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au natural

The Financial Aspect

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:blink: "aunatural "and a new member. How does everyone else deal with the financial aspect of being celiac??? I have been celiac for just under a year. found out also i have allergies to egg whites, peanuts, milk and cod fish. i have been diagnosed with severe neutropenia where my body cannot keep up a white count to save my life. The stresses of recent neck disk replacement and fighting to keep my job is sometimes more than i can bear. WHY must CLEAN food cost so much???? My food bill has trippled!!

I thank god that it is just myself and my husband to feed. I have yet to find any financial help out there

that could aid in my food bill. I am in the process of setting up garden space. I do have fruit trees, bees and chickens, all which help! Lets face it.. $5.00 to $8.00 dollars for a measly 24 ounces of soy, garbonzo and other flours is mindboggeling. I understand companies making money off gluten-free products... but the prices I am forced to pay to just eat.. feels like others are making money off my disability. I am forced to pay or just not eat. I thought why not just buy for example"garbonzo beans" and grind them myself?? The result was I would have to shill out $200-$300 bucks just for the grinder and then the shelf life of the flour is so low that it would be a waste to grind a pound at a time. How do you guys deal with this issue???

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I deal with it by not spending that much money on food. :-P

Seriously, you don't need the expensive cereals or cookies or breads or flours. You can make healthy, tasty, filling, and just plain wonderful food by sticking to the whole, naturally gluten-free foods that are available in every store. Fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, corn, beans, lentils, quinoa, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, milks/yogurt, oils and vinegars, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices all combine together to make almost anything you can imagine. Add in a few premade staples, like chocolate, corn tortillas (or rice cakes for me), gluten-free soy sauce, and rice noodles, and you've got convenience on even more dishes.

Those other things, the expensive things, aren't absolutely necessary, and the first place to cut in order to save money. Of course, having a few around for treats is always good. :-)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Yeah, if you don't buy the convience foods you'll save a lot of money and probably be a lot healthier in the long run. If you really need to eat the starchy stuff you could mill your own flour. The mill will cost a bit to start with, but if you do a lot of that sort of baking you could probably recoup your money reasonably fast.

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It certainly can get expensive if approach the gluten free diet from the angle of relying heavily on the ready-made gluten free stuff in the healthfood store. For the most part, the only ready-made gluten free staple we purchase is the hot cereals. But even then, if you purchase them in bulk online, say from Bob's Red Mill, you can save a bunch. Bob's offers 25 lb. sacks of their gluten free grain products for $35-$45 dollars plus shipping.

Mostly, its a matter of doing research and finding out what mainstream products are gluten free. There are lists available on the internet of gluten free mainstream food and medicinal products. It may mean contacting food companies and asking them pointed questions about their products, like: "Is the modified food starch listed on the ingredient label of your catsup made from wheat, corn or potatoes?"

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I am vegetarian and without some of the prepackaged gluten-free flours and cereals, I might starve to death. I figured out I would have to have eggs and cheese every morning for breakfast. It is expensive and my husband is a resident. I feel so bad for people on this diet without any extra money to spare.

Monica

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AU NATURAL;

i TOO HAVE A VERY LOW WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT. wHEN i ASK MY PCP WHY FOR SEVERAL YEARS HAS THIS BEEN LIKE THAT , HE DOESN'T HAVE AN ANSWER. dIOD YOUR DOC EVER GIVE YOU A REASON FOR IT? i'VE BEEN CURIOUS ABOUT THAT FOR A LONG TIME. i GUESS IN THE END MY PCP SAID i MUST HAVE A UNFECTION SOMEWHERE THAT MY BODY KEEPS FIGHTING OFF. hE WANS'T CONCERNED AT ALL BUT i AM. iF YOU HAVE ANY INFO PLEASE PM ME DIRECTLY AS i DON'T ALWAY GET BACK TO THESE POSTS.

THANKS

MAMAW

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I am vegetarian and without some of the prepackaged gluten-free flours and cereals, I might starve to death. I figured out I would have to have eggs and cheese every morning for breakfast. It is expensive and my husband is a resident. I feel so bad for people on this diet without any extra money to spare.

