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No Way To Turn Entire Home gluten-free
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It is easy to tell a gluten intolerant they need to run their kitchen gluten-free to insure no cc but.. who in the world can afford that!? Our grocery budget has taken a hit with just me being gluten-free. Better meats, more produce not to mention the gluten-free flours and baking items. I know I can't be the only mom who can't afford to feed her whole family gluten-free. There are 6 of us by the way. My DH and I and our kids. 16,11,8 and 5. We struggle, dealt with 2 layoffs in 1 year and barely make ends meet some months.

Tiff... who is trying to learn a new normal :(

Edit to add I make meals and we all eat them but sometimes I have to make a different meal for the family and I eat on my own. So it's not like I am keeping the better meats and veggies from my family.

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I was cooking different meals for a very short time now I cook one meat and three to four vegetables so there is something that everyone likes. We have pasta maybe once a week. I do buy canned and frozen vegetables and try to stock up when on sale.

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The gluten-free stuff is really expensive. I totally know what you're talking about because I figured out I was celiac in grad school. I never got that into buying gluten-free baking mixes and flour and whatnot. Corn tortillas are really cheap around here, and I get big bags of cheap rice at Indian or oriental grocery stores depending on what kind I want. Potatoes are cheap too if I feel like tossing one in the microwave. I didn't really change produce shopping habits as I always ate a lot of fruit.

Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need to buy more expensive meats? I didn't change my meat shopping habits at all when I went gluten-free. I was just chasing the sales - whole chicken, pot roast, cubed steak, pork chops - whatever the grocery store had a a good price.

(I have changed my meat buying habits lately, but that's got nothing to do with gluten. I'm slowly drifting towards eating a lot of beans, cheese, eggs, and tofu and much smaller amounts of organic/free range meat.)

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I'm one of the odd ones who's food budget went down after turning our house gluten-free. I'm blessed to live near Bob's RedMill, so I can buy in bulk without the shipping costs, but even when I was having it shipped to me, it ended up being less than 1$ per pound--buying 25# bags of the flours... I do bake all of our bread and pizza shells from scratch. I bake many batches of muffins each week--5 min to mix, 20 in the oven while I'm in the shower and getting dressed... Dinners have rices, quinoa, gluten-free noodles (I also buy in bulk), corn tortillas, etc... We have a very small yard, but we've had a garden for the last 2 years and I hardly have to buy any veggies at the store. Most of what I buy-produce and dairy-wise-I buy organic. I buy when stuff is on sale and they get what they get! We eat very seasonally. We hardly eat out anymore. We went from 3x a week to maybe 3x a month, so that helps the budget too.

If I can help in any way, I'd be more than happy to. I've been doing this for years now ;)

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I can totally sympathize with you as I am a coupon lady too. My grocery budget used to be $100 per month for just my husband and me. Now I spend $300 per month and I don't even buy very many of the gluten free mixes. I cook from scratch and I stockpile when gluten free foods are cheap with a sale and coupon. I can't imagine how much it would go up to feed a family your size.

One thing that kills me as a couponer is that I used to get pasta for FREE after coupons ALL the time. I had no fewer than twenty boxes in my pantry the month I went gluten free. Week after week I looked at gluten free pastas that cost around $5 a box and couldn't bring myself to buy them. I did try a few when they went on sale, but it still irked me to spend so much on an item I used to get for pennies. I think you mentioned in another thread you are a stockpiler, so you will appreciate this: When I found out that Big Lots carries some gluten free items, I went there to check it out. I found Sam Mill's corn spaghetti for $1.29. At first I only bought one to try to see if it tasted good. Then I when I tried it and it passed the test, I went back and stocked up. Same thing with Mother's Rice cakes. I stocked up on those from Big Lots. When I saw Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes on closeout for 1.88 each (reg $4.79) at one of my local stores (Food Lion), I bought one tried it, and then checked all the stores within a 10 mile radius (about ten stores around me). Yes it took a lot of planning and gas to drive around, but for a better than %50 savings I think it was worth it (I was also afraid they were discontinuing the product and I wanted to stock up before it was gone). These stock up sessions did hurt my budget the week I did them, but now I don't have to pay full price for those items for a long time. Some may not understand this strategy, but I know you can appreciate it as a couponer. It's just a little more difficult because the Gluten free coupon items are fewer and farther between. But it can be done. I'm getting Mission Corn Tortillas this week for .29 each after coupon. I plan to have about 20 packages when I'm done, which will last me for months.

