The gluten-free lifestyle is often mislabeled as an expensive one. Sure, it can be expensive, but take the time to read the post below contributed by Taste Guru to learn some ways to save some money.
Gluten Free Savvy on a Shoestring
For many people, making the switch to a gluten-free lifestyle seems like an overwhelming investment. The question “Can I afford it?” often is one of the first things that comes up in the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, consumers who judge the cost of gluten-free living by that special aisle in the grocery store packed with fancy alternative flours and various processed foods are not getting a realistic idea of the bigger picture. In reality, gluten-free living is largely about eating unprocessed, whole foods. Despite the assumption that these foods are more expensive, they are actually the least expensive options for someone with cooking basics in their back pocket.
There are many natural, delicious, and versatile foods that fall under the guise of gluten free, like black beans, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and eggs. These simple, delicious basics can be turned into a multitude of meal options with some simple, healthy recipes at your disposal. Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some handy tips for cutting back on your gluten-free food budget.
Stock Up During Sales
There are some days when you just crave a big bowl of spaghetti or a couple of easy-to-make brownies. Fortunately gluten-free pantry staples like baking mixes, pasta, and specialized flour go on sale several times throughout the year and can be found regularly on sale or discounted through bulk-buying deals or subscriptions on Amazon. They also last quite a while in the pantry. So when you find a good deal on these items stock up!
Embrace Your Inner Coupon Clipper
Don’t underestimate the power of the Sunday newspaper! Clipping coupons for gluten-free pantry items can put more than just pennies back in your wallet, especially when combined with a sale. Be sure to check in with your favorite gluten-free brands online, as most regularly post coupons on their websites or social media accounts. Also, plenty of frugal gluten-free foodies out there regularly compile the best and newest coupons available on the web, so be sure to bookmark these sites.
Get Trendy and DIY
Believe it or not, making your own gluten-free snacks like cookies, cakes, and other treats often is cheaper than buying processed gluten-free food. You’ll also get the added benefit that it’s likely healthier, lower in sugar, and lacking other unhealthy additions, as well.
Find a few hours in your week to hunker down and whip up gluten-free muffins, breads, and other freezer-friendly meals for the week or month. Cooking in large batches and freezing means you always have gluten-free goodies on hand, helping to reduce impulse purchases of expensive, processed gluten-free food and snacks. It will allow you to stretch your meats, beans, baking supplies, and gluten-free grains further. Not sure where to start? Hearty options like Lentil Stew and Chinese Rice Stew with Chicken freeze well, use fresh ingredients, and they taste good, too!
Mull Over a Meal Plan
You crave a frugal, gluten-free lifestyle, right? So, to stay on-budget, your kitchen should run like a well-oiled machine with a rotating meal plan. Make sure to consider what fruits and vegetables are in-season, what recipes are in-house favorites (try storing them in an online recipe box), and create a schedule so that you can cook ahead, freeze, and mix-up your culinary adventures.
If you’re at a loss of where to start, check out these websites for some tantalizing, budget-conscious gluten-free meal plans.
Whatever you do, make sure that you stick to your gluten-free diet in a fun, frugal, and meaningful way. Think of your newfound diet and all of the new and exciting food adventures as a means of enhancing your health — not detracting from it.
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