Monica

You may want to focus more on beans/lentils and veggies, though eggs are a good, cheap source of protein. You might also want to look into the gluten free grains, which can be obtained more cheaply than specialty prepared products. Millet, in particular is very good. Seeds and nuts are also quite useful - a combination of cream of rice and flax meal can provide a good source of energy, including protein, fiber, and omega-3's.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Guest Robbin

I agree it is very expensive to buy pre-made foods, but it is also expensive to buy fresh produce. I buy a lot of frozen vegetables and in the summer can a lot of tomato products. On another thread, I mentioned a new book I just bought called "The Gluten Free Kitchen" by Roben Ryberg that has some really good-looking recipes for baked goods that call for cornstarch and potato starch. These are pretty cheap. Today I made buttermilk bread and it was much, much better than ready made stuff. The only really expensive stuff is the xanthan gum, but you use so little in each recipe that it isn't so bad in the long run.

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au natural, you're right, the stuff's quite expensive when considering that some people cannot eat fruits and vegetables, soy, eggs, dairy and other foodstuffs. Then they are dependent on products from manufacturers that are gluten-free. Now throw in the possibility that equipment to grind your own is expensive and yes, ground flours do not store well, so now you have to have a spare room or spot to store it in - that means an additional expense in housing. So overall, gluten-free products are highly priced and so is the gluten-free lifestyle when you throw in additional constraints.

When you have to abstain from foodstuffs like fruits/veggies and you aren't a big meat eater to begin with you rely on the flours more and the gluten-free pastas.

Oh, by the way, has anyone seen price of Xanthan gum and Guar Gum lately?

Also, the expenses go up exponentially when it's a family that has to be gluten-free. For me, I use about 1-2 pkgs of Xanthan gum and Guar gum a year, but it's just my husband who is gluten-free.

So au natural, you're not crazy, the foodstuffs you need for your particular diet and tastes are expensive.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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Guest nini

We are on a VERY tight budget right now because my husband is not working (well, working from home reselling on E-bay and that is soooo inconsistent) and I'm only working part time... I make it work... I've found rice flour for .33 cents a bag in the Hispanic section of the grocery store, Corn Flour and Corn Starch are also very inexpensive... I love fresh organic veggies but can't afford them right now, so I buy canned or frozen on sale. I only buy the gluten-free specialty foods if they are on sale and even then only a few items. I try to rotate our diet a lot so that we are not eating a lot of the same things over and over again. There are some things that I absolutely have to spend the extra money on, like clean organic meats because I am allergic to the hormones and antibiotics that are in most commercially raised meat products. I am also allergic to nitrites and nitrates so for lunchmeats I have to get the more expensive ones, but like I said before, they are not the staple of my diet and I don't buy them all the time.

It can be done on a very tight budget, you just have to get creative. Get educated on what mainstream products are naturally gluten-free, For example, Publix Grocery Store sent me a huge list of their Publix brand (generic) products that are gluten-free. This has saved me sooooo much money.

Rice and Potatoes are not expensive at all, Neither are dried beans, a very good source of protein. I freeze leftovers in individual serving size containers to stretch the food further and to have quick meals ready when I don't feel like cooking.

It is getting a lot easier to do this on a very tight budget, and you can too, just don't rely so heavily on all the specialty flours and mixes and replacement products. Save those for the occassional treat. Buy them only when they are on sale.

I think last week we only spent $30 on groceries for a family of three for the entire week.

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I've also read Internet posts which say buying some foods at Asian markets is less expensive. (I particularly remember that rice flour was less expensive there.) I haven't been to one myself, so I don't have any personal experience.

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I am always shocked at my grocery bill! But I should sit down and compare it to what I actually spent when I was eating out all the time - I bet there's not that much difference. And I am so proud now when my daughter (she's 8) and I grocery shop and come away with a cart full of fresh, healthy fruits and veggies instead of all the junk we used to buy!

I do order breads and cookies from Kinninkick (sp) - other then that it's just meats, veggies, fruit and the occasional soy ice cream for me and real ice cream for my daughter as a treat. Oh - don't forget the smiley fries though!!

I have found that Trader Joe's is literally half the cost for nut butter, soy, almond, rice milk and other goodies so I do go and spend a lot there, but I've stocked up for a good month or longer.


