Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Making Allergy-friendly Affordable

 Anyone that knows me, knows that I am frugal. I don't fork over money without thinking twice. But how do you pay for all of these costly allergy-friendly foods, you ask? Good question. I will share five things I do to make it more affordable. Go here to see more ideas.
  1. Buy it on sale. Stock up if you see something you eat regularly on sale. I mentally try to take note of prices (writing them down in a notebook or on your smart phone can help, too)If it's a fair price I buy 3 of them. If it's an amazing price I buy 10. Saving 50 cents or $1 over time really adds up.
  2. Write the company and ask for coupons. I am amazed at how willing companies are to give me coupons, and high value ones. If you combine this with a sale it makes it even better. Writing them on-line literally takes less than 3 minutes. 
  3. Buy in bulk from Amazon or Whole Foods. If you call in advance (5 days or so) and order a case you get 10% off. If you combine that with a sale or coupons and you get an even better deal. If I buy a box of Pico de Gallo Lundberg Farm chips from Amazon, I can save about $0.60 a bag compared to them not on sale at Fred Meyer or Whole Foods. For 12 bags that saves me $7.20.  It really adds up. If I make a number of choices like this in a month I can save $100 no problem. 
  4.  Make things from scratch. This is an obvious and hard to swallow one, I know. But making bagels from scratch sure beats buying a package of bagels. If you make a double batch and freeze them, it makes the labor way less taxing. Or if you put the dry ingredients in ziplocs with a page number and cookbook written on the bag, you can bake in an instant. It usually tastes way better than the GF box mixes, and saves a fortune.
  5. Use specialty items sparingly. If something costs a lot I use just enough to make it do it's job. For example, I use a little mayo and some dijon for my salmon salad sandwiches (dijon is cheaper than mayo). I also use mayo once every week or two (not every day) and put the minimal amount of salmon salad on a sandwich to make it taste good. I figure that every little bit I save helps. Another example is with Daiya cheese. We freeze a bag  of it and sprinkle just a little on soups, tacos, or chili. Most of the recipes I make don't require cheese, and if they do, I use just enough ( less than 1 TBS per person) to get the benefits.  I rarely make something that requires a lot of it like grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos or pizza. It's a rare treat. A bag of Daiya cheese can last our family of five for over a month.
I'd love to hear any of your money saving ideas! (in a comment below)

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