There are many reasons that someone may hesitate starting on the gluten free diet, but the price of the food that they will have to start buying does not have to be one of them. There are so many ways someone can save money when eating gluten free. Here are just seven ideas for anyone who is eating gluten free (or considering the diet) to try out.
7 Tips For Saving Money While Eating On The Gluten Free Diet:
1. Use Masa harina. As long as you don't have a corn allergy, make Masa Harina your best friend. It costs only a few dollars for a bag that is enough for 132 tortillas. It is a naturally gluten free product that you are going to want to have on hand at all times! With it you can make quesadillas, taquitos, enchiladas, enchilada casseroles, and so much more. Use a tortilla in place of a bun for a lentil sloppy Joe (I have). Use them in any creative way that you like. This is a cheap, versatile gluten free food that you should always stay stocked up on!
2. Eat beans. Make them yourself to save money. Eat chickpeas in a variety of chickpea salads for a healthy, cheap and gluten free lunch. Eat black beans on a taco salad. Use refried beans to fill tacos. Or use any kind of plain beans in place of flour in desserts. There are so many uses for beans, and you just can't go wrong with them!
3. Make your own baked goods. Never rely on store bought gluten free foods, or you will end up spending too much money. Instead, stock your pantry with the basics (I use mostly a white rice flour/cornstarch/xanthan gum combo) and make your own food when you get a craving for sweets. One of my favorite, simple recipes is my chocolate chip shortbread bars. You can whip them up quickly, and they taste great.
4. Eat naturally gluten free foods. Choose things like popcorn, veggies, or raisins to snack on instead of buying products that are made specifically to be gluten free. Make polenta (which when bought in bulk on Amazon.com is about $.16 per serving) for supper instead of noodles or pizza crust. Make burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. By choosing these kinds of ingredients, you will save yourself a lot of money.
5. Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is the easiest way to save money on groceries, no matter what diet you are on. When you are eating gluten free, make sure to stock up on the essentials. Buy white rice flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, masa harina, dried beans, popcorn, and any other gluten free foods that you enjoy in bulk. Just make sure that you are getting a good deal on the bulk items, and your wallet will thank you later.
6. Stock up your freezer. Bake items ahead of time and put them into freezer safe containers. Make bagels, cookies and more, and freeze them to use later. That way, you will always have something to eat, and you won't be tempted to go out and buy something expensive when you get hungry.
7. Plan your meals. Bring food with you when you are going out for the day. This will not only help you stay within your budget by ensuring that you will not be tempted to go out to eat, but it will also keep you from risking a gluten allergy by eating at a restaurant.
I hope these tips are able to help you out as you are eating gluten free!