Save Money For Breakfast

Learn how Irene Clawson is able to feed her family of five a hearty breakfast while also saving a ton of money.

| January/February 1971

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    Using natural grains at home can help you make a healthy and pleasantly priced breakfast.
    Photo by Irene Clawson

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A steaming bowl of cracked wheat cereal, swimming in milk and topped with brown sugar is a regular chill-chaser in our British Columbia wilderness cabin and this morning — as I began to clear the breakfast table — I found myself wondering why so few people know the secrets of eating like a king on pennies. Wheat (whole wheat, that is) is one of those secrets.

"In an emergency, a person can live indefinitely on whole wheat and tomato juice alone," said a speaker at a Civil Defense meeting I once attended while still living in the city. He added that, in a real pinch, water could be substituted for the tomato juice . . . leaving only the wheat which contains calcium, iron and at least two essential vitamins—B Complex and E—among other nutrients. There's no question, then, that the grain is good for you . . . but is it also inexpensive? Darn right. Matter of fact, it's downright cheap!

I recently bought—direct from a farmer—cleaned wheat for $1.50 a bushel. It weighed out 60 pounds per bushel which means that each pound cost 2-1 /2¢. That figures to less than 1/4¢ a serving for cereal since a pound of wheat—cracked—makes more than ten hearty bowls of breakfast food.

Add a quart of milk from our cow and a little sugar or honey and we have some mighty good eating for less than a half-penny each. If you don't have the cow you can still hold your out-of-pocket breakfast costs to our level (and maybe cut it slightly below that) by substituting canned or powdered skim milk for our whole milk. And if your pocketbook is rubbing sides in the middle forget the milk entirely and top your hot cracked wheat with a little brown sugar and a spoonful of margarine or butter. I often eat mine that way by choice.

Whole wheat flour for cooking and baking is just as inexpensive as cracked wheat for cereal and all you need to turn pounds or bushels of wheat into either is an adjustable hand grain mill. I got mine from Smithfield Implement Co., Smithfield, Utah 84335. MOTHER handles the same machine. It sells, postpaid in the continental United States and Canada, for between $11.00 and $13.00. Mine was somewhat more because of the import duty charged by the Canadian government.

These Corona mills are heavily constructed and should last a long time. With wheat and the mills to grind it costing so little, why does anyone in Canada or the U.S. need to go to bed hungry? Several families could even share a mill if the initial investment was a problem. Folks certainly can't be holding back because the home mills have a limited utility. I've made everything from cracked wheat cereal to a delightful angel food cake with wheat run through mine and here's a few recipes:

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