided to go more primal and kick this foggy head in the butt!

    I think you’d also be interested in the primal diet/fitness; you can read more about it by searching for “Mark’s Daily Apple”. It sounds in line with your recommendations.

    Take care

    [Reply]

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