Saving Money on the Gluten-Free and Allergy Free Diets
Posted Apr 16 2012 1:30pm
The gluten-free and allergy free diets are more expensive than a regular diet - there is no disputing that! However, there are may ways to save money whether you are on a gluten-free diet or an allergy free diet or any other special diet for that matter! We have always been very budget conscious unrelated to the gluten-free diet, so when I realized over 12 years ago that we needed to be gluten free, I made a special point to find every way to save money on the foods. One of the best ways to save money if you have celiac disease and are on a gluten-free diet or are on a special diet is to make your gluten-free or allergen-free foods from scratch. You will save money and you should end up with a better tasting food and more of it. Honestly folks, we have purchased some gluten-free and allergen-free foods at the store that were simply so bad that we didn't eat them! Fifteen little cookies for $5.00!
You can save money by making your own gluten-free or allergy-free mixes! Once you find a recipe that you know you love, the next time you go to make the food item - set out three mixing bowls and mix up the dry ingredients for three batches. Then place two of the batches in self-sealing plastic bags and label them. My sons have been doing this for years! They will actually skip putting the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and place the flours, xanthan gum, etc. right into a plastic bag! That saves washing and drying a bowl, but you should mix the dry ingredients well when you go to use the homemade mix.
Another way to save, which I highly recommend, is through a wholesaler or buying cooperative. You have to know your food prices for this because some food items are cheaper to purchase at your local grocery store than through the coop or wholesaler. I have been actively participating in buying food through a wholesaler or coop for more than 11 years. In addition to knowing your food product prices, you often have to buy products by the case, which means that you either only purchase foods that you love and will use before they expire or you find someone else to split a case. Buying foods like this could take up a whole post in and of itself!
Watch for sales and coupons! I know it does not happen often, but there are times when you can find price reductions, coupons or specials! Stock up when you find a product that is on sale. You can save a good deal of money on produce and meats by buying directly from a farmer - especially a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We participate in a CSA - Native Offerings Farm - and a buying group that purchases directly from a wholesaler, plus we make almost all of our gluten-free baked goods and treats from scratch. I do not consider any of these activities to be too time consuming as not to be worth it! In fact, when my daughter makes gluten-free and allergy-free browie bits - I know that we are not only saving a lot of money, but the brownie bites taste just like those containing gluten and dairy! Now, go save some money!