Eating Gluten Free Foods on a Budget
I questioned how I would be able to adjust to this new, permanent, Gluten Free diet change financially.
In time, I learned how to eat gluten free on a budget.
What can you do?
Look locally first. Check your local grocery stores. Look in the organics aisles or low-carb sections. You may be pleasantly surprised! Many grocery stores are recognizing specialty foods as a viable marketing niche.
Go speak to the General Manager of the grocery mart. Tell this person what you need. Many are willing to special order foods to gain your business.
Health food stores. Often these stores are not chain/franchise stores but are owned by individuals that you can develop a relationship with. Check on buying in bulk/by the case for price reductions. Your business is important to them. Again tell the owner or manager exactly what you need. Be specific. Ask for bulk discounts. Shop around until you are satisfied with the price and the product.
Buying online. When you buy online, you pay shipping & handling for the food products. This sometimes increases the price. Look online for sources that provide an auto-ship option. This is usually accompanied by a discounted rate or free shipping. Also many companies will ship box lots of gluten free products for a discounted rate
Non-Specialty Foods: Eat as many non-specialty foods as possible. Remember fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes, plain meats, and dairy products are SAFE. Simple adjustments to your normal daily diet can be made by substituting gluten free products in the place of wheat products. I make gluten free macaroni with rice pasta and cheese instead of wheat semolina noodles. Rice or corn spaghetti make excellent substitutes for wheat based spaghetti. Replace wheat noodles with rice noodles in casseroles.
For sandwiches, simply exchange your wheat based bread for gluten free breads. Homemade gluten free bread is superior to prepackaged retail gluten free bread and is not hard to make. Use combinations of gluten free flours for best results. Gluten free bread recipes are easily accessible online. I use a bread machine for less preparation and also have a small grain mill in order to grind my own rice. The initial costs for these items may seem expensive; however, over time these items will certainly pay for themselves in savings.
Save your health and your wallet by cutting back on dessert type foods. Alternatively, make treats yourself from your own flours. Dense cake recipes can be adapted for gluten free flours relatively easily. Gluten free cake mixes, brownie or cookie mixes and gluten free mixes in general can be quite costly. Saving these delicacies for special occasions and holidays may be the best option and keeps your budget from bulging on specialty GF foods.
Copyright 2009 Becky Eernisse
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