I plan my meals around what's on sale and what I have in my stockpile. My gluten free food stockpile is tiny and it will probably never be as big as in my pre-gluten free days. But that's okay. So I make due with eating seasonal produce and meats as they come on sale (of course I fill my freezer with meat when there's a good sale or a markdown). I make a chart each week of the fresh foods (produce and meats) on sale and then try to plan meals. I shop several times a week to prevent waste (if we have too many leftovers the fresh stuff doesn't get used up before it goes bad). But I live close to the stores and I can see how your wouldn't want to do that with kids. I buy in bulk and freeze or otherwise preserve when something hits it's lowest price point of the season. Last week it was peaches at .49/lb. I bought about 10lbs worth, blanched them to remove the skins, sliced them and froze them. So we can enjoy peaches for month to come.

I grow as much as I can, even though I rent instead of own. I have a large container garden on my porch. It's great to just open the door, pick a few things and chop them up for dinner. I have saved quite a bit and I am preserving the extras.

I'm sure you know all these tricks and tips. Just wanted to say I can sympathize and I know how tiring it is to have to keep up with the bargain hunting. You do what you gotta do to feed your family sometimes. As long as you are able to do it and not sacrifice your own health there's nothing wrong with making your own separate gluten-free meal and saving money by making them whatever is cheap. But I can totally see where it would be exhausting chasing the deals for your family and also trying to track down gluten-free food for yourself.

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Man, boy do I sympathize. Going gluten free with a large family, and trying to pay any bills other than grocery, just boggles my mind! My family (we're one income) got hit with this in the face and didn't have a choice, but at least we were a bit smaller - only 4 of us. :( But 3 out of the four of us have to be gluten free, so keeping just one person WITH gluten was more trouble and money than it was worth. The grocery bills are definitely a struggle.

If it helps, these are some of the changes we've made that have helped some, anyway, although I can't see that they would quite help enough for a larger family:

- We pretty much only drink water now, with the occasional orange juice or tea, but we don't buy any other beverages. Although we just figured out how to make rice milk, which was really cheap.

- We dropped dairy because it was a food issue with the kids, but financially that has made a big difference. We tend to buy lots of calcium rich leafy greens, instead, now, and they are MUCH cheaper.

- We do everything as simple as we can, and as from scratch as we can. I get gluten-free soy sauce, but make broth from chicken bones. I buy oils, but we save all the meat drippings and use instead of shortening. I have tried to make sauces from scratch - like mustard - but it's often more expensive, so instead we have been using what spices we have and fresh veggies, instead of sauces. We do 2-4 vegetarian days a week so I buy lots of dried beans and chickpeas, with a whole grain side dish. (oh, spices from indian grocers came cheaper in much bigger packages, although they were more of a cc risk)

- We've pretty much dropped bready products. We don't buy or make gluten-free bread. I was making pancakes or biscuits, gluten-free ones, for a while, but the cost for the flours and starches has been prohibitive, and I think the kids started reacting to a few of them, too, so now we're phasing into just the whole grains. Although I have a grain mill, so we may try to make some of our own.

- We've started the garden thing too. Just planted herbs and some veggies. We have a few small fruit trees that we planted last year. We have been looking at what food grows here native, and I've been collecting seeds from the trees and all and planting them throughout the backyard. Picked the seeds from one of our native trees when we realized it can be ground up for flour.

