7 Ways to Save Money When Buying Gluten-Free

Gluten-free products can be expensive. For someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, that extra cost can be stressful. I know because I WAS highly sensitive to gluten.

Over Twice As Expensive

According to this cost-comparison study, gluten-free products are about 242% more expensive than regular products.

Betty Crocker gluten-free chocolate brownie mix, for example, costs 38˘ per ounce, while regular fudge-brownie mix is only 16˘ per ounce. Gluten-free crackers cost almost five times more than Ritz crackers.

Why Do Gluten Free Products Cost More?

  • Every ingredient must be free from contamination — from the field, to the processing, to the packaging plant. Manufacturers have costs to implement the strict guidelines for certifying and labeling GF.
  • Gluten free products usually need more ingredients, many of which are more expensive than the standard wheat.
  • Consumers want or need gluten-free so much, they are willing to pay for it.

Big Money Can be Made Selling Gluten-Free Products

  • $7 billion will be spent by Americans this year on foods labeled gluten-free.
  • 55% gluten-free consumers spend 30% or more on their grocery budget for gluten-free foods.

Big Business is cashing in. General Mills for example now offers more than 300 gluten-free lines including Pillsbury dough.

We have been trained to want and need wheat-like products.

We Pay For These Products Because We Fear Being Deprived

No one wants to have to do without their usual wheat toast, or cereal or cookies or sandwich or pie. Eating wheat three to five times a day is not unusual. However, eating that much wheat is not healthy. A healthy balanced diet consists of a wide range of foods, not one food a number of times a day.  Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly” popularized the idea that the current mass-produced wheat causes problems ranging from arthritis to schizophrenia to weight gain. Through my experience with gluten sensitivity, I have learned that you can eat healthier and save money with a few key changes.

7 Ways to Save Money Being Gluten-Free

1. Stop Buying Packaged Products. Instead, buy gluten-free whole grains. Some of the poorest populations in the world live quite happily on gluten free rice and millet. Try other naturally gluten-free grains like quinoa and buckwheat.

Rice and millet whole grains are inexpensive and healthy.

2. Make Your Own Flour Mixtures. The flours I use in my baking are brown rice, potato, chick pea and a little arrowroot. I do not waste my money buying starches, since they are almost like buying sugar (see below). Check out 9 Healthy Gluten-Free Flours.

3. Eat Fresh Whole Foods. All fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs, chicken, fish and meats are gluten-free. Make your diet based on fresh vegetables, nuts, fruit and whole gluten-free grains. (You can listen to me discuss this further in a recent interview.)

4. Buy in bulk.
Buying in bulk may be expensive at first, but you will save money in the long run.

Keep your receipts - for possible returns and tax.

5. Buy online.
Find out if the ingredient you like will be sold to you directly. It’s often much less expensive than buying at the grocery store.

6. Keep your receipts.
Many stores will refund you if you don’t like a product.  Safeway has launched a “Gluten Free Eating Right” line with a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your purchase.

7. File your taxes. Canadians diagnosed with Celiac disease can claim the cost of gluten-free foods as a medical expense. Rules for claiming medical expenses in the United States are varied. To qualify you’ll have to have a blood test and perhaps offer a biopsy as proof that your gut can’t handle gluten.

Gluten free cupcakes sound healthy but are loaded with sugar and starch.

Most Gluten Free Products Are Unhealthy and Fattening

People are getting fat from eating store bought and homemade gluten-free goodies. Gluten-free foods can be higher in calories than the wheat-based products because they are filled with 30% to 70% starch and lots of sugar. Check out all the other dangers of gluten-free products.

If you are gluten-free:

  1. Learn about the 11 Gluten Free Grains as alternatives and their many benefits.
  2. Check out Diana’s Gluten Free Recipes. I have spent years creating healthy gluten-free meals and yummy baked goods without all the starch and sugar. Make sure you are subscribed to the newsletters for the latest recipes.
  3. Consider doing one of my Healthy Online Courses to learn HOW to cook gluten-free. All of the recipes for the courses are gluten-free.

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Magdalena J.
Magdalena C.10 months ago

Thank you!

Magdalena J.
Magdalena C.about a year ago

Thank you!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)

Anne K.
Anne K.1 years ago

Thank you!

Fernando V.
Fernando V.1 years ago

Thanks. Good to know!

Marija Mohoric
Maria Mohoric1 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R.1 years ago


Tanya W.
Tanya W.1 years ago

Sorry thanks. It got away.

Tanya W.
Tanya W.1 years ago


Felicia D.
Felicia D.1 years ago

Golly- the easiest way to save money when you're gluten intolerant or just want to avoid grains is eat only veggies, meat and fruit. Honestly- once you get used to this it's fabulous and you really don't miss all the rest of that stuff at all! But if you have to have non-wheat bread or brownies or cake, try Bob's Red Mill products. They're really good so even if they do cost more than usual mixes (which are usually pretty awful) you're getting a high quality and delicious substitute. And for those of you who think going grain-free is silly, check out this article from io9: