Your Turn: Frugal Gluten Free Tips

I got this via Facebook from Becky:

Any good tips on gluten free products? Our youngest has autism and it can be VERY expensive!!!! If ya have any suggestions that would be great!!! Thanks mucho!

Please help her by leaving a comment if you have any. Thanks!

Comments

  1. Terra Jones says:

    We have a local news reporter that helps you find deals and what not, I had emailed her re: GF deals a few weeks ago and here's some info she sent me:

    here is an article I found on the internet that might give you
    some ideas.

    http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglutenfreediet/a/ExpensiveFood.htm

    Finally, make sure you save your receipts for those food items you buy,
    because you can deduct those costs on your taxes***

    ***My mom is an accountant and I asked her about saving our receipts & it got very technical – basically a dr. must prescribe a GF diet, you must have so much in deductions, etc…

    So confusing, that tax stuff!

    I hope some other readers have info, it will help a lot of us!

  2. I eat gluten free and probably the most frugal thing is to shift the diet toward fruits, veggies & meats that are naturally gluten free (don't replace breads and such with special gluten-free versions, just leave them out) (low carb cookbooks can be a good starting place for ideas). And of course, what you do keep, cook from scratch.

    I don't have the dedication to eat that way, so I have a couple of other strategies too. I am always looking for mainstream products that happen to be gluten free and stock up on sale: asian rice noodles, rice & chocolate chex, tostitos, and some betty crocker fruit snacks are in my pantry right now (it gets easier as more brands become gluten-conscious).

    I have found that many stores are starting to label the gluten free items in their generic brand, especially Kroger, Meijer, and Walmart.

    I price special ingredients (like alternative flours) at a variety of stores and buy where it's cheapest (you can check Amazon.com too, for things you use often). I visit the local natural foods store and check their markdown items, check Trader Joe's and Woodman's (a chain in Wisconsin & N. Illinois) when I'm traveling.

    And, I've been seeing a lot more coupons for Gluten free items lately. I believe there was one on coupons.com, and also Mambo Sprouts has them fairly often. Won't make special foods cheap, but the splurge won't sting as much.

    Lastly, I find that I mostly replace the things I really miss, like brownies and pizza crust. I can do without bread and not miss it. Likewise with pasta most of the time. Maybe your child could help by sharing which foods are most important to him?

  3. April_Holajter says:

    Dear Becky,

    I have been on a gluten free diet since I was two years old. I'm 30 now. The range of gluten free products available now compared to the selection 25 years ago is amazing. They've really come along way as the awareness of gluten free diets and its benefits for celiac disease and autism has increased.

    Now, as far as tips for saving on GF products, I have found that using rice flour (purchased from an asian store) to make your own baked goods is usually cost effective. Also, Betty Crocker just came out with some GF cake, brownie and cookie mixes that I've found at Meijer or Target for about $4 each. That's not too bad for a GF mix. Meijer actually has a coupon on their web site for $1 off a Betty Crocker gluten free mix right now: http://www.meijermealbox.com/ It's on page 4 in the "Specials" tab in the "Mealbox" box on the right-hand side of the page. It expires on 10/24. Also, some of the major grocery stores are beefing up their natural foods section to include more GF products. Payless has a decent amount as well as Meijer. Whole Foods also has some great options, but they're more expensive. The one benefit of Whole Foods is that they have a GF bakery, so you can buy freshly baked GF goods, which is a special treat for someone on a GF diet!

    I hope this helps somewhat!

    Good luck,
    April Holajter

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