I suppose the biggest change has really been the cooking. I cook SO much now - not really enjoying that part, honestly. But it's getting easier now that I have a better idea of a few things I can make simply and cheaply that are gluten free.

Right now, I'd say if we're very careful, we can feed three of us on $100 or so, with a little extra every couple months to stock up on dried beans and rice and such. (I budget myself separately as I have crazy diet of expensive doom, sigh) But on one income like us, with more children - I can't even think about how difficult that would be to go gluten free and avoid super-debt every month. :o

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I'm probably repeating above comments, but just wanted to add that I depend on cheap staples:

dried beans/lentils (some canned, especially in the summer when it's hot)

sweet potatoes/turnips etc

corn tortillas

rice

asian noodles and rice paper wrappers

And this summer I've been growing most of my own vegetables with about an hour/week of effort because I've been unemployed. Can you coral the kids into gardening?

Don't know where you live, but you may be able to find cheap sources of produce in immigrant neighborhoods. Chinatowns, Latino, African groceries especially. Teff, for example, is cheaper at an Ethiopian corner store than Whole Foods. Replacement foods are a decadence that only get bought when I've had a week with lots of baby sitting.

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I also don't understand the better meats. What does that have to do with gluten?

richard

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I think our grocery budget also went down gluten free. We don't buy specialty gluten free things. I don't do a lot of baking. I make use of the cheap, naturally gluten free stuff - rice, lentils, beans - and get seasonal produce. Sure, if you're replacing bread with broccoli, it's going to be more expensive per calorie, but also a lot more nutritious. Really kinda depends on where you started. (And yes, I'm citing an extreme example. :P)

I would encourage you to experiment and search for things that are naturally inexpensive and gluten free. There are plenty out there, though it may be a bit of a shift away from how you normally eat.

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It was after I went gluten free that I realized really fatty (read cheap) meat bothered my GI tract. Also (hides head in shame) I would buy the logs of cheap meat with fillers to make it last. low fat, lean cuts do not upset my stomach but they are more expensive.

When you spend little over $400 a MONTH for a family of 6 (including paper, cleaning items and toiletries) thanks to superdeals and coupons... going gluten free is going to hurt.

The biggest cost really isn't gluten free specific items but the produce. Used to be a treat, now I spend quite a bit on fresh foods. I want to be able to give fresh fruit and veggies to my kids too.

Prob making no sense. I have been up with my daughter who had surgery and I am exhausted with grainy eyes.

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It was after I went gluten free that I realized really fatty (read cheap) meat bothered my GI tract. Also (hides head in shame) I would buy the logs of cheap meat with fillers to make it last. low fat, lean cuts do not upset my stomach but they are more expensive.

When you spend little over $400 a MONTH for a family of 6 (including paper, cleaning items and toiletries) thanks to superdeals and coupons... going gluten free is going to hurt.

The biggest cost really isn't gluten free specific items but the produce. Used to be a treat, now I spend quite a bit on fresh foods. I want to be able to give fresh fruit and veggies to my kids too.

Prob making no sense. I have been up with my daughter who had surgery and I am exhausted with grainy eyes.

You're making perfect sense to me. The Budget amounts I posted above are for everything as well (paper goods, cleaning, etc.) No way I could do as well gluten free and I do eat mostly whole natural gluten free foods (Potatoes, rice, meat, fruit, etc.) instead of gluten-free replacements. I got a BJ's Warehouse membership to save money on meats and a few other things that I need to buy regularly now. In the past that type of thing would not save me in the long run because I could always get a better deal with coupons at the grocery store (yes there are some coupons for fresh meat and veggies, they are just limited), but now I'm consuming more meat and I buy mostly organic, antibiotic free, etc. I can get quality meat much cheaper in bulk at BJ's than in my supermarket. For next year I'm going to look into buying a half of cow because I can save even more that way. Just got a chest freezer big enough to hold it this year.

I hope your daughter recovers from her surgery soon and you can get some rest.

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Ditto to hoping your daughter feels better.

