Eating gluten free is not always easy but when you or a family member have an allergy, intolerance, or celiac disease it a necessity. Here’s a few tips for anyone else in the same situation as us to help stay on a budget!
-Focus on using naturally gluten free foods. Keep in mind that most meat and produce are naturally gluten free with the exception of some marinated and deli meats. Beans and rice are another great naturally gluten free option and they are cheap, especially when bought in bulk.
-Buy local. Find a farmer’s market or a farmer who will sell to you directly. Local produce is always cheaper and you’re helping the local economy. You can usually find beef at a great discount by buying at least ¼ of a cow directly from the farmer. It may seem like a big investment but it will save you money in the long run. Buy a whole chicken and cook it all at once. One of the easiest ways is to use your slow cooker. Just place the chicken in the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours and it’s done! Serve part of it for dinner, shred the rest, and freeze for meals like fajitas, tacos, soup, and so on.
-Make your own gluten free flour mix. Buying the mixes at the store can get really expensive! You can find many gluten free flour mix recipes online. One of my favorites is using 2 parts rice flour and 1 part sweet sorghum flour. Then add xanthan gum or guar gum depending upon what you’re making. If you’re making bread and pizza dough recipes add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of flour called for in the recipe. If you’re making a cake, muffins, or quick bread add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup of flour used in the recipe. If you’re making cookies you do not need to add any xanthum gum or guar gum.
-Make gluten free foods in bulk. Did you know that pancakes, muffins, breads, cookies, and pizza crust free really well? Once a month or as often as you like make up a few batches of your favorites from scratch. Then all you have to do is warm up what is necessary and you’re good to go.
-Use coupons. If there’s something you really like then use coupons. Most companies offer coupons on their website or by joining their mailing list. If you don’t see the option on your favorite companies website send them an email. Sometimes it’s hard to find the sign up page or they don’t advertise it. Who knows you may get a good coupon in the mail from them!