One of the challenges of a gluten-free diet is the cost of the food. Specialty gluten-free products can cost more than double the price of “regular” supermarket fare and can put quite a dent in your grocery budget. So how can you keep the cost in check while still meeting your family’s dietary needs? Begin with these five tips to save money on a gluten-free diet.
- 1. Stick with Naturally Gluten-Free Foods
The convenient pre-made and processed gluten-free foods can be very expensive. But meat, rice, fruit, and vegetables are naturally gluten free. Make these items a larger part of your diet. It’s healthier and less expensive.
- 2. Cook from Scratch
Forgo convenient, ready-made products. Instead, learn to make your own. There won’t be any questions about the safety of the ingredients and you’ll save money. Start with a few tried and true recipes then gradually expand your repertoire. Save both time and money by making double or triple batches. Then freeze the extra for future use.
- 3. Buy the Basics in Bulk
Once you have a list of staples that you use on a regular basis, purchase them in bulk. No need to keep purchasing tiny jars of arrowroot and xanthan gum if you know you’ll use it. Learn how to properly store these items and research how long they can be stored. By purchasing in bulk from a warehouse club, online, or even purchasing by the case at your local grocer, you will save money.
- 4. Know Your Prices and Check Online
Savvy shoppers know exactly what items should cost so that they know a bargain when they see it. Keep a price book of commonly purchased items. Check online for sales. For example, you can check the Whole Foods website for current deals. Most mainstream grocers also have their weekly specials online. Do your research before heading out to the store. Be sure to also check online at Amazon and other online retailers. Have a list of commonly used products, know your prices, and shop around.
- 5. Always Have a Plan (and a Backup Plan)
Living with dietary restrictions is not easy. The days of running through the drive-thru when you’re hungry are over. Have a weekly menu plan for all three meals plus snacks. If you plan ahead and cook from scratch (see item 2) you will have meals ready for you in the freezer. And don’t forget to have a stash of snacks in your car or purse.
Ways to save money on a gluten-free diet sent in by Caren from The Gluten-Free Casein-Free Pantry.