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Gluten Free & On A Budget
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I am newly gluten free and living in a sorority house. I am the only girl who cannot eat gluten and I have found it very difficult for others to understand what that means. As part of our house dues we pay for a food service and our cook has been very understanding but has made it clear that gluten-free foods tend to be much more expensive per meal than our budget allows. I'm am probably going to have to stick to things like microwaveable meals, snadwiches, etc. that are easily prepared outside of a kitchen so that I won't have to worry about my food being around everyone else's glutinous meals. What I am wondering is if anyone knows of any generic brands that are less expensive but still safe to eat - or any general advice to help make this transition easier.

Thanks!

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Hello been gluten free me and my 2 little ones for 5 years now give or take a month...I work 12 hour days at a steel mill..and I have to take alot food to sustain me the entire day and and that puts a drain on the fridge at home...so what I do is I stalk up on things I make in a hurry like gluten free chex cereal and...dried fruit is a big one... Let me do an inventory of my cupboard and I will get back to you... What state do you live in???

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You can find rice cookers on the cheap! Huge bags of rice can be very cost effective, and you can make a meal with rice, and a few vegetables, small portions of fish or other lean proteins, etc. Many are just scared of the thought of cooking gluten free, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Vegetables, meats and rice are all gluten free, and much better for you than anything you will buy prepackaged, frozen, etc., as many of us cannot tolerate preservatives either.

You mentioned sandwiches, but gluten free bread is expensive. For that same amount you can purchase what you need to make a few meals, and your gut will thank you for it later!

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I am newly gluten free and living in a sorority house. I am the only girl who cannot eat gluten and I have found it very difficult for others to understand what that means. As part of our house dues we pay for a food service and our cook has been very understanding but has made it clear that gluten-free foods tend to be much more expensive per meal than our budget allows. I'm am probably going to have to stick to things like microwaveable meals, snadwiches, etc. that are easily prepared outside of a kitchen so that I won't have to worry about my food being around everyone else's glutinous meals. What I am wondering is if anyone knows of any generic brands that are less expensive but still safe to eat - or any general advice to help make this transition easier.

Thanks!

Welcome! Basically I think you're going to have to read a lot of labels if you're looking for gluten-free processed foods (usually not very cheap). And of course, there are a lot of naturally gluten-free foods...veggies, fruits, meats, eggs, etc. and that makes shopping so much easier. You might also want to use the google button in the top right hand corner and search for cheap meals or budget meals to get some ideas. There have been some recent threads on this subject.

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i am a freshman in college and have pretty much given up completely on food service some of the cheap foods that i eat are kellogs now has some gluten-free cerials and cerial bars also oridas potatos and if you order your breads online they can be alot cheaper than buying them in a store you can stock up and ask if they can store them in their freezer most store meats are gluten free and can be cheap i also use a rice cooker and a slow cooker so i can prepare it in the morning and practicly forgeet about it until dinner you can get rice cookers and slow cookers cheap. i hope this helps you some

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Sam mills pasta d'oro is really cheap good corn pasta. You can get it at Big Lots, if you have big lots in your area, or order it online. You may want to talk your cook into using gluten free bisquick for breakfast foods and whatever else you use bisquick for, fried chicken and whatnot. It's only slightly more expensive than normal bisquick, and I think it tastes better anyway. I'm not sure how much you can cook for yourself in this situation, but if you get a chance to, just stir fry a crapload of veggies and meat, or meat substitute, and keep that in a tupperware container. It takes about 20 minutes to turn $20 worth of fresh veggies into food for a good number of days, and you can pour that stir fry over rice for dinner, or wrap it up in a gluten free wrap and take it to class for lunch. In a pinch, if you're a beef jerkey kind of gal, beef jerkey is a relatively inexpensive source of quick protein and makes a good lunch with some cheese and chips. Don't shy away from being that girl that eats snow peas instead of doritos. Basically, fresh vegetables are your friends. They are good, nutritious, and pretty univerally gluten free.

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You need to make it clear to the cook that you can eat rice and baked potatoes instead of expensive specialty breads and pastas. You might offer to buy a rice cooker for the sorority kitchen to make it super-easy for them to have rice for you. All fresh fruits and vegetables can be prepared gluten-free very easily, as can meats. Commercial gluten free breads are fairly expensive so you may have to mail-order those and put them in the freezer if you want toast in the morning or the occasional sandwich. Remind your chef that we can eat things like tuna salad, hard boiled eggs, cheese and most lunchmeats. They might be able to make something like a chef salad instead of sandwiches at lunch.

I have a mini rice cooker that I absolutely love. You might want to get one for your room if it's allowed. As far as mainstream brands, Progresso has a few gluten free soups (clearly marked on the can), some Hormel canned chilis are gluten-free, and Dinty Moore chicken and beef stews are gluten-free. Here's the Hormel list.

http://www.hormelfoods.com/brands/glutenfree/default.aspx

For cereals Rice Chex, the new gluten-free Rice Krispies, or Cream of Rice are about the only mainstream ones I can think of. If you like sweet cereals, I think Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles have gone gluten-free.