My entire family of 4 needs to be gluten-free and we've been on the diet for almost 2 yrs. The 1st couple of months, it seemed my grocery bills were enormous. But now that I know what to look and how to cook, our food bills are about the same. We are eating healthier and when you factor in that we don't eat out as often or order in Pizza, they probably have gone down.

Good luck--life will get better. :)

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My heart goes out to you because we are feeling the stab in the checkbook!

I am wondering though, HOW people here are getting by at the store for so little???? We are a family of 8 and we struggle with putting the basics in the house for $200 a WEEK!!!!! That is our paper products, supplements (rarely) and cleaners. I try to spend as little as possible but I don't know how to shave it down! HELP!

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First I'll admit I don't have time to read this whole thread right now so I'm only responding to the original post. We are a family of 5 with one more on the way. I am a stay at home mom, my kids are 13, 10 and 8 and all boys and eat a lot. I'm not sympathetic only because I am living what you're complaining about and I haven't found it to make a huge difference in our budget at ALL! We have NO gluten in our household since October. We buy meat, produce, rice, potatoes, pinto beans, the same HEALTHY foods that normal people eat. We do most of our shopping at Costco, and what I can't get there I order on Amazon. Yes pasta costs a little more, but when I buy it in bulk on Amazon, it's not that big of a deal. Especially when you take in to account the money we are SAVING on doctors bills, medications, and going out to eat! We used to go out to eat once a week at least. Now we RARELY go out. We are able to afford special treats once in a while now, like King Crab Legs from Costco! That was something we NEVER purchased before. I'd say 90% of our diet is just regular food, with the other 10% being gluten free items like Tinkyada pasta, Chebe, my favorite pancake mix (which is less than $3 a box on Amazon). We only eat pancakes on Saturdays. As for coupons which I saw mentioned out of the corner of my eye, I have NEVER used coupons because they are almost entirely for crap products that I dont like to buy for my family. You never see coupons for apples, bananas, chicken breasts, rice, pinto beans. What you see are coupons for CRAP, like poptarts, fruit roll-ups, sugary cereals, sugar filled yogurt, hamburger helper, etc! We dont eat that stuff! So coupons don't actually SAVE me money, they just encourage me to purchase junk food that my family doesn't need. Eating gluten free does not require one to purchase a bunch of specialty items. It just requires you to eliminate wheat rye and barley. YOu can sub corn tortillas, which are really cheap at costco, for bread. Corn tortillas on a hot skillet with ham and shredded cheese, grilled until browned on both sides, are DELICIOUS, and cheap, and good hot OR cold and they travel great! Anyway, I've got to run, but I just wanted to give a different point of view on this. I've been there and I am living it right now and I don't agree that being gluten free has to involve a huge increase in budget.

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As for coupons which I saw mentioned out of the corner of my eye, I have NEVER used coupons because they are almost entirely for crap products that I dont like to buy for my family. You never see coupons for apples, bananas, chicken breasts, rice, pinto beans. What you see are coupons for CRAP, like poptarts, fruit roll-ups, sugary cereals, sugar filled yogurt, hamburger helper, etc! We dont eat that stuff! So coupons don't actually SAVE me money, they just encourage me to purchase junk food that my family doesn't need.

I'm glad that you have found what works for you, but I just have to say that you are mistaken about coupons. I have twenty bags of rice and twenty packages of mission corn tortillas in my pantry. All were bought with coupons for only pennies. This past week I stocked up on Dole canned fruit--pineapple, peaches and mandarin oranges. There are often coupons for things like canned tomatoes too. I have gotten Organic canned tomatoes (Muir Glen) for free in the past. There are almost always coupons for bagged salad as well. Yes there are a TON of junk coupons that are worthless especially to people with restricted diets. I don't clip those. I give them to my friends that will use them. Besides the food coupons, the MAJORITY of coupons are for non-food items--health and beauty supplies, medications, toilet paper, razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes. I will never buy another toothbrush or tube of toothpaste again because those are two items that are almost always free or .25 after coupon and sale. I got free shampoo for three years straight with coupons and this year was the first year I had to break down and pay .50 per bottle for L'Oreal Vive Pro (regular price is $4.99 per bottle). And that is only because I wasn't sure of the gluten free status of the brands I had gotten free in the past. Bottom line is that even if you don't use any food coupons at all you can save on non-food items.