Ev in Michigan

GFDF since 8/20/05

Negative Bloodwork ~

Dr. encourages me to trust my

"Gut Reaction"

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I don't buy a lot of specialty products and flours because I can't tolerate them. I pretty much stick to naturally gluten-free foods that I buy at the reg. grocery store. About the only exceptions are Vance's Dairi Free, and Enjoy Life Cookies. I get my Lara Bars at the reg. grocery store, too. When I first started the diet, I went wild with the breads and mixes. They were great--for the most part--but the grains really do me in. If I could eat them, I would :angry: . So now, my grocery bills are a bit higher than before all of this started. We never eat out anymore, so now I need to buy more food because we're home more. It sort of balances out :blink:


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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My grocery bill pretty much stayed the same, but only because my teenage son moved out! :( ! He came home last night with a buddy, and they cleaned out my fridge, lucky me they are not celiacs, they left my food alone! Yes, it is expensive, but so were all of the medical bills I had for being sick. I spend less on doctors and meds now, so it compensates itself.


Dessa

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:24-25

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I am always shocked at my grocery bill! But I should sit down and compare it to what I actually spent when I was eating out all the time - I bet there's not that much difference. And I am so proud now when my daughter (she's 8) and I grocery shop and come away with a cart full of fresh, healthy fruits and veggies instead of all the junk we used to buy!

We used to eat out alot because we were both working and have 2 teenage boys. Now that I stay home I have some more time to prepare meals, and focus more on what I should be eating. It does feel better having bananas fall off your cart rather than bags of chips! :blink:

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The mistakes I've made were investing in all of the flours. I thought I'd be baking but the few attempts I've tried were so dissappointing that I don't want to waste my time doing that anymore. I'll just buy the mixes like Pamala's brownies once every other week. One loaf of millet bread lasts for two to three weeks since I only have one slice in the morning with eggs. I hardly ever eat cereals...once a week, but I have like three boxes sitting in the pantry. And I make Pizza every sunday with a premade pizza crust by Sami's bakery that is made with millet. Its fantastic!. But everything adds up. Our eggs are farm raised. Our beef is grass fed, chicken is the Smart brand chicken, we'll buy spinach, two kinds of lettuce, zucchinni, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, garlic, green beans, asparagus, and three kinds of fruits every week. I don't do well eating alot of beans and rice but that's what I would have to do if I didn't have the money. I would only make pasta once a week since that's expensive. I'd make a lot of soups. Actually when you don't eat alot of starches you don't get hungry as often. Its all so complicated now. I miss the days I could get away with eating a ham sandwich with cheap bread for lunch. But it'll pay off I'm sure in the end with good health and with the expense of medication thats a good thing.


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Guest nini

that is one very significant way that this diet balances out in the cost is that I no longer have the expense of all of those prescriptions and OTC meds, AND I'm not going to the Dr. at least once a week with a hefty co pay... So that right there saves me a ton of money.

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I'm probably spending less money but that's just because I used to eat out all the time. And yeah, I guess I'm also saving some money on not refilling prescriptions the past couple months.


- Charlie

- gluten free since January, 2006

- multiple food intolerances temporarily from leaky gut and candida

- positive test for lyme disease - April, 2007

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I think that my bill equals out! I started out with all the convinience foods, but now I just get Whole foods cookies, and their pizza crusts! I mixed my own flour, which seemed expensive at the beginning, but it mad such a large amount, I'm set for a while.

But mostly, I know I am saving money on meds. I spent between 200-250 a month on meds before gluten-free now I don't spend any on meds! :D That makes it all worth it to me!

Lollie


tests inconclusive, diet conclusive January 2006

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I am always shocked at my grocery bill! But I should sit down and compare it to what I actually spent when I was eating out all the time - I bet there's not that much difference. And I am so proud now when my daughter (she's 8) and I grocery shop and come away with a cart full of fresh, healthy fruits and veggies instead of all the junk we used to buy!

I used to joke that we were the king & queen of takeout. Now takeout is pretty much impossible. I can't remember the last time I ordered takeout. And we still eat out, but not nearly as often. I also bought a lot of the convenience foods when I was first diagnosed, and I still like to buy the cakes and cookies and stuff but not as often. I think I spend a bit more now but not a huge difference.


Jillian

Positive Blood test and Biopsy

Inflamed stomach lining

Gluten free since July 6, 2005

Tarrytown, NY

"Sometimes being a b$tch is all a woman has to hold onto." - Dolores Claiborne

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We really have a hard time financial, we usually do have to stick to just grocery gluten free stuff.

