What Place Do Grains Have In Your Food Storage?

Grains are a difficult and somewhat controversial subject when discussing what should be in the pantry and food storage. Somewhat controversial because some food storage specialists believe that one should buy a hand-cranked grain mill, buy wheat by the load, and grind your own. They are very much correct in this thinking when one considers what you will need if a SHTF situation does occur, the fact that food grade grain is cheaper than processed, and much healthier for you if you do mill your own grain.


I do not have that equipment or the finances to buy the equipment and grain to mill my own grain. Time to mill the grain is also not available most of the time. I have to choose other routes for adding grain to my pantry and food storage. What grains to add to a pantry and food storage depends completely on what you cook/bake and what you plan to cook/bake when times get bad. There is no right or wrong grains to store. Just be sure to store them correctly and take care to keep the bugs and other critters out of your storage.

I am choosing to keep grains separate from legumes in this post. I will have a separate post on legumes.

As of right now, this is what I am keeping for my food storage and pantry in the grains department:

1. Oats. I like to keep old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, and quick-cooking oats. I use oats almost everyday in baking and cooking for my family.

2. Flours. I mostly keep whole wheat flour and have started buying 25lb. bags at a time. I also keep unbleached white flour, oat flour, coconut flour, almond flour, graham flour, bread flour, and self-rising flour on hand. I try to keep the use of the white flour to a minimum since the health benefits are slim to none at all.

3. Wheat and oat germ. I use these often in baking granola, granola bars, and some breads.

4. Cornmeal. Cornbread is an easy dish to make from scratch and can be cooked anywhere including camp fires. Cornmeal can also be used to make polenta and to keep pizzas from sticking to pizza stones.

5. Rice. I keep lots and lots of rice on hand. Rice is cheap. Rice can stretch a meal for quite a ways. I keep both brown rice and white rice on hand as well as some quick-cooking brown rice for quick additions to meals. Just a reminder: brown rice does not keep as long as white rice in food storage so be sure to stay on top of that.

6. Barley. I keep a small supply of barley on hand that I use mostly for soups.

A small list, but so many possibilities which is something that I like. Keeping a good supply on hand means I will be able to feed my family and help stretch meals.

A Reminder: Now is the time to stock up on these items. With the drought the United States is experiencing, the prices of these items are going to go higher and may become cost-prohibitive.

Thanks for reading,


  1. What is the difference between "graham" flour and "whole wheat" flour? I have whole wheat grain (or berries) and a grain mill. It takes just minutes to grind enough flour for a week or two. I have unbleached flour; oats, regular and steel cut; cornmeal, brown and white rice (brown rice keeps well in the freezer), and barley. I don't have all the other "fancy" flours and wonder what you use them for? When I lived in VA I was able to get thick rolled oats which are my favorite. But haven't found a way to get them as inexpensively anywhere else. (Shipping is prohibitive.) Sounds like you have a very well stocked pantry. Keep up the good work.

    1. I like to experiment with recipes so that is where most of the different flours came from. We have been trying to do some gluten-free recipes for my lactose-intolerant daughter because the research done indicates a gluten-free diet would help her. That explains some of the other flours. Graham flour is different than whole wheat flour and I use it in making rye breads. Thanks!


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