Gluten Free & On A Budget
Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:58 AM
Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:26 AM
Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:12 PM
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!
Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:25 PM
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.
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.
Positive Celiac Blood Panel - Dec., 2009
Endoscopy with Positive Biopsy - April 9, 2010
Gluten Free - April 9, 2010
Posted 24 August 2011 - 08:46 AM
Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:27 AM
Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:33 AM
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.
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.
Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:21 PM
Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:56 PM
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.
Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:33 PM
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)
My DH-38 yo; born w/ Spastic cerebral palsy. legally blind, uses wheelchair. back surgery Aug 2007, has continued back troubles.
Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:48 AM
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.
Posted 21 September 2011 - 05:25 PM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:30 AM
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 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.
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
Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:58 AM
1) Find out what equipment you are allowed to have in your room. Normally you can only negotiate a mini fridge and some sort of microwave. If you explain the situation and point out that you need special accommodations because of your health issues, you may be able to negotiate getting a toaster oven. The minimum I would need is a mini-fridge and a convection/microwave oven (I promise the convection part will save your budget, see if you can get your parents to buy it for you), and a rice cooker. I have seen people on this post recommending a single person sized rice cooker, and those are great as a start, but a normal full-sized or 75% of full sized one gives you more options. A regular sized rice cooker will give you enough space to have some veggies and meat tossed in with the rice to cook (which will save tons of time and dishes). If you can get it, get yourself a toaster oven.
2) Talk with the chef. They may not fully understand what you can and cannot eat, and simple changes they make in the kitchen could allow you to eat with everyone else. Make sure they understand what gluten is in (including its more obscure forms like MSG) and point out likely sources. For example: ground beef is naturally gluten free, but that packet of taco seasoning probably isnít. You could ask them to remove some of the meat before adding the seasoning so you can have some, or have them not use a mix and add the individual spices. Then you get to eat with everyone else.
3) Bulk buys of gluten free oats and rice (try to go wild or brown, but basmati and white work as well) are your best friends. A large bag of gluten free oats will last a long time and keep you full. If you have the convection part of the microwave, you can 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. Rice will always be your friend.
4) Rice cakes are your next best friend. Stock up on Quaker Oats gluten-free Unsalted Rice Cakes, and the possibilities from there are endless. If you were able to negotiate for the toaster oven, you can make any type of open faced sandwich into a melt. Think tuna melt, melted peanut butter sandwich, and mini-pizzas. You can do this if your microwave can be a convection oven as well, but it takes longer and is more hit-and-miss.
5) Always keep a jar of Prego on hand. The sauce is delicious, makes great pizza, pasta, meatball sandwiches (which you can make in the microwave or rice cooker), and chili. Remember: that rice cooker is just a crock pot on a timeróuse it as both.
6) Rice paper and corn tortillas will take anything you made for dinner last night and turn it into a wrap for lunch.
7) Gluten free quick oats and flax seed can make for a speedy breakfast or lunch. Glutenfreeda makes instant oatmeal in a variety of flavors and is cheap if you order in bulk online. Consider adding flax seeds in most things you eat. It is a flavor booster and can help getting your digestive tract back online.
8) Fresh/ frozen veggies and fruit should always be kept on hand. They can be a quick dinner or lunch by themselves, or they can kick up the flavor of whatever you make for dinner.
9) If you got the convection microwave oven, you could make your own bread using gluten free flours bought in bulk. Either create your own mix, or use a pre-mixed bag (my favorite is Juleís gluten free flour mix, it comes in a white 5-lb bag). Store bought gluten free bread is expensive and really disgusting. I have yet to see a store bought loaf of gluten free bread that was either better suited for masonry or tasted waxy and fell apart at the slightest breeze.
10) Major brands that strive to be gluten free are always good. Some of my favorites are Bushís baked beans or chili beans, UTZ chips (except for sour cream and onion, most are gluten free), and Chex. One of the best things about gluten free cereals is you can crush them up and use them as breading or in granola bars.
11) Protein: eggs, nuts, peanut butter, tofu, etc are always handy to have around and can be gotten on the cheap.
Cooking and living gluten free on a budget is easy if you have the right equipment and some ingenuity.
Stop looking at how things were intended to be used, and start looking at how the tools you have can be stretched. Use your rice cooker as a crock pot, bread things with chex and spices, and make a grilled cheese out of tortillas or gluten free pancakes or waffles. If you can get away with it, you could get a mini grill with the different plates and use it to make waffles, etc using a gluten free flour mix. If that doesnít work, use your rice cooker as a griddle (it works, trust me) and make pancakes in it to use for sandwiches. Take a few pancakes and layer them with frosting and marshmallow fluff and you have some of those hostis-style cakes for snacks. And who says you cant have chocolate pancakes for desert, and make veggie-egg pancakes for breakfast? Play with it. You never know what you could stumble upon.
Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:37 AM
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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