Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gluten Free on a Shoestring?

Let's face it. Going gluten-free isn't the cheapest idea you've had in a long time. It does pack a punch to your food budget. These are some ways that I have made it more affordable for my family. It also has made it easier in many respects.

  1. Get a great cookbook like "Gluten Free Baking Classics" by Annalise Roberts or "Cooking for Isaiah" by Silvana Nardone (Rachel Ray's editor in chief).
  2.  I buy my flour in bulk, if possible, from stores like Manna Mills, Whole Foods, or Bob's Red Mill. 
  3. I make my own "mixes" to make my life easier and make myself less likely to buy it pre-made or pre-packaged. So one day I make up 5 mixes of all of the same recipe. For example, a muffin recipe. I put in all of the dry ingredients to each of the 5 bags. I label each with what it is, the cookbook name, and page number so it is easy to add the yeast or wet ingredients when I am ready to do it. 
  4.  I almost always double recipes and freeze half. This way you do less baking and always have something yummy to grab in a pinch. 
  5.  Buy Trader Joes rice pasta. If you cook it just right, it tastes as good as the expensive stuff and is about half the price! Go here to see the secrets of cooking rice pasta well. 
  6. Use Cecelia's Marketplace guide to shop at most stores. Such as here. Instead of buying all of your food from an expensive alternative grocery store, this tells you products at Safeway, Albertsons or Trader Joes (etc) that are gluten free. This makes it easy and way cheaper. Why buy $6 bacon if you could buy it for $3? It's also great for traveling where you can't get to a specialty store. They have other guides, too. I use the Gluten free, Casein free, and Soy free guide, myself. If it's not in there, it doesn't mean it's not gluten free. It's not all inclusive. However, if it is in there, they have done the research with the company to know that it is. You can also look at or call the company. 
  7. Buy herbs in bulk at a store like Fred Meyer, such as Frontier Herbs. Did you know sometimes companies add flour to herbs to keep them from sticking together? Buying the brands that are GF can add up. But These bins at Freddies make it cheap. It's an easy way to save a lot of money, even if you aren't gluten-free!
  8. I started to  buy things that I eat on a regular basis in bulk from Amazon when I noticed they were cheaper. This includes Ener-G Wylde gluten free pretzels, Lunderg Farms Pico De Gallo Chips, and sometimes Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour. If you save even $0.40 a bag, it adds up!! Sometimes "subscribe and save" can save you a bundle. Especially with free shipping. (also for Prime Members and orders over $25)
  9. Buy from They have a lot of bulk items, and better prices.
  10. Check out deals at (like Groupon)
  11. Buy in bulk from Whole Foods. Buying a case of an item can save you 10%. If those items are on sale this week it can save you even more.
  12. If something I eat regularly is on sale I stock up. This way I won't end up buying it at crazy high prices. 
  13. Coupons. Get a coupon book from the customer service desk at Whole Foods. Google the company to look for coupons. I started writing companies like Lundberg Farms and they sent me coupons. It didn't take long and it can end up being worth your time. Especially, because companies often mail higher value coupons.
  14. Buy ricemilk in bulk from Costco. Or make your own hemp milk (see instructions here)
  15. Make your own chicken stock/broth. GF chicken broth can be crazy expensive. Here it can be over $4 a box!  It's also can be amazingly easy to make. I add a portabella mushroom and it gives it a beefy flavor for recipes that require beef broth (a tip Rachel Ray gave me). Go here for how to make your own broth. 
  16. Check out one of  favorite blogs, where she posts ways to save money. She recently is posting more gluten free and dairy free ideas. 

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