I haven't had much luck with frozen foods. I don't trust Amy's because of the shared production lines and it's a fairly expensive brand. Mainstream brands like Swanson and Healthy Choice seem to have a million ingredients and almost always something with gluten.

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I am new to the gluten free diet and found out I had to go gluten free the day before I left for college, so I have been having the same problems as you. What I found that works for me in between classes are protein and granola bars. I like lara, think thin, and kind plus. They are all gluten free and even though they can be a little pricey they are quick and easy when I am in a hurry. You could also try protein smoothies, which are easy to make and very filling! I would also love tips on this subject as the college ramen noodle diet does not work for me now...

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I would also love tips on this subject as the college ramen noodle diet does not work for me now...

Instead of ramen buy rice noodles or just rice. Rice noodles at an Asian market are cheaper than gluten-free specialty pasta and are made in a similar way to Raman--just a pot of hot water for a few minutes and they are done. Add a bag of frozen steamer veggies and some meat or beans or egg and you have a complete meal. If you used to eat raman as a noodle soup get some gluten-free boullion cubes and disolve them in the water with the rice noodles. The previous posters suggestion of a rice cooker is also a great idea. A huge bag of rice may be expensive up front but each serving is cheap and the bag will last you a while. Potaoes are also fairly cheap and easy to make--baked potato in the microwave. Rice cakes are decently priced too--much cheaper than gluten-free bread anyway.

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In a pinch, if you're a beef jerkey kind of gal, beef jerkey is a relatively inexpensive source of quick protein and makes a good lunch with some cheese and chips.

Just make sure the beef jerky is gluten free... many times, especially with teriyaki flavored beef jerky, it's not (has soy sauce added, which usually has wheat in it)

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The mini rice cooker I got is the Panasonic SR-3NA Rice Cooker. It's available at Amazon and probably other places. I'd link but Amazon links are not allowed. I love it because it will cook a serving or two of rice and it's faster than my big cooker. It would be a good size for a dorm room.

As far as ramen, Safeway brand has instant rice noodle bowls that go on sale for $1 sometimes. Thai Kitchen brand has a lot of instant gluten-free rice noodles, both packages and in bowls. Other stuff I used to keep around the dorm was Kraft Easy Cheese (the canned stuff you don't have to refrigerate), crackers, jerky, peanut butter, and apples because they kept pretty well without refrigeration.

Larabars and whatnot are really nice, but you can save a ton of money buying containers of nuts and dried fruit and making trail mix to snack on. Peanuts and raisins are cheapest, then add other nuts and fruits or maybe chocolate chips so you get a little variety. Make up a bunch of baggies ahead of time and they're as convenient as a Larabar or Kind bar.

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I found out I was gluten intolerant just over a year ago, and that meant a huge change as I was going into my junior year in college. Obviously, as everyone has already said, rice and rice noodles are an easy and cheap way to go. I also order nonuttin' granola bars online that are gluten free and although a little pricey I think they are worth it with my busy schedule I can eat one of those in place of a meal if I have to. I also keep La Choy soy sauce and teriyaki in my room as those are also gluten free. Rice Crispies is my go to breakfast cereal, and then I spoil myself with goodies when my college budget can afford it. It is good to keep butter, the soy/teriyaki, and gluten free boullion on hand so that you can change up the style and flavor of the rice. This way although you might eat a lot of rice, it also doesn't need to get boring. Adding different veggies is a great way to change up the flavor dynamic too. Finally for a bunch of other great ideas I would reccomend the cook book "Gluten Free on a Shoestring". Hope that helps.

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I found out I was gluten intolerant just over a year ago, and that meant a huge change as I was going into my junior year in college. Obviously, as everyone has already said, rice and rice noodles are an easy and cheap way to go. I also order nonuttin' granola bars online that are gluten free and although a little pricey I think they are worth it with my busy schedule I can eat one of those in place of a meal if I have to. I also keep La Choy soy sauce and teriyaki in my room as those are also gluten free. Rice Crispies is my go to breakfast cereal, and then I spoil myself with goodies when my college budget can afford it. It is good to keep butter, the soy/teriyaki, and gluten free boullion on hand so that you can change up the style and flavor of the rice. This way although you might eat a lot of rice, it also doesn't need to get boring. Adding different veggies is a great way to change up the flavor dynamic too. Finally for a bunch of other great ideas I would reccomend the cook book "Gluten Free on a Shoestring". Hope that helps.

This guy/girl has the way to go .. I"m not in you age bracket but being a single mum came to this thread to learn of some cost savings..

I try to go "bulk"

I've always been a big "Asian" eater so be VERY careful of the soy/oyster etc etc etc sauces... all usuals have gluten in one form of another... go to your china town or equivelant and ask what they have. Its been a $ drain initially but worth it for something to eat and now I use as required/sparingly. Saved my money in the end.

