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No Way To Turn Entire Home gluten-free

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#31 Kate79


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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:34 PM

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.

We've dealt with this by mostly eating foods that are naturally gluten free. Lots of beans, lentils, rice, potatoes - and I eat corn tortillas with everything instead of bread. Ethnic cookbooks or websites w/recipes are a great place to look for new ideas. We eat tons of Indian and Mexican food.
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#32 Kelleybean


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:36 PM

TH - sorry to get off topic but can you tell me how you make your rice milk? I've tried making almond milk but not rice milk yet and have been wanting to.
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#33 BeccaBol


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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:30 AM

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.

Just our of curiosity where do you find all the good coupons, like for corn tortillas? I would love to live near stores like big lots, but all we have is Hyvee and fareway. We do have a walmart that is a half hr drive, but we dont go there real often.
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#34 cap6


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Posted 19 February 2011 - 07:19 PM

Our walmart now has a gluten-free pasta. We had some tonight and it was pretty good. It was under 2.00.
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#35 GlutenFreeManna


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Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:49 PM

Just our of curiosity where do you find all the good coupons, like for corn tortillas? I would love to live near stores like big lots, but all we have is Hyvee and fareway. We do have a walmart that is a half hr drive, but we dont go there real often.

Most of my coupons come from the Sunday inserts. I buy one or two papers each week and then I pay a clipping service for any extras of coupons I need. I also find a lot of IP (Internet Printable) coupons for gluten free products and organic products. There are not any good tortilla coupons out right now but there should be some out soon for Mardi gras and then Cinqo de Mayo. If you sign up to recieve email at http://missionmenu.c...sionExtras.aspx
they will email you printable coupons for Mission Tortillas when they have them.

My main website for finding out when new coupons are out is hotcouponworld.com (HCW). HCW has a datbase of all the coupons that are out and so you can search for your favorite products to find out if there are coupons anywhere. You can also trade coupons you won't use (all those gluteny pasta and bread coupons) for coupons you need (frozen veggies, corn tortillas, etc). HCW has store forums where people post the weekly sales ads and coupon match-ups for each store. So for example they will post the weekly ad for Hyvee and all the match-ups. You will just have to look through the ad for things that are gluten free. HCW also has a sister site called Organicgrocerydeals.com As you probably know, not all organics are gluten free but many organic companies have jumped on the gluten-free making bandwagon. So that site is a good resource for finding harder to find coupons. Another trick is to always check the websites and facebook pages of the products you like for coupons. Udi's and Rudi's are two gluten free bread comapnies that have had printable coupons out recently. If a company does not have coupons on their website you can always write to them and tell them how much you like their product. Tell them how you wish you could buy the product more often but with finances being tight you can't always afford to get the good gluten free products like theirs. Then ask if they ever put out money saving coupons. Include you full name, your address and your e-mail in your correspondence with the company. Many times they will e-mail you a coupon or at least put you on a mailing list for future coupons. Sometimes you can even get a free product coupon in the mail just for being a loyal customer. If you go over to HCW and introduce yourself in the welcome area they will point you in the right direction for learning all about the couponing rules at your local stores and the best strategies for saving money in your area.
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A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (CEV)

#36 eyeaspire


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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

I have a family of 3. Our grocery bill went up in a huge way. But on the other end, our dining out bill went down. We all also have fewer health issues, so there is another area of good savings. Regardless, it is still a bit unsettling to see how much money we spend on food.

Since my diagnosis two years ago, here is what I have done to save money:

* My grocery store sells 'family packs' of natural/grass fed meats. I save $25 per pack this way and I only make recipes for those cuts of meat. When meat is on sale, I buy extra amounts of it and save it for later. If your market doesn't advertise this, talk to the butcher to see if they can work out a deal. Also (this may sound loony), but I have found a lot of natural meats farmers on Craigslist, FoodHub, EatWild, and other sites.

* I am now making my own coconut milk. A 25# bag from Bob's Red Mill is $45, but it works out to $.55/32 oz container instead of $4.50/32 oz container. In a blender, blend 2 cups of shredded coconut with 4 cups of boiling water. Strain into a bowl with a sieve. Throw away the fiber. Blend milk in blender again. Done! Easy peasy!

* I soak dry beans overnight and boil a bunch during the day. I freeze the cooked ones I won't use in the same week. Great for soups, salads, chili, bean dips/spreads.

* Look to see if there are any independent food buying clubs in your area. It is akin to Costco/Sam's Club, but on a grassroots scale. The club has a business license, which means it can secure wholesale prices from grocery, meat, and produce distributors. Sometimes these groups can be found on Yahoo. I'm a part of a club where I live and I've saved hundreds of dollars on organic produce, oils, grains, etc.

* Casseroles are my friend! I bought this one "The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever" and am really happy with the recipes. Meat & veggies go further!

