April 5, 2013
Buying gluten free flour in bulk is convenient and cost-effective. When you’re doing a lot of gluten free baking, it’s lovely to have a 25 lb bag of brown rice flour at hand, so that you’re not constantly running to the store. The price of a large bag of flour, even with shipping costs, is usually less than you’d pay at the local grocery too. In some cases, much less.
However, there is a bit of upfront work required in order to figure out the best place to order your bulk flours. Obviously you want to make sure that the flour IS gluten free. But even after doing that, there are many online stores that offer gluten free flours in bulk, so you have to do a bit of comparison shopping.
I recently took a look around to find the least expensive place to buy a 25 lb. bag of GF brown rice flour. Here’s what I discovered.
In the past I’ve found the best price deals when I buy a 25 lb bag of flour, rather than cases of smaller bags. Three of the online stores that I checked carried 25 lb bags of brown rice flour: Amazon, Bob’s Red Mill, and Azure Standard.
Amazon is not usually my first choice for bulk flour buying, but every now and then you’ll find a great deal. Check out the Lundburg brown rice below. That’s an amazing price!!
Lundberg Eco-Farmed Brown Rice Flour, 25-Pound: Cost is $22.94 and estimated shipping and handling is $24.34, for a total of $47.28 or $1.89/lb. That’s a big improvement! But wait,this product qualifies for free shipping with Amazon Prime, which brings the cost down to $0.92/lb!!! There were only 15 bags left in stock when I checked this morning. Go and buy this now!
New Grains Gluten Free Sweet Brown Rice Flour (25 lbs) Cost is $53.75 and shipping and handling is $34, for a total of $87.75 or $3.51/lb.
Great River Organic Milling Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour, 25-Pound
This rice flour is organic and more costly. The price is $63.78 and shipping is free with Amazon Prime. Cost per lb is $2.55.
Bob’s Red Mill:
In the past I’ve always gotten the best price by ordering directly from Bob’s Red Mill. The only catch is that the least expensive shipping option is USP ground and that is SLOW…at least when you’re accustomed to Amazon Prime 2-day shipping. Obviously, if you live closer to Oregon you’ll get a lower shipping cost and faster delivery than I did.
Brown Rice Flour: Costs $25.16, shipping costs range from $35.12 to $192.98 (I estimated shipping costs using our old Alabama address). Total cost for the slowest shipping option for the location that I chose is $60.28 or $2.41/lb.
Organic Brown Rice Flour: Costs $40.52. The shipping options were the same, so total cost for me would have been $75.64 or $3.03/lb.
I haven’t ordered from Azure Standard yet, since I haven’t figured out where I’d store bulk flour in the RV. However, I’ve had several people recommend the site to me as a great place to get gluten free flours at a low cost. They do offer a couple of different shipping options, so if you live on the Western side of the country you may be able to get much better pricing on shipping than I did.
Lundberg Rice Flour, Brown, Eco-Farmed: The cost is $23.80, and I’m assuming that shipping would be about the same as with Bob’s Red Mill since both companies are located in Oregon and Azure Standard uses UPS Ground too. That brings the total cost up to $58.92 or $2.36/lb.
Lundberg Rice Flour, Brown, Organic: The cost is $34.40 and as I mentioned, shipping costs will vary as Azure offers various shipping options. My total cost after shipping would be $69.52 or $2.78/lb.
PlanetRice Sprouted Rice Flour, Brown, Organic: This is a unique product. The flour is made from organic rice that has been sprouted. The cost, as you would expect, is higher than either regular or organic gluten free brown rice flour. At $64.10 for a 25 lb bag, plus the cost of UPS ground shipping, my total cost would be $99.22 or $3.97/lb.
1. Always shop around – If I hadn’t been writing this article, I probably would have gone straight to Bob’s Red Mill and place an order. However, there are always new stores, new brands, and new sales. Taking the time to comparison shop can get you a great deal.
2. Use a virtual assistant – Now, I know some of you are saying, “I don’t have time to comparison shop!” I know. I don’t either! My virtual assistant did all of the research for me and sent me an email with my options. Sending in the request took 1 minute and the cost of the task was $2.60. If I’d actually been buying flour, the deal that the assistant found on Lundburg flour would have saved me $37. That sort of leverage is what allows me to juggle a business, household, and homeschool. If you’re too busy to get through your to-do list, must less everything that you wish were on your to-do list, I highly recommend FancyHands. It’s a great virtual assistant service.
3. Double-check your source – Just make sure that you’re familiar with the company that produced the flour and that they are doing their due diligence to make sure the flour starts out gluten free and stays gluten free.
4. Make sure of your storage - It’s not a good day when you come home to a power outage after you’ve stocked your freezer full of great deals. If you can’t afford to replace what’s in your freezer, then you can’t afford to not have a generator.
5. Look for free shipping - Shipping costs for 25 pound bags of flour gets prices. If you can find a free shipping option, then you’re probably going to end up with a phenomonal price. Free shipping on gluten free flours alone may make the cost of an Amazon Prime membership worth it, without even considering all of the other benefits.