BTW, here is a link to printable coupon for Fresh Air-chilled Organic Chicken: http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?bt=wg&tqnm=zd4ndlz70931315&o=63025&c=SC&p=3jvZTpx4

You can find out more about the organic chicken and if it's carried at a store near you from their website: http://pages.smartchicken.com/Pages/default.aspx (I've had this chicken before and it's yummy.)

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We try to have meatless meals at least a couple of times a week. We outgrew our dairy allergies so we can have dairy twice a week. It is usually cheese pizza and macaroni and cheese.

The meat I do use is usually good ground beef that I get at Costco and canned chicken that I also get at Costco. I might use the ground beef in a pasta sauce, chili with lots of beans and maybe corn added, or a Spanish rice, also with added beans. That way I use less meat. I will also do a hamburger gravy and add plenty of finely slivered Swiss Chard for extra calcium. When I make meatloaf, I add a ton of assorted vegetables. And I make individual loaves. So a pound or two of meat makes a lot of little loaves.

The chicken might be put in soup, mixed with rice, or done up with pasta. I will add fresh onions, carrots and celery to the pasta and maybe the rice. Would add peas but daughter is allergic.

We used to get a produce box from a local CSA. That saved us a lot of money, but I found I was throwing a lot of food away because we just couldn't eat it all. There was usually stuff we wouldn't eat in there. Especially fruit. Husband can be a big fruit eater at times, but he will only eat specific things. And of course it is not what was in the box.

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Some of the meals that we have that I think are inexpensive are baked potatoes(baked in the oven, they taste better) with bacon, cheese and sour cream or manwich or broccoli and cheese really you can top baked potatoes with almost anything. Chicken thighs and legs are usually less expensive than breasts or tenderloins. Red beans(dried beans) and rice with sausage cut into small pieces and added to the beans. Ground beef and onion mixed with cooked rice and a can of tomatoes is really good too. Don't be afraid to try store brands, almost all of our food is store brand. Also, find out what day your grocery puts meats on clearance and then freeze the meats. Canned and frozen fruits and veggies last longer than 'fresh' and are just as good. Paper products we buy on sale or at discount stores and try to buy the larger packages, they last longer so less trips to the store. My daughter and son-in-law are on a military budget and she was asking about shopping and what to cook, I told her 'whatever is on sale is what's for dinner'.

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It is easy to tell a gluten intolerant they need to run their kitchen gluten-free to insure no cc but.. who in the world can afford that!? Our grocery budget has taken a hit with just me being gluten-free. Better meats, more produce not to mention the gluten-free flours and baking items. I know I can't be the only mom who can't afford to feed her whole family gluten-free. There are 6 of us by the way. My DH and I and our kids. 16,11,8 and 5. We struggle, dealt with 2 layoffs in 1 year and barely make ends meet some months.

Tiff... who is trying to learn a new normal :(

Edit to add I make meals and we all eat them but sometimes I have to make a different meal for the family and I eat on my own. So it's not like I am keeping the better meats and veggies from my family.

You do not have to make the whole house gluten-free at all! That is a misconception. What you do need to do is teach the older members of the family, including the 8 year old, about CC. Kids are not stupid and can learn anything. The 5 year old might be a stretch but the rest of them need to pony up and do things correctly so you will not become sick. I would suspect anyway that at least one other family member may eventually be diagnosed themselves as it's very rare to be the only Celiac in a family of that size. I have 3 siblings and they all show symptoms and have other autoimmune diseases so I know it isn't just me.