Meat, veg, fruit... suprising how a few weeks can make you feel okay

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Hi everyone. I just got out of college, and in my sophomore year I found out I had celiac

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Just to clarify:

MSG does not contain gluten. The "G" is glutamate which sounds like gluten but it's not. Many people prefer to avoid MSG because they feel it isn't healthy or have a reaction to it other than gluten.

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Just to clarify:

MSG does not contain gluten. The "G" is glutamate which sounds like gluten but it's not. Many people prefer to avoid MSG because they feel it isn't healthy or have a reaction to it other than gluten.

To clarify even further: MSG used to be made from wheat gluten, which happens to about 30% glutamine. (This is why wheat is included in soy sauce. It naturally forms a lot of MSG.) Nowadays, MSG is made by bacterial fermentation of sugars but there are still outdated celiac lists around that list MSG as unsafe. If MSG were derived from wheat in the US or Canada, it would have to be disclosed as a wheat allergen.

It's probably unwise to buy a bag of bulk MSG at oriental markets. I've read that Chinese MSG is still often made in the old way from wheat.

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I'm not sure where you are located but if you have an Aldi's grocery store near by you can go & have a look at their products. They have gotten in A LOT of gluten free items that are staples that taste great but are much cheaper than brand names.

Walmart sells cheap gluten-free pasta that I eat all the time. The brand is called Heartland. It tastes fantastic! The only downside is if you have leftovers you need to boil it again in water because it drys out in the fridge for some reason (unless it's covered in like, pasta sauce) Otherwise, it's fast & cheap I use pasta sauce from Aldi's & it's much cheaper than Prego but still just as good.

Fruit, vegetables, meat, rice, nuts/seeds, dairy products, etc. are all naturally gluten free. There are hundreds of foods out there to pick from. Good luck!

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When I first got to college I was really nervous about food and if I was just going to have to eat salads for the rest of my life. Luckily it gets easier the longer you stay with a gluten free diet. Right now my freezer is packed with those steamfresh bags of veggies and rice, I'll make a meal out of that a couple times a week. Talk to your chef and reiterate that starting with simple foods (rice, potatoes, veggies, meat) saves money, and is healthier for all the girls, and if he just keeps your simpler version of the meal separate from everyone else's food then you should be okay. Also, for when you're on campus, talk to the dining hall chefs about being gluten free so you have a few more options for lunch. My school is wicked gluten free oriented and has a gluten free version of everything on hand. I also lucked out because two other girls in my sorority have celiac, so everyone knew what it was already when I joined.

Just think of it this way, you're a pioneer for gluten-free sisters everywhere. Your bad luck/genetics will help another sister somewhere down the line!

Good luck!

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... use those oats to make granola bars. That one bag of oats, plus nuts (of your choice), dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips will cost less than $10 and will make over 50 granola bars. Make them in large batches, and keep them in the fridge/ freezer. In that regular sized rice cooker, you can combine chocolate, peanut butter, and oats to make no-bake chocolate fudge protein cookies. If you do it right, those cookies have all the vitamins and minerals as a protein/ granola bar. 4 of them constitute lunch in a pinch, and they taste like a fudge brownie.

What are your recipes for granola bars and no bake cookies?

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For cereals Rice Chex, the new gluten-free Rice Krispies, or Cream of Rice are about the only mainstream ones I can think of. If you like sweet cereals, I think Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles have gone gluten-free.

I just picked up Trix swirled at our local gluten free market. I also have read that rice crispy treats have gluten, but reading the ingredients for rice crispies and marshmallows, I didn't see wheat?

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I just picked up Trix swirled at our local gluten free market. I also have read that rice crispy treats have gluten, but reading the ingredients for rice crispies and marshmallows, I didn't see wheat?

For cereals like Rice Krispies, for example, you have to watch for the word "malt", which is barley. Kelloggs has come out with a newer Rice Krispies cereal that is made from brown rice and is prominently marked as gluten-free.

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Same situation, my friend. I have no idea how to cope with this and give my body the nutrients it needs. So I end up eating potatoes for a week. Then quinoa the next week. Then I wonder why I can't concentrate and feel exhausted. Hmmm.

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What about the Smart popcorn the white cheddar one? It says Whey.. I seen it was on the gluten-free list but I'm not sure about that??

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[quote name='SkylerGurl05' timestamp='1324

615018' post='759262']

What about the Smart popcorn the white cheddar one? It says Whey.. I seen it was on the gluten-free list but I'm not sure about that??

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Hi im not sure if you are a member of living social or groupon but every so often they have spend $25 get $50 worth of food from glutenfreely.com. And there you could buy twice as much! Also idk if you have access to military bases but I know my commissary Has gluten free foods ad at almost half the price that you would find at a local grocery store!!

Also what I will do is make a big pot of rice and eat worth that for a week. You can do so much with rice!! And rice noodles, if you go to the oriental part of your grocery store you can find bug bags of Asian style rice noodles for like 3 dollars and there just as good as the gluten-free ones but a third of the price!!

Hope this helps!

Natalie

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