* This one took us by surprise! We've found that the fewer grains we eat (rice, quinoa, gluten-free oatmeal, etc) we eat, the less we need to eat. It was my husband (non-Celiac) who first noticed this. It seems like since our bodies aren't having to burn sugar/insulin and demand that we give it more, the more nutrients we absorb (as oppose to burn off).

* Get an account with Azure Standard (.com). They sell healthy foods and all manner of paper goods in bulk. You'll need to call them to find out where their drop-off point is in your area (which may, ironically, be a food buying club!) and then talk to the drop-off point person to let them know that you'll be there to fetch your items. I've saved a lot of money on cereal, shelf-stable milk products, nuts, dried fruits, etc.

Hope that helps!
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#37 shadowicewolf


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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:45 AM

Initionally we thought it was going to be hard (i am the only one going gluten free, sadly :().

We found that:

Its much cheaper to make our own rice flour and bake our own bread (big expense right there)

Its better to be a veggie lover (as i was before this diagnosis) and buying veggies and potatos and such on sale, same with fruit.

I'm not a soda drinker so no expenses there.

I do like my milk and cheese however i have been eating less of those.

It can be done :)
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#38 Coleslawcat


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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:49 AM

I simply don't keep an entirely gluten free household. I am the only one who needs to be gluten free. I make gluten free dinners for our entire family and whenever I bake it is gluten free since I don't want any gluten flour in our home. Aside from that the kids and husband still use store bought wheat bread. I buy gluten snacks and cereals for them and my husband as well. I keep all of the gluten containing goods on the bottom shelf of the pantry. It just didn't make financial sense to eliminate all of the gluten from our home when I am the only one who needed that. My husband takes wiping up gluten crumbs very seriously as do I. It works for us. Now, I'm not a super sensitive celiac so maybe that's why I can get away with this.
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#39 kiwibird75


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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:18 PM

I know it's hard when you first start out and the grocery bills feel enormous. I am celiac and my daugher is not so it was a matter of working out what was important to me. I am fairly lazy so I really only want to cook a single meal each time. Miss 6 has ordinary bread for her school lunches and the odd packet of biscuits or crackers that are not gluten-free, but otherwise we have a completely gluten-free home.

Here in New Zealand we don't have the same coupon type culture as the lucky ones in the US do. If there is a coupon it is only for use on full price products generally... so the savings are minimal. If you have the opportunity to use coupons... do it!

To be honest, after some time getting used to the changes in my diet, I have found that groceries etc are around the same level as they were before I went gluten-free. Because there is only myself and Miss 6 I just cook gluten-free for pasta etc to avoid the dreaded two meal problem.

I second what most are saying around here - naturally gluten free foods are as satisfying and certainly healthier, and depending on where and how you shop they can be less expensive too. It's all a matter of finding the places that suit your shopping style and living style - not everyone has huge amounts of storage or freezer space.

Most of all I wish you all the very best in your mission to create a healthy life for yourself and your family.
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#40 Poppi


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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

This is where you all gasp in horror.

We are a family of 7 living on a smallish island off the West Coast of Canada. Cost of living is high here and coupons are basically non-existent in Canada.

I spend $1600 a month on groceries.

So my grocery budget hasn't changed because it simply can't. I don't have more than that. I'm buying more fruits and vegetables and fewer crackers, cookies etc etc. I've had to change how I shop because the hard fact is that I can't spend more than $400 a week.

On the last Wednesday of the month I spend about $150 at the 20% off sale at our local health food store. I get cereal, pizza crusts, baking mixes, flours ... whatever gluten-free products I need for the upcoming month. Then I do the rest of my grocery shopping as normal. When we have spaghetti I make sure the sauce is gluten-free and cook 2 pots of pasta.

The one huge change that has been made is taking bread off the menu. My husband will make the kids a sandwich in a designated area and clean up after but there are no longer buns or bread with dinner because I just can't keep track of every crumb and I don't want the food on the table to be contaminated or get sick from leftovers that had crumbs drop in. If the little kids eat gluten foods they are highly supervised and there is immediate clean up. The big kids eat their gluten foods downstairs. I do not prepare any gluten foods myself.

I still make dessert a couple times a week and we eat basically the same menu as before with fairly minor changes.
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Busy mom to 3 great kids (4, 8 and 18)

Gluten free since April 6, 2011 ~ Also sensitive to coconut, coffee and food dyes

Joint pain, mouth sores, back and neck pain, migraines, stomach pain, chronic fatigue, ADD and depression are all gone.
Wishing I had been diagnosed before celiac robbed me of the cartilage in my toes and the 3 babies we lost to miscarriages.

#41 KampL


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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:06 AM

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.

Thank you so much for your post. It really makes sense and is encouraging to someone who is gleaning information on this diet for her 8 yr old son with aspergers. I love the idea for corn tortilla's. I will have to look for you r threads for more ideas.
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