6 ways to be gluten free on a budget
Some of you might know that MT can’t eat foods containing gluten, and I have a gluten sensitivity (which isn’t nearly as serious).
Even though my issue isn’t extreme, it’s safe to assume that our household is pretty much gluten free.
When we first made the transition, the first thing that I noticed was how expensive it is to eat this way. A loaf of gluten free bread is like half of Michael’s college tuition!
OK, I’m mildly exaggerating, but it is considerably more than normal bread.
The drastic increase in our grocery bill was kind of shocking at first, but over the past year and a half, I’ve learned how to make being gluten free a bit more affordable.
1. Sign up for promotional emails from brands, such as Udi’s and Van’s. I know that getting messages from companies in your inbox can be kind of annoying, but it will be worth it once you start receiving all of their coupons.
2. Don’t waste your money on gluten free versions of every type of food on the planet. These days, you can find gluten free cookies, crackers, donuts, cake, etc. at health food stores and even mainstream supermarkets. While it is nice to have so many options, those foods are really expensive and the amount of food per box is usually miniscule. Plus, those foods aren’t necessarily healthy just because they are gluten free. Your best bet is to stick to foods that are naturally gluten free- like fruits and vegetables.
3. Do some serious comparison shopping before loading up on groceries. I’ve personally found that I can get the best deals by shopping at Trader Joe’s and Vitacost (specifically on bread and pasta). Unfortunately, gluten free items don’t seem to go on sale too often at my local supermarkets, but I still check out the sales online just in case.
4. Save the end pieces of your gluten free bread and use them as hamburger or veggie burger buns instead of buying gluten free buns. It might sound simple, but this is one of the best discoveries I’ve made!
5. Try to make your own gluten free foods at home whenever possible. For example, MT loves Udi’s gluten free muffins, but a package of 4 is about $7. I can easily make my own at home for way less money and usually end up with about three times as many muffins! You can also grind your own flour, bake your own bread, make your own pizza, and even bake your own croutons at home.
6. Shop the bulk bins. I love raiding the bulk bins at Whole Foods and Earth Fare, especially for different types of quinoa. A giant bag of quinoa can last for awhile, isn’t terribly pricey, and can yield a ton of servings. Whenever I am trying to cut down on how much I’m spending on groceries, I always throw a quinoa dish into our weekly menu.
Is anyone in your household gluten free? If so, how do you keep your grocery bill under control? We also make wraps using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas, but I loved doing that even before I even knew what it meant to be gluten free.
Have a great day!