Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eating Gluten Free Without Breaking the Bank

Trying to maintain a gluten-free diet on a budget can be difficult. This list offers suggestions on how to lower grocery bills for a gluten-free household. Cooking at home with a focus on budgets is a hot topic this year. As a result, the web is full of web sites and blogs to help. One great resource is the blog, Gluten Free on a Budget, it hasn’t been updated since 2008, but the low-cost recipes still are current.

Tip 1: Eat naturally gluten-free foods. Processed foods that are labeled “gluten-free” are expensive because a chef, dietician or scientist had to figure out how to substitute gluten in a recipe. However, foods that naturally do not contain gluten will be cheaper because there wasn’t a middle man involved. For example, chicken, veggies, fruit, rice, quinoa, beans and fish are all gluten-free. Look at regular recipes and find ones that are already gluten-free; don’t start by searching for “gluten-free recipes” and “gluten-free food.”

Tip 2: Buy pantry items on sale and in bulk. This is common knowledge, but not many actually follow through. Grocery stores have semi-annual case-sales that heavily discount canned items. offers many gluten-free products in bulk at a discounted price such as Tinkyada White Rice Pasta and Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Sprouts Farmer’s Markets has gluten-free sales occasionally as well. At these sales, all gluten-free products in the store are usually 25 percent off the usual price.

Tip 3: Make friends with your crockpot. Cooking with a crockpot makes cheap food taste better. This is not an overstatement. Cheap cuts of meat turn out great in the crockpot. The energy used to cook in the crockpot is the same as a light bulb, so you’ll save in food and energy costs. Stephanie O’Dea’s blog, A Year of Crockpotting, is solely dedicated to gluten-free crockpot recipes.

Tip 4: Eat less animal protein. Lentils, beans and grains serve as main sources of protein. Try eating meatless meals twice a week; it will save money and some say it’s good not to eat meat every day. Some good vegetarian recipes are: lentil burritos from $5 Dinners (instead of using tortillas I used corn taco shells, making lentil tacos), bean stew, or

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