While a gluten-free diet is beneficial for many health conditions, and is crucial for those with celiac disease, gluten-free products tend to be pricey. How does a savvy shopper navigate? Below are 10 money-saving tips to minimize the financial burden.
1. 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 first will lead to a significantly slimmer bill than if you load your grocery cart with specialty GF products.
2. Get cookin’
Pre-made GF baked goods can be expensive. Cut costs by baking your own treats– besides, everything tastes better fresh out of the oven!
3. Choose flour wisely
Some gluten-free flours, like coconut and almond, can be expensive. Rice, oat, and lentil flours are more budget-friendly. Pre-mixed flour blends also can be expensive, so instead blend your own!
4. Freezer = 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! At the store, scan the frozen aisle for deals. Frozen fruits & veggies can be cheaper and last longer than fresh produce.
5. Make a list, check it twice
Spend some time planning your meals for the week and write down everything you’ll need. Pro tip- pick recipes that use some of the same ingredients so your extra veggies/meat/fresh herbs don’t go to waste! Plus, if you write a list and stick to it, you’ll be less likely to 1) buy something you won’t end up using and 2) buy something you weren’t planning on.
6. 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.
7. Find a recipe to fit your ingredients
Don’t rush to the grocery store if you’re running low on a few ingredients. 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.
8. 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.
9. Shop online
10. Go coupon crazy