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Expensive Gluten-Free Food
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Is there anywhere to get coupons? Any shopping or money saving ideas anywhere? My husband and I both work full time but our budget is TIGHT. Luckily my mother offered to do a gluten-free shopping for us after we saw the dietician or I don't know what we would have done. School starts soon and she will need lots of snacks and packed lunches. I'm really hoping she gives bread another try because I don't know what else to pack her.

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Although the prepackaged "designer" gluten-free products are typically expensive, gluten-free food doesn't have to be more costly. The best advice I can give you is to make as many things from scratch as possible. Breads, crackers, snack bars, and even cold cereals can be made at home. There isn't much that can't be homemade, and for less than the prepackaged stuff.

HTH

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For coupons you can always go to a brand's website or Facebook and see if they're offering coupons. If they aren't, you can email them and express how much you love their products and sometimes they'll send you a bunch of coupons. Focus on fruits and veggies and try to figure out the cheapest place in your town to purchase them. (For my family, it's Aldi) When meat goes on sale, stock up and freeze it. There are also regular grocery coupons for some products that we can have- Chex has a 75 cent off coupon for their new apple cinnamon flavor right now. You can always find coupons for cheese, chips, salad dressings, pasta sauce, yogurt, fruit cups, eggs, etc. Another thing is to try to save money in other areas of shopping- use coupons for dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, pet food, etc.

For snacks and packed lunches:

-put marinara sauce, cheese, and mini hormel pepperonis on a corn tortilla for mini pizzas.

-peanut butter and apple slices is delicious. Also, peanut butter and Banana.

-Some days could be a lunch of little snacky finger foods- grapes, cheese stick or cubes, pepperonis, and then maybe a gluten free cookie or other treat. Using the cookies only as a special treat and not an everyday thing will make them last a lot longer. This is one way I've saved a few bucks.

-hummus with sweet potato chips, carrot sticks, celery, or anything else for dipping.

-Tortilla chips (save money on tortilla chips by baking or frying your own with corn tortillas) with salsa, guacamole, and cheese dip

-When it gets cool outside you could put homemade soups In a thermos or even a can of Progresso if you can find any of their gluten free flavors. The chicken with rice is delicious but sometimes hard to find.

-If she has access to a microwave at school, leftovers from dinner are always a cheap option.

The main thing will be to focus on foods that are naturally gluten free and make the expensive specialty foods a treat. There are plenty of yummy (and healthy!) foods out there that are naturally safe for us to eat! I hope I helped at least a little bit. Good luck! :)

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Thanks. Making things from scratch is not my specialty. Bread is definitely something I'd try. Do I need a bread maker? I have never made bread from scratch before. I think I would make a couple loaves and freeze them.

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Abby, thank you! Great ideas !! Glad to hear about progresso soups. I'll definately get a good thermos. She may like the mini pizza as well. So are all corn tortillas safe... U just made me think a taco night may be in order...

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Abby, thank you! Great ideas !! Glad to hear about progresso soups. I'll definately get a good thermos. She may like the mini pizza as well. So are all corn tortillas safe... U just made me think a taco night may be in order...

You're very welcome! For corn tortillas I buy La Banderita brand which I can usually find at Walmart for about 97 cents. The package says gluten free. Most corn tortillas should be gluten free but you definitely want to read labels to make sure they're not made on the same lines as the flour ones.

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Please remember, you don't always have to use bread. just roll lunchmeat and cheese together. use romaine lettuce for wraps.

one of my favorite lunches is a loaded baked potato. Some invest in a Bento box for layering and keeping foods warm.

If you do find a particular gluten free food item you love, there is ordering by the case from Amazon (just in case it gets removed ~big river online ordering site)

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Thanks. Making things from scratch is not my specialty. Bread is definitely something I'd try. Do I need a bread maker? I have never made bread from scratch before. I think I would make a couple loaves and freeze them.

It may seem difficult or intimidating, but making things from scratch is not only easy, but fun too.

You don't need a bread machine to make homemade bread, although some folks prefer it. Never be afraid of having a loaf flop. But if it does, you can always toast it and make gluten-free croutons or breadcrumbs out of it! Also, many find small loaves to be easier to make, so a mini loaf pan or muffin pan can be a good place to start. Then you'd have sandwich rolls, dinner rolls, burger buns, etc.

And of course, there are plenty of recipes on this site, and many fine members who are always eager to help you.

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    • Hi, Ok good advice and I am sincere when I say how much I appreciate a lot of the responses, advice and encouragement that have been posted here. I'm not sure what a nutrionist is but a dietician (here in the U.K.) is a heavily regulated medical profession and my dietician is based most of her week in a hospital where doctors and MD's as they are known refer patients to her for help. She works every day with celiacs, dh sufferers and people with crohns, ibs etc and seeing my skin, listened to what I was saying (particularly about how my redness and blisters resolved on a gluten free (though not wheat free) diet for several years, and sent a report to my doctor/MD requesting a battery of tests - tests that can indicate dh, celiac and associated complications. I also have a friend with a wheat allergy and two with celiac (all diagnosed) and they are encouraging me to go ahead with getting these particular tests. So that's great but reading the above quote that suggests that situations like sharing an oven used to cook gluten-containing pizza, should not cause a gluten reaction. I thought, my god what's the point of going through these tests if my recent reactions aren't actually to do with gluten. Although my dietician is concerned about possible dh and has been through years of medical school, I also really trust the advice of an advanced member on this site and if they think oven-sharing shouldn't cause any gluten reaction, what hope do I have with an MD? It has taken me years to pluck up the confidence to ask for any medical help because I feared that sort of response along with a focus on psychological issues and hormones etc early on in the thread (even though, I only started feeling depressed since yesterday). Actually, I'm a mental health nurse so it's good to see people are alert to these issues but I am also pretty familiar with depression and I know that many people with physical health problems are fobbed off by doctors with talk of depression, stress, and hormones. I'm sorry that I took the (above) quote to heart and I know that I allowed that to colour my perception of the whole thread, which has been helpful in many ways. Best wishes to you all, even those I didn't agree with! Rhian 
    • I thought maybe doing a trial period to see if he reacts positively to being gluten free and then adding it back to see if symptoms come back would maybe be helpful to the doctor? But I guess that's true, it might skew things regarding any future tests that might be warranted. 
    • If you haven't had her tested yet please do not go gluten free. Get the celiac testing first as if she does feel better gluten free when she has to go back on gluten for testing she may have much worse symptoms.  There will also be a higher risk of false negatives.
    • I did not mean to imply that you should put him on a gluten free diet.    If you suspect a problem with gluten, please get an opinion from a GI who is celiac savvy.  All celiac testing requires a patient to be consuming gluten.  The slightly equivocal TTG?  That warrants a gene test at the very least.   http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/it-mmfiles/Celiac_Disease_Diagnostic_Testing_Algorithm.pdf  
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