21861 The Coach's Top 23 Tips for Eating Gluten Free on a Budget - Celiac.com
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The Coach's Top 23 Tips for Eating Gluten Free on a Budget

  1. Plan your meals:  It sounds simple, but it’s one that is often ignored.  Sit down before you do your weekly grocery run.  Know what you are going to make for each meal including snacks.  Find out what’s on sale before you make your weekly meal plan.  Stick to the list when you shop!
  2. Develop a file of dependable, go to gluten-free recipes.  My people report that, when they are short on time, that’s when they are likely to make extravagant purchases.  Take the thinking and guess work out of meal planning by looking through your file.  You can even write down the estimated cost of the meal.
  3. Eat foods that are naturally gluten free found at the regular grocery store.  Corn tortillas are cheap and have many uses, including for sandwich wraps.  Beans are a nutrient-rich starch substitute, as are lentils.
  4. Eat whole foods.  Whether you are gluten-free or not, it is healthier not to eat packaged, processed foods.  Just because a product is marked gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  Processed gluten-free products often lack nutrients.  Limit these to a couple times per week or less.
  5. Eat foods that are in season.  This means they had to travel less far to reach your grocery store, therefore they will be cheaper.
  6. Grow your own.  Learn how to can and/or jar the extras.  Live in a cool climate?  Some veggies can be started inside.
  7. Make a soup.  Soups are filling, and they are a great way to use up items in the fridge.
  8. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals.  Eliminating meat from two dinners per week will save you quite a bit of money.
  9. Eat breakfast for dinner.  Make a frittata – cook 3 strips of bacon in a skillet.  Set aside and drain off most of the fat.  Add diced onions.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add diced red pepper.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add a package of thawed, drained frozen spinach.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add bacon back in.  Beat 5 eggs and pour them all over the filling.  Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 8 – 12 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  Serves 2 – 3.
  10. Get creative.  For thickening sauces or gravy, substitute equal amounts of cornstarch for flour.  Mashed potato flakes also make a great, inexpensive thickener and binder in place of breadcrumbs. Xanthan gum
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    is used in many gluten-free recipes to serve as the “glue” to hold the product together; use 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin to replace 1tsp. xanthum gum in some recipes such as cookies. Cornmeal or crushed potato chips can be substituted when a recipe calls for a coating or crunchy topping.
  11. Buy in bulk.  Once you found something you like, save big by buying in a large quantity.  The Gluten-Free Mall  has bulk discounts and many other ways to save you money. See their "Shop Smart & Save Money!" section on the top-right corner of their site.
  12. Create or join a bulk buying group.  Ask around at your local support group, or link up with local folks online.  If you like the same products buy a bulk order and split it.
  13. Cook ahead and freeze meals in individual or family-size servings.  If you are not someone that cooks and you are watching your budget, it makes sense to learn.
  14. Invest in a good vacuum food sealer.  This will help keep leftovers fresh for longer = less waste.
  15. Bake 1-2 times per month.  Things like Pizza crusts, bread, and pie crusts will freeze well if wrapped properly.
  16. Make gluten-free cookie dough from scratch and freeze in a roll.  Cut and bake what you need.  This will curb your desire to buy an expensive mix.
  17. Start a gluten-free dinner swap (like a holiday cookie swap).  Get a few families to cook up a large quantity of gluten-free meals and swap them for variety!
  18. Join a food co-op.  Co-ops are groups who use their purchasing power to get lower prices.
  19. Make your own blend of gluten-free flours ahead of time and store in an air tight container.
  20. To prevent contamination, purchase extra appliances (like a toaster) from Craig’s List or Goodwill.
  21. Track your purchases.  Seeing it in black and white can be very revealing.
  22. Consult with your employer’s human resources department.  Do they offer a flexible spending account (FSA) benefit?  These accounts hold your money pre-tax for medical purchases.  If so, will the FSA recognize gluten free food (and related shipping charges)?  Get it in writing!  If your employer doesn’t offer this benefit, ask them to look into it.  This will save you about 30%.
  23. If you are not using an FSA and you spend a lot of money on medical expenses, consult with your accountant.  Are a portion of your gluten-free food purchases tax deductible?  Shipping charges often can be reimbursed from this account, as can mileage to and from specialty stores.

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4 Responses:

 
goo
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Aug 2009 4:39:27 AM PDT
Substituting guar gum for xanthan gum is another money-saver.

 
barbara
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said this on
02 Aug 2009 5:11:01 PM PDT
Thanks for all the interesting information. I'm always looking for new news that has to do with Celiac.

 
Maureen Anderson
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said this on
13 Sep 2009 3:35:03 PM PDT
Thank you for all the useful information I just found out I have this disease and I am very overwhelmed.

 
Stu
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
18 May 2012 9:43:40 PM PDT
If I might also suggest:
#10 Another excellent gum-base/thickener is sweet or glutenous rice flour (NOT wheat gluten, just very sticky rice). I use this in place of xanthan gum in my bread flour- 6 lbs white or brown rice flour + 3 lbs potato starch + 1 lb each of Tapioca flour and Glutenous Rice flour. Makes 11 lbs.

#20 A used toaster is very likely to already be contaminated with wheat gluten, and even cleaning it out by yourself you run the risk of getting sick. Better to buy a new, inexpensive one.




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You may find these interesting, they're from Professor Marios Hadjivassiliou, a leading expert on gluten ataxia: http://www.acnr.co.uk/pdfs/volume2issue6/v2i6reviewart2.pdf Best of luck helping your daughter

Yep. The one that is most relevant I think is the post by Backtalk. Backtalk went back on gluten and have to a colostomy done on an emergency basis. Not fun. She regretted ignoring the gluten-free diet.

Welcome Lochella Hopefully you can draw some comfort from finally having an answer and thus starting the path to good health. Healing is going to come from your own body as you progress on the gluten free diet and it stops fighting itself and starts repairing that damage. You're still in the very early days and it's not an instant process sadly. 6 months is the usual figure bandied around for seeing significant improvement, although hopefully you'll get some signs of improvement much quicker than that. The single best thing you can do is to eat good simple whole foods and make sure absolutely no gluten gets into your diet. There's some tips here: With stomach pains peppermint tea is my go to drink. Avoiding caffeine seems to help as well as its rough on digestion at the best of times. This may be a time to ease up on alcohol as well and consider dropping dairy, many find they're lactose intolerant but this can correct itself in time. You will find lots of good info, advice and support here, I hope the community is of help to you as it was to me. Best of luck!

I recently got diagnosed with Celiac disease I must of had it my whole life. I'm 35 I've always had severe stomach problems, in and out of hospitals and misdiagnosed until now. My small intestine is severely damaged I'm now waiting to see a dietitian and my specialist wants to see me again in 2 weeks. How do some of you deal with the pain of the healing process and what helps you? I'm in so much pain?

I recently got diagnosed with Celiac disease I must of had it my whole life, in 35 I've always had severe stomach problems in and out of hospitals and misdiagnosed until now. My small intestine is severely damaged in now waiting to see a dietitian and my specialist wants to see me again in 2 weeks. How do some of you deal with the pain of the healing process and what helps you? I'm in so much pain?