Does anyone have tips for saving money on a gluten free diet?
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  1. #1
    Registered User ncarr's Avatar
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    Default Does anyone have tips for saving money on a gluten free diet?

    I've started eating gluten free for my lupus and D@mn is it expensive! Do any of you have any tips?

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I don't know much about that diet, but in general, the more stuff you can learn to make from scratch, the less expensive it'll be.

    Peanut would be a good one to talk to. She's not available right now but should be back in a few days.
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    Disclaimer: I'm not gluten free, but I have multiple (around 20) life threatening food allergies, so I know a little bit about doing substitutes when cooking.

    The best thing to do is not to buy commercial 'substitutes' but rather, see what you can do that is naturally gluten free.

    For example, gluten free pasta is pricey. But rice is cheap and naturally gluten free. Finding gluten-free oats is hard and pricey, but you can always have grits as hot breakfast cereal instead. Instead of buying pricey gluten free 'flour' tortillas, use corn tortillas instead.

    Even with my massive list of allergens, I very rarely buy substitutes anymore. I do keep egg replacer on hand, but I am more likely to use a mashed banana that I go cheaply from the discount produce section to replace eggs in a muffin recipe - it's cheaper.

    This may not be an option for you, but where I live there is a lot of discount/bent and dent grocery stores. They tend to have a good selection of allergy friendly/gluten free products much cheaper than the regular markets.

    Good luck!

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    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    Janal14 is right. The pricey subs will kill your budget. We have to stay gluten, dairy and soy free in our house. We use spaghetti squash instead of noodles for marinara night. I use potatoes, rice or quinoa instead of pasta in most my casseroles. We do buy the rice noodles in the Asian section when they are on sale but that is about it. We tend to have soups, salads or casseroles at our evening meals. Baking from scratch is super easy. The first book I bought when we were told to remove gluten was The Gluten Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg. It has no strange or hard to find flours - just cornstarch and potato starch as their basis. The foods don't have that kind of weird after taste some flours can have.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Check your library for gluten-free cookbooks. Not all cookbooks work for all people, and you can spend a ton of money buying different ones and end up with a stack of books that are worthless to you. I get cookbooks from the library so I can test-drive them first, then just buy the ones that work for me. Usually I can find them cheaper on Half.com: Textbooks , Books , Music , Movies , Games , Video Games.

    Good luck. I know how hard it is to totally make over your food habits. But you'll get there.
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    I have been gluten free for a while. There are cereals out there that are gluten free such as rice chexs but you really do need to make sure that they are not produced in a facility that also produces products that contain gluten. I have found trader joes has rice pasta that is gluten free that is less expensive.

    Your best option is to make foods that are gluten free. Also you can make your own flours if you have a food processor or really good blender which will help you save money.

    Right now try to stay away from any processed foods. A lot easier said then done but you need to get the gluten out of your system. Try eating more produce, meats and fish. There are many recipes available on the web that are gluten free. Try using lettuce for a wrap instead of a tortilla. Rice cakes are somewhat inexpensive and you might find them helpful while making the transition. But you will be amazed how much you do not miss gluten once you take it out of your diet. The first two weeks may be difficult but it gets easier after that.

    Asian markets are a good source for different flours or noodles. You just need to be careful about it being processed in a facility that uses a gluten product. I have noticed that restaurants now offer gluten free noodles or low carb entrees. Eating out it is best to stick with basic foods that are broiled, steamed, no sauce, etc.

    It can be overwhelming at first but once you start feeling better you will realize how much it is worth doing.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm the first to admit I know next to nothing about gluten-free eating, but if the focus is veggies and meats, would the South Beach Diet cookbooks be of any help? Maybe not all the recipes, but they do focus a lot on meats and veggies, especially the Phase One recipes. Maybe they would be worth getting from the library for a look anyway. Or maybe I'm all wrong.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    My dd is gluten free, so we made the entire household gluten free. We decided not to try to make gluten free copies of things like pastas, breads, etc. except for special occasions. She makes wraps with corn tortillas instead of sandwiches in her lunch box, I make cream -of-whatever soup mixes using corn starch, etc.

    Just reading labels won't always clue you into the entire story. Dd ended up in the ER after eating Twizzler's licorice. After multiple phone calls to the company, we discovered that they use flour in the tubes/molds to keep the candy from sticking. But since it's not an actual ingredient in the candy, they don't have to list it on the package!

    BTW - we use zucchini in lots of dishes instead of pastas - and I make a rice crust instead of usual pizza crust, etc.

    Google for celiac organization , they have tons of recipes, etc. on their website.

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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    I just had eggplant today, I use it instead of pasta. Just saute with onions, etc, (cubed, peeled eggplant) and add sauce.

    Also, if you are making things yourself, from scratch, look into buying from a bakery supply (wholesale) store, if you have the ability to store things in bulk. It will be cheaper per pound than the little packages in the supermarket.

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    Registered User ARCMOMMY's Avatar
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    My mom has lupus and tried the gluten free route. Sad to report it did nothing for her. But as you know " no lupus case is the same". Goodluck. It just stressed my mom out even more.
    TOTAL DEBT REMAINING=0, Nada,Zilch and never ever again

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    We order our pasta from Amazon. Jovial is the closest to normal pasta we've found, while the Tinkyada isn't bad. We also order bread mixes from Amazon, since it's cheaper and tastes better than mixing up our own blends.

    Other than that, everything is made from scratch.

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    Registered User ncarr's Avatar
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    Thanks! So far my joint pain is SO much better. Sunshine- do you have a recipe for the cream soups?

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    My guess is it would be this recipe. I think most people use this, but Sunshine's recipe could be something else.

    HOMEMADE CREAM SOUP MIX

    2 c Powdered nonfat milk
    3/4 c Cornstarch
    1/4 c Instant chicken bouillon
    2 tb Dried onion flakes
    1 t Basil leaves
    1 t Thyme leaves
    1/2 ts Pepper

    NOTE: To use in place of canned cream soups in
    casseroles or as a base for your own soups. Much
    lower in fat and salt than the canned versions. The
    trick is to have it made up ready to use! Combine
    all ingredients, mixing well. Store in an airtight
    container until ready to use. To SUBSTITUTE FOR ONE
    CAN OF CONDENSED SOUP: Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with
    1 1/4 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Cook and stir
    until thickened. Add to casseroles as you would the
    canned product.

    Source: RecipeSource: Homemade Cream Soup Mix

    I use 2/3 c. of mix with 1 1/4 c. water. That makes it about as thick as the canned, undiluted soup.

    I also use onion powder instead of the onion flakes, so there aren't any lumps in the soup when it's made up.

    I mix this right in a quart jar, shake it, and store it with a tight lid. Simple and quick that way. Shake it up before using.
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  14. #14
    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    That's pretty much the same recipe I use. . . then I just add whatever to make the cream of soup -- mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup, celery for cream of celery, etc. If I'm making cream of chicken I use chicken broth instead of the water, and dice up some chicken for it.

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    Here is a link to a site that has some good gluten free recipes. I make the Gluten Free Buns for DS and he likes them.

    Welcome to the Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School.

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