As far as cooking separate meals, the only time that really needs doing is when pasta is served. Everything else can be done gluten-free. I refuse to cook separate anything...if you eat at my home, the dinner will be gluten-free. It's kind of a pain cooking 2 pots of pasta but for a family of your size, it's necessary. Gluten-free pasta is way too expensive to serve to 6 people!

Relax and don't worry about what others may say. I do not have a totally gluten-free household but it's just my husband and myself. I have never been CC'd at home, except once and it was totally MY fault! :rolleyes:

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Some of the meals that we have that I think are inexpensive are baked potatoes(baked in the oven, they taste better) with bacon, cheese and sour cream or manwich or broccoli and cheese really you can top baked potatoes with almost anything. Chicken thighs and legs are usually less expensive than breasts or tenderloins. Red beans(dried beans) and rice with sausage cut into small pieces and added to the beans. Ground beef and onion mixed with cooked rice and a can of tomatoes is really good too. Don't be afraid to try store brands, almost all of our food is store brand. Also, find out what day your grocery puts meats on clearance and then freeze the meats. Canned and frozen fruits and veggies last longer than 'fresh' and are just as good. Paper products we buy on sale or at discount stores and try to buy the larger packages, they last longer so less trips to the store. My daughter and son-in-law are on a military budget and she was asking about shopping and what to cook, I told her 'whatever is on sale is what's for dinner'.

My husband is in the military. When we lived on Cape Cod, there was a PX right there on base. This is where I did most of my grocery shopping. Luckily we had no food allergies (or at least didn't know of them) at that time. Good thing because it wouldn't be of a lot of use to us now at least in terms of gluten-free stuff like bread and pasta.

I don't know if that store was typical or not. But quite often the food for sale was very limited. Good fresh produce wasn't always there. And once, the only form of fresh meat was ham! So when we lived there, we often ate whatever was available.

Luckily after we had lived there for a while, I discovered some other places to shop. None were close enough to warrant a trip very often though.

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I'm one of the odd ones who's food budget went down after turning our house gluten-free. I'm blessed to live near Bob's RedMill, so I can buy in bulk without the shipping costs, but even when I was having it shipped to me, it ended up being less than 1$ per pound--buying 25# bags of the flours... I do bake all of our bread and pizza shells from scratch. I bake many batches of muffins each week--5 min to mix, 20 in the oven while I'm in the shower and getting dressed... Dinners have rices, quinoa, gluten-free noodles (I also buy in bulk), corn tortillas, etc... We have a very small yard, but we've had a garden for the last 2 years and I hardly have to buy any veggies at the store. Most of what I buy-produce and dairy-wise-I buy organic. I buy when stuff is on sale and they get what they get! We eat very seasonally. We hardly eat out anymore. We went from 3x a week to maybe 3x a month, so that helps the budget too.

If I can help in any way, I'd be more than happy to. I've been doing this for years now ;)

Where do you get noodles in bulk? Where is Bob's Red Mill? I might need to take a road trip!

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Where do you get noodles in bulk? Where is Bob's Red Mill? I might need to take a road trip!

I, too rarely buy specialty gluten-free foods. I eat meat, poultry, vegetables (including lots of potatoes), fruit, nuts, and sometimes rice or beans. I get my vegetables in an Asian store that sells lots of produce cheap. I also get my pasta and rice flour there. Asian rice pasta is very little different from some types of regular pasta and only costs a little more.

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I find the really expensive stuff to be the processed items that are labeled gluten-free. Glutino brand is expensive. Since I have gotten my diagnosis, I have been eating so much healthier. I totally cut bread out- I wasn't a big bread person so I never by the gluten-free bread. I have had pasta twice in the last 4 months. I don't buy the processed stuff that much. I am still buying the same meats and vegetables though- just more of them since I can't have pizza one night, Chinese one night, Mexican out, etc.

