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au natural

The Financial Aspect

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We went through a phase when my daughter was first diagnosed of trying every gluten-free replacement product on the market. Most of them tasted so icky at first because that isn't what we were used to. We went primarily on a whole-foods diet. Many fresh veggies, but often frozen to save money as well.

Now we have a few packaged gluten-free foods that are staples...some cereal, rice bars, rice bread, pamelas mix, etc. but 90% of what we buy at the store is either naturally gluten-free or from a company we trust. We'll try a new gluten-free product every few weeks or so just to see if we stumble along any gems.

One way we save money now is with meats. We buy the "family pack" which usually results in 2 meals for our family of four. We divide the meat when we get home from the store. If it's just you or you and one other person then you could probably stretch that even further. That works really well for chicken breasts and pork chops especially.

We have also taken to making our own cripsy chicken strips. We get the chicken strips raw from the store then make them ourselves at home and freeze them. Those are a super handy dinner for the nights I don't want to cook.

Our biggest shocker wasn't so much the price, but the lack of convenience with gluten free foods. Making a lot of food then freezing half of it for a later meal has really helped out.

We keep a few cans of Progresso Veg/Rice soup on hand always too, in case we're in a real pinch.

It really does get easier, and less expensive. We probably spend more $ on groceries than most (almost $800 per month :o ) but my husband and son (who is only 3) are big eaters.

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It is difficult because we are shopping about every 3 days. We are lucky to have a Trader Joe's almost walking distance and multiple Whole Foods fairly close. We don't even really go to Ralphs, Vons, etc. anymore. Also, we have gotten smart about things. We used to but frozen rice all the time and just heat it up, but if we just make one big batch and put it in containers and heat it up as we go, it works great it is WAY cheaper! We use the crock pot a lot too. Our favorite meal is take two cans of salsa and whole chicken but up (buy for about $5) and put it in the crock pot for 4-5 hours on high. It is SO good. We put it over brown rice. It costs about $10 but lasts us for days. Its totally worth it. Another great cheap meal is talapia. Trader Joe's sells it for about $3 for 3 fillets. That is SO cheap! We just put olive oil, lemon and seasonings and put it in the broiler and it's so good.

It was much more expensive when I first went gluten-free, but we don't but really expensive gluten-free treats anymore. It will get easier. But in bulk, and package stuff individually when you get home.

Kassandra

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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.

The tricky part is this amount has to be more than 7% (or is it 12% - can't quite remember) to take a medical deduction. For most people, it would be hard to spend this much.

I do all my shopping at the regular grocery store, not a gluten-free specialty store, which really keeps costs down. I buy in bulk and shop the sale rack. I have also found rice flour for $2 for four pounds in the asian section of my store. The "ethnic" foods are much cheaper than buying the ones that say gluten-free on the package.

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Welcome to the site, au natural

$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???

Asian markets do have rice flour. They also sell considerably more inexpensive garbanzo flour than what you're buying in health food stores. Look for the name "gram flour" It's also called "besan flour." Asian markets are a great place for buying lentils and other legumes, too. Oh, and bags of rice, and if you're into that kind of thing, you can buy the spices in inexpensive packets, get a $10 coffee grinder and grind your own spices.

Good luck with it, though au natural. Those gluten free items in health food stores have killer price tags often.

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I'm sure your extra limitations make the the gluten-free diet even more challenging. I've been on the gluten-free diet 11 months. At first, the costs were overwhelming to me, (especially when despite my poor health and positive bloodwork, my doctor said if the biopsy was positive the diet would