I hear this all the time, gluten-free food is so expensive, how can I make it more affordable?
The good news: gluten-free foods are less expensive compared to gluten-containing foods than they used to be! The bad news is that they are generally more expensive BUT there are definitely ways around reducing food costs on a gluten-free diet.
Let’s look at 8 different ways to do this and these don’t necessarily only apply just because you’re gluten-free, most of them are every day suggestions that will work no matter what.
1. Try not to buy products with “gluten free” stickers all over them.
Fill your shopping trolley with as many products as possible that don’t have a specifically gluten-free ingredients label – seasonal fruit, veggies and unprocessed meats are by nature all gluten-free and cost no more than anyone else pays for them. Focus more on naturally gluten-free ingredients in meals like rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, & zoodles instead of gluten-free pasta, wraps and bread for example. Then use “gluten-free” labelled foods as treats.
2. Do a meal plan & stick to your list when you go shopping!
I’m a huge fan of meal planning to ensure meals are ready when you need them. If you’re at work for 10-12 hours a day, your dinner prep has to be fast and efficient. In order to accomplish this, it’s essential to plan your meals for the week, and also make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. Even though the best laid plans and all that may throw you off your schedule, if you’re planned and organised, you should generally be able to recover quickly.
3. Shop weekly or fortnightly.
Rather than ‘popping into the supermarket every couple of days where you notoriously spend more than you intend to’, create your meal plan, create your shopping list and only shop once a week, or if you can, shop fortnightly. It’s incredible the savings you’ll make, literally mind blowing!
4. Cook from scratch.
This is a biggie! I know time doesn’t always allow but when it is, in general you will pay less and gain more nutritional benefit by cooking from scratch. The same principle applies to vegetables as well – a head of lettuce will be far less than a packaged bag of lettuce, and those “trimmed” green beans come at a premium (even the most incompetent of chefs can cut the end off green beans!). If you haven’t already, grab my BRAND NEW, ‘A Delicious Gluten-Free Day’ Recipe Guide which will get you cooking from scratch and wowing your family! Download HERE.
5. Make your own bread, and even, eat less bread.
Let’s face it, gluten-free bread can be expensive, which makes it very precious. Instead, find a bread recipe that works and make your own, and keep it in the freezer for freshness. Even make your own bread mix which will reduce food costs even more. Also, look for ways to reduce your bread intake so you don’t rely on it so heavily, and use alternative ingredients like rice wafers, kumara slices, egg plant slices, or lettuce wraps.
6. Buy the local brand.
This isn’t specific to gluten-free but there’s no need to buy the premium brands if you’re trying to reduce your food costs. Buy Pam’s, Home brand or the local brand of your supermarket as this will definitely help to make your money go further! Pam’s do a fantastic range of premium gluten-free products so keep an eye out for them.
7. Introduce more vegetarian meals.
Explore with vegetarian sources of protein like tofu, beans, lentils & pulses to reduce the need to buy expensive cuts of meat. Put it on your menu to introduce at least one new vegetarian meal a week. To get you started, try these Jackfruit Tacos.
8. Cook in bulk.
Bulk out dishes such as chilli, nacho mix and bolognaise with tinned/frozen vegetables and pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, sweetcorn, red kidney beans, black beans, grated carrot and frozen or fresh spinach. It will make the meat go even further, requiring less, you’ll get several more meals out of it plus up your nutritional intake, a win/win all round!
Although gluten-free eating can feel expensive, there are definitely ways that you can reduce food costs. By following these principles over a period of time, you will definitely notice a reduction in your food bill.
On a 30-day challenge, Bek made a conscious effort to focus on her spending (she’s gluten-free and dairy-free and her partner eats everything) and she saved about $130 per week!!
“Wow, this has been truly life changing! I’m just blown away at the difference! We were spending around $450 per week, including pet food ($70). I have got that way down to an average of $318, that’s about $130 per week less – AMAZING!
The best part is that I was able to pay for my up-coming holiday without taking money out of my savings account! The two things that were the most impactful were shopping weekly (instead of every couple of days) and doing a meal plan and sticking to it! Thanks Wick, life changing!” Bek
You can do it too. Just implement the tips shared here and reap the rewards.
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So, you find gluten-free food expensive right? One of the ways to reduce costs is to cook from scratch and that’s exactly what my new guide will help you do!
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