How to save money eating a gluten-free diet
A gluten free diet is well known for two reasons.
One, it is generally a very nutritious diet and secondly many people, whether they have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or a number of other ailments, feel better on a gluten free diet.
Gluten is hard for our bodies to digest and if we have health problems, eating easy to digest foods helps our bodies focus on healing rather than digesting challenging foods. Two, eating gluten free can be very expensive. Many gluten free specialty items taste terrible, and it makes for some expensive experimenting.
One of the reasons I started a blog about gluten free living was to help other people avoid wasting their money (It’s $6-8 for a small loaf of gluten free bread!) and being disappointed with products. I have tried a lot of gluten free breads, cookies, and pastas and have finally found some wonderful products. Now I have yummy gluten free substitutes for all of the foods that I was used to eating before going gluten free. Soon I’ll be posting a list of all of my favorite products, so stay tuned to Gluten Free Bumble Bee if you’re interested!
Here are some tips for eating gluten free on a budget:
- Focus on whole, naturally gluten free foods rather than processed foods or specialty items;
- Eat foods that are in season;
- Try eating a few vegetarian meals each week, using quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, eggs, or cheese as your protein source;
- Buy in bulk – Costco has a number of gluten free foods, and in Ontario we have the Ontario Natural Food Coop which provides many options at a discounted price. Check to see if there is a bulk buying group in your area;
- Ask manufacturers for coupons – many are happy to send you some (check out Glutino (http://www.glutino.com/contact-us/) – they send quite a few coupons for free products!)
- Find a website that you trust to provide honest reviews of products and stick to those that are known to be great;
- Freeze baked goods right away if you’re not going to eat them the same day. Cookies last a little longer than breads so you can keep those in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
- Cook from scratch – you’ll find that you have to cook a lot of foods from scratch, just to make sure they really are gluten free. I recently found a great recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes that I would love to share with you. It works out to be much cheaper than buying lattes at Starbucks, they’re more nutritious, and you can enjoy them any time of year.
Eating gluten free can be a daunting task at first. Hang in there – it really does get easier.
This has been a guest post by the Gluten-free Bumble Bee. Please visit her blog here where she explains more tips on going gluten-free and saving money.