When starting out, you will find that a gluten free diet can be very expensive. When a small loaf of sandwich bread can cost up to $9.00, you will quickly need to find ways to save money on a gluten free diet. Here are some of my top tips:
Ask your local health food store if they offer a case discount on your favorite foods
They may offer you one, even if they don’t normally advertise it. I have a Wild By Nature near me (based on Long Island) and, even though they don’t advertise it, they will give me a 10% discount if I order a case of something. I only do this with non-perishable food but it can save you a lot of money when you add it up.
Invest in a stand-alone freezer
Investing in a stand-alone freezer has saved us a ton of money over the years. It allows me to take advantage of great sales and buy cases of frozen foods, including bread and gluten free pizzas. Also, when I bake I can make large quantities in one batch which saves a lot of time. When I make homemade waffles (really easy), I will make 4 batches at the same time and freeze whatever we don’t eat. This usually means we have at least 3 more meals that only need to be popped into the toaster to be ready.
Check out Aldi’s
Aldi’s has a lot of great gluten free products for very reasonable prices. Their gluten free product line is called liveGfree and its got a lot of great tasting items such as cereal bars and baking mix. In fact, they have so many great inexpensive gluten free items that they deserve a whole post just for them. Other stores that have gluten free items at low prices are BJS (but you need a membership) and Trader Joe’s
Share bulk items with friends
These days celiac disease is so much more prevalent that many of us know more than one person with celiac disease. If possible, see if you can buy cases of food with a discount and split them with your other gluten free friends. This way you still get the bulk discount but don’t have to eat gluten free frozen pizza every day for the next month. This is especially great for gluten free bread which often comes in six or more loaves to a case.
Make it yourself
You can really save a lot of money by baking many foods yourself. Buying premade gluten free food such as cakes and pastries can be extremely expensive. Even making these items from mixes can save you a lot of money. If you are really terrible at baking, think of investing in some baking classes. In the long run, it may save you lots of money and may be fun to boot. Who knows, you may find you love baking and develop a new hobby.
Stick with simple foods
Stick with foods such as vegetables, fruits, and meats. Stay away from processed gluten free foods. They are always more expensive and less healthy. When you buy more processed foods you are paying for someone else to make the food for you (and for all the preservatives).
There are many ways to save money on a gluten free diet but feeling better is the most important thing. That is priceless.