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chrissy

Where's The Best Place To Buy Ingredients?

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hi all! i'm just wondering where you buy your gluten-free baking ingredients? locally, we have a kroger's that carries some of bob's red mill products, also the local health food store carries a variety of flours. i have been told that a town about 45 miles away has a fred myer's with gluten free products---and my daughter happens to be going to college in that town. so.......do you buy locally, or do you mail-order? if you mail-order, what companies do you use? what would be considered "good prices" on some of the various flours? also, what about grinding your own, do many of you do this? i havae ground bean flour before and it was so bitter----does baking make it taste better, or is it just better if you buy it from another source? i know this is a lot of questions, but i'v got a large family at home and i have got to figure out how to do this as inexpensively as i can.

christine

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I lucked out because there is a gluten free store in my area. Fred Meyer has a lot of stuff, but mine did not have Tinkyada pasta. You can find that at some grocery stores (it is the best!). I would suggest checking out the different stores in your area, you may be surprised at what they carry. I was able to find all of the Bob's Red Mill flours (even some that the gluten free store didn't have!) at a local store that I would not have expected. I'm not sure on price, it's kind of hard to price shop when only one place has what you need.

Another idea: check with your local stores and see if they special order. I used to work at Albertson's and we did that all the time for customers. I don't know how it works, if it has to be a brand they already carry, etc. but it's worth looking into! Also, I have found that just buying the bread mixes and using them in the breadmaker (I use Pamela's Amazing Wheat-Free Bread Mix) is just as cost effective and better tasting than doing it all from scratch. Especially since the ingredients are so darn expensive (it's exactly the opposite of how we usually think-scratch should be cheaper and better tasting).

Good luck!

Lisa

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I do both. Here(cnear Boulder, CO) we basically have coops, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Vitamin Cottages. Decent selection yes. Even the Safeways, King Soopers(kroger), and Albertsons carry plenty.

But I still order online.

I ususally check out the 4-5 local stores, if they have the product, I figure in the cost of shipping. Sometimes, its better to shop(I order Tinkyada pasta by the case) online, sometimes at the store. I'm probably an exception, this area of Colorado is great with all the natural food stores and the like.

Its making going to visit my parents especiallly easy this Christmast. Present wise that is. My dad had has been known gluten intolerant since the 1940s(yes a banana baby, poor guy) I bring back all sorts of stuff (especially gluten-free things I bought that I think are crap... :> he loves them heheh)

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I made the rounds of all the local health food stores at first, getting potato starch flour here, brown rice flour there, but online is the easiest if you're trying to assemble the assortment of flours used in the Connie Sarros and Betty Hagman cookbooks. You just have to resign yourself to paying more for gluten-free food - once you're over that, buying online is great, even with the shipping costs. You can order directly from Bob's Red Mill for flours, the Gluten-free Pantry is good, and the Gluten-free Mall has a big selection. If you look around you can find all kinds of links from this site and others. It was so exciting when I found places where I could buy gluten-free macaroni and cheese and individual packs of crackers! If I need something right away, Whole Foods is one place that has most of it in one store, although scattered throughout the store, but they're not in every state. Wegman's has begun labeling all their store-brand products with a G when they're gluten-free, so that's a help. Shop-Rite has a decent selection of gluten-free stuff in their health food aisle, but in general you're not going to find many regular grocery stores with a lot of gluten-free foods, especially baked goods, so either get a mental list of where to find the gluten-free foods in your area or start thinking about online shopping and find some storage space for when you stock up.

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I find Whole Foods has a lot of what I need. I get my breads there as they have their own Gluten Free Bakeshop line. I also find some things like Ener-g flour, Enviro Kidz and a few others at Shoprite, a local grocery store. Likewise, Acme is carrying more gluten-free products. I only use mail order if I can't find something locally. Living where I do, I have a lot of health oriented stores--I know a lot of people don't have the local stores and have to mail order.

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I forgot to mention that if you're going to mix your own gluten-free flours and do your own baking, the cheapest place to get most of the flours is an Asian grocery store. I get white rice flour at 3-1 pound bags for $1 - Bob's Red Mill can't beat that and the Asian flour is much finer. They also have tapioca, potato starch flour, and sweet rice flour just as cheap.

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