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I need to have a gluten-free house and I was collecting all the bills for past 4 months to get an idea how much more we spend on food because of it. It seems like we spend the same or even a little bit less than when all 4 of us ate gluten at home. :o It can be either a mistake or a byproduct of being more aware of what we are buying and how much it costs. I started a detailed financial diary to get more reliable results - no evidence of extra costs so far, only that we are spending 1/4 of our food budget on dairy. (and I'm pretty sure we are eating less cheeses and yogurts than before :ph34r: )

There's many ways to save money on gluten-free foods, even if you buy only good-quality fresh food. No matter how sensitive you are, there's no need for all family members to eat 100% gluten-free at home. You can still buy food labeled "may contain wheat" or containing barley malt for them if the gluten-free alternative is too expensive. Don't buy specialty products and flour mixes, focus on 'traditional' naturaly gluten-free food instead. Home-made gluten-free bread and pizza cost only a little more than regular bread in the shop if you use cheap flours. Buy shelf-stable goods like flours, cereals or spices in bulk, it saves you time as well as money. Plan your meals and use what you have at home first, don't buy perishables on sale if you're not sure you will eat them before they get bad. (I don't strictly plan my meals ahead, instead, I go to the shop to see what they have and plan meals while shopping.) Eat seasonaly and localy, this way you eat better quality too. Cook and especialy bake more things at once to save time and electricity - Baking fish and potatoes for dinner in the oven? Bread and extra pizza crusts can be made there at the same time, then just lower the temperature and put some cake in.

Having a completely gluten-free house makes many things a lot easier. Just the time alone you save on cooking and avoiding cc is worth it. You don't need to be constantly aware of what you are touching, if you are using the right fork or spoon, or if it's safe to kiss your husband. When you feel constantly sick and can't find any reason why, knowing that cc at home is almost impossible helps tremendously, especialy when you know some family members are notoriously unable to follow simple rules like not using your butter or cutting cheese with a clean knife.

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We are a family of four and luckily just my 3 year old is gluten free. I am however heavily considering turning our whole house gluten-free. We however are lucky to live in WNY (we have Wegmans) They have the speciality gluten-free isle, however on any of their Brand items they list initial for allergans on front of packacges ex (G is gluten free) so while shopping all you look for is the G :) Its a godsend esp with a newley diagosed child. Many times their brand is cheaper than a name brand even with coupons. Again I am only feeding one lil one so a pan of lasagna lasts months, but costs will be up when we all make the switch. Our older child is 14 and we will probably do the switch when he is older and she will be also which means she will be eating more. Honestly we probably spend the most on milk, I think it may be cheaper to just buy a cow! But I agree Gluten free is def more expensive. Im just hoping more companies realize the demand and maybe substitiue the gluten for gluten-free if they can (like chex)

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Thank you for all the tips and ideas on feeding the rest of my family and me. I was just looking online at the gluten free pastas and got all excited till I noticed...they won't ship here to Alaska! I just bought a breadmachine (to make my own gluten free bread) from amazon for goodness sakes and got free shipping on it to Alaska, why won't they ship 12 boxes of spaghetti? It's crazy!

As for coupons, the coupons we get here are not the same as say my mom gets in the lower 48. She get's great coupons, I get coupons for windex and toothpaste. : ( And very few at that. Plus no one doubles up here.

I shop at the commisary on base mostly but also Fred Meyers (they have a pretty good health food section) and now I will be shopping some at Natural Pantry (expensive). The base is good for meat and frozen items...the fresh produce isn't the greatest, but it's not too bad. I am in Alaska though so the produce isn't usually great anywhere.

We have had a garden for a while. Last year was the worst gardening year ever. We had a nonexistant summer, we had 32 consecutive days of rain here! (that's more than 1/3 or our very short summer!) It was awful, LOL.

I plan on cooking a lot of meals and freezing them on Sat or Sun for the following week. For lunches to take to work and for my husband (he just retired from Coast Guard and is going to school full time) to put in the oven. I need to use my crockpot more too. Anyone have any favorite crockpot recipes?

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