Each year, more and more people are adopting the gluten-free lifestyle for a variety of reasons. While the diet has many health benefits, especially for those diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten-free products tend to be expensive. In fact, it can be twice as expensive to eat gluten free, according to CBS News and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. How does a savvy shopper navigate the gluten-free lifestyle, then? Below are some tips to minimize the burden on you and your families.
- Keep it simple. Choose naturally gluten-free foods, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, legumes, potatoes, eggs, dairy, and meat. Stocking up on these items will lead to a significantly slimmer bill than if you load your grocery cart with specialty GF products.
- Break out the apron. Gluten-free baked goods, like cookies and cakes, can be expensive. Cut costs by baking your own treats– besides, everything tastes better fresh out of the oven!
- Choose flour wisely. Some gluten-free flours, like coconut and almond, are pretty pricey. Rice, oat, and lentil flours are much more budget-friendly.
- The freezer is your friend. Get the most bang for your buck by cooking large quantities and freezing leftovers to enjoy later. This works for snacks, baked goods, and even entire meals!
- One for the money. An often-overlooked cooking strategy is whipping up one-pot meals. Cooking some hearty chili or stew can feed your family throughout the week, which is more time and cost-effective than cooking a new meal with multiple components each night.
- Branch out. Try stopping at a local ethnic market to find new, exciting products for a reasonable price. Indian grocers tend to be especially celiac-friendly, as they often carry a variety of inexpensive gluten-free flours.
- Be resourceful. When you run out of a few ingredients in your kitchen, don’t rush to the grocery store immediately. Before doing so, check out Supercook to see what you can whip up with what’s on hand! There’s even a gluten-free setting (click the wheel on the top right), which takes out the guesswork for you.
- Go coupon crazy. Coupon values can really add up, so keep your eyes peeled for gluten free product deals. The Udi’s, Rudi’s, and Glutino, websites have coupon offerings, and don’t forget to skim through your local newspaper for discounts. Additional resources include Printable Coupons and Deals, Surviving the Stores, and Stockpiling Moms, which all have special sections for gluten-free coupons.