There are three in our family who have to eat gluten free and i am single with three children so it is not easy. Of course we feel better. I have been eating gluten free for about a year and half my daughters have been eating about six months. Before we found out i was real sick and my daughters both of them had irregular heartbeats now they don't have them anymore the wheat allergy was doing this. Mine was array of problems two of use still have some depression problems but they are better. I wish there was some kind of help for our grocery bills somewhere. There is help for everything else out there why not us. connie

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I cant remember where I saw it, or even if I recall correctly, but I thought I saw a post someplace about being able to get a tax credit if you have dr confirmation or something, you may want to check with "your tax lady" to get more details but I swear that I saw this someplace..... I recall thinking to myself this would have4 been nice but I will be darned if I go back to my B4GF eating habits just to get a tax break, its not worth it no matter how much it is!

As for how I save money.... amazon .com carries gluten-free products, its pretty much hit and miss but most stuff comes by the case and almost always shipping is FREE! I get what I can there and fill in what I have to have from other internet sources as the closest store that carries anything worth eating is a 5 hour drive away!

I am however looking forward to my day or 2 in Denver... I plan on visiting "deby's bakery" and see if I can get me a ham sandwich, i have been having cravings lately! yeah yeah i know I need better cravings, lol


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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Just a note about milling your own flour.

First, I agree with others that you'll want to have time to settle into some patterns of gluten-free eating so you can know whether you'd be likely to actually bake much in the long run.

In case you do, though, I just wanted to mention that I've been happily milling my own grain for several years, and there is no need to grind a pound at a time. I only ever mill exactly what I need for what I'm going to make. I use a kitchen scale and keep a chart of flour weights handy. Then I just weigh out how much grain I need, toss it in the mill, and know that what comes out is just what I need. If I'm doing a mix of grains, I just weigh them out and dump them in together. So the grain mill actually helps solve the shelf-life problem, because whole grains store for so much longer than milled flours, and if you mill just what you need, there's no need to store flour at all.

I'm not actually gluten-free at this point - I'm waiting for my test results. But if I do have to go gluten-free, I'll be very strongly considering replacing my mill with a new, pristine, gluten-free one. I think I'd miss fresh flours too much, and I've already seen how much money can be saved in the long run.

Still, again, it is definitely a decision to be made carefully, and I'm not trying to talk you into it - just want you to have accurate information. It's only cost effective if you're really going to use it, and not everyone would. Baking fascinates me, so I'm more inclined to do it. We'll see what happens when I dive into what Bette Hagman refers to as the "weird world of gluten-free baking!"

Beth

... I thought why not just buy for example"garbonzo beans" and grind them myself?? The result was I would have to shill out $200-$300 bucks just for the grinder and then the shelf life of the flour is so low that it would be a waste to grind a pound at a time. How do you guys deal with this issue???

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I cant remember where I saw it, or even if I recall correctly, but I thought I saw a post someplace about being able to get a tax credit if you have dr confirmation or something, you may want to check with "your tax lady" to get more details but I swear that I saw this someplace..... I recall thinking to myself this would have4 been nice but I will be darned if I go back to my B4GF eating habits just to get a tax break, its not worth it no matter how much it is!

As for how I save money.... amazon .com carries gluten-free products, its pretty much hit and miss but most stuff comes by the case and almost always shipping is FREE! I get what I can there and fill in what I have to have from other internet sources as the closest store that carries anything worth eating is a 5 hour drive away!

I am however looking forward to my day or 2 in Denver... I plan on visiting "deby's bakery" and see if I can get me a ham sandwich, i have been having cravings lately! yeah yeah i know I need better cravings, lol

I have also read some where that the difference between the cost of our foods vs normal diets can be deducted on your tax return. It doesn't help much now, but maybe it will at the end of the year. I haven't actually checked into it but I did read it some where on here.


May God Bless And Keep Each And Everyone Of You!

Diagnosed: Aug. '07

Celiac Sprue

Diverticulitis

Gastritis

Lactose Intolerant

Other known Allergies: Green Bell Peppers, Egg whites, Bees/Wasp, Mold, Pine Trees, Grass, Rag weed, several outdoor plant types, dust, Sulfa, some antibotics, most perfumes, most cleaning chemicals, still compiling....

Newly found Allergies: Ensure, cantaloupe, peaches, milk, Lame Advertisement, PEPSI (OH NO!!)

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