START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
580,462 people care about Real Food

7 Ways to Go Gluten-Free On a Budget

7 Ways to Go Gluten-Free On a Budget

One of the hardest parts of going gluten free is how expensive the diet can be. Gluten free baked goods can easily cost 2-3 times as much as their wheat-based counterparts, and even baking from scratch can be pricey.

So if youíre struggling to eat gluten-free and pinch pennies, here are 7 helpful tips to make it a little easier:

1. Look for naturally gluten-free foods. It may seem like everything in your supermarket has gluten in it, but letís be honest. Thatís only if youíre sticking to processed foods. Venture out into the fresh produce, dairy, meat and seafood aisles and youíll find a wealth of healthy, naturally gluten-free foods that donít cost any extra. Some other good options are lentils, beans, and rice — but watch out with dry versions of these products, which may be packaged on the same lines as wheat, barley, or oats. Hereís a helpful list of naturally safe foods if youíre not sure where to start.

2. Learn to bake your own gluten-free goods. Not only will you save money baking your own GF breads, cookies and cakes, but youíll also be eating much healthier versions of the processed foods youíll find in stores — with no scary additives or preservatives. Itís true that baking gluten-free has a steep learning curve if youíre used to cooking with wheat flour, but there are a wealth of recipes and how-to guides online to help you get started.

3. While youíre at it, try making your own gluten-free flour mixes. Buying basic flours and mixing them yourself will cost less than buying a special mix and will be more versatile. But be sure that the flours youíre buying are certified gluten-free — some of the cheaper corn, rice, or potato flours may be contaminated if theyíre processed alongside gluten grains.

4. Buy gluten-free groceries in bulk. Shop online at Amazon or your favorite brandís website. Most of them will offer discounts if you order supplies in bulk. You can also try the bulk flour bins at your local health food store, but be careful — the scoops can easily be contaminated by other bins. I donít recommend this approach if you have a severe gluten sensitivity or full-blown celiac.

5. Clip coupons and keep an eye out for sales. Keep an eye on the sales at your local grocery store, and check out the websites of your favorite GF brands to see if they offer any special coupons. You should also check out online deal sites like Gluten Free Saver and Be Free For Me for regular updates on gluten-free discounts.

6. Freeze big batches of GF goodies! If you tend to run out of homemade gluten-free snacks and end up buying pricey store brands instead, thereís an easy fix. Just freeze a big batch of the dough (or even the finished snack) for easy defrosting later when youíre in a rush. You can safely freeze cookies, breads, even soups and some entrees without damaging the texture of the finished product.

7. Claim a tax deduction for your gluten-free food. Yes, you can actually write off gluten-free foods as a medical expense. Thereís two catches, though: first, you MUST be medically diagnosed as celiac to claim this deduction. Second, you can only claim the difference in cost between the gluten-free version of a food and the regular version. So youíll have to save all your grocery receipts, do a lot of math, and attach a letter from your doctor verifying your diagnosis. Itís a lot of work, but it may just be worth it.

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo credit: Tax Credits

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

111 comments

+ add your own
10:15AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

It's been a year since my daughter has been diagnosed with Celiac. I put the whole house on a gluten free diet. It was tough, lots of trials by fire, but we are coming out strong. I have become a better cook, and our foods have become more simple than the processed stuff we were buying.

4:02AM PDT on Jul 22, 2013

Gluten allergies are not a fad. This is an example of science recently learning more about what gluten allergies are, and people who have been suffering for years figuring out the cause of their woes. Estimates are that 30% of the population in the United States has some level of gluten allergy, but 95% of them don't realize it. And you don't have to have celiac to suffer. It affects everyone differently.

Ear aches, skin rashes. thyroid problems, headaches, insomnia, sleep apnea, carpel tunnel syndrome, sinus infections, neuropathies, vision problems, various sorts of dermatitis, hives, joint aches and injuries, sleepwalking in children, diarrhea or constipation, vitamin deficiencies, anxiety, depression ... and about 150 more symptoms can all be the result of gluten allergies. Some people have five symptoms, others 105.

Basically, if you haven't tried going gluten-free, you really don't know what affect gluten is having on you.

But thanks to the author for the tips.

10:13AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Grazie per la condivisione.

12:37PM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

I loved this post from Gluten Free Gus’ site! It is a great list of unconventional reasons to go gluten-free. Check it out at http://glutenfreegus.com/top-ten-reasons-to-go-gluten-free/.

8:25AM PDT on Jun 8, 2013

very intersting

4:23AM PDT on Jun 8, 2013

interesting

1:27PM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Good tips to know

11:40AM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Good info

10:41AM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

ty

10:03AM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Thanks for the info.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

I was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico near St Petersburg, FLA many years ago. The beach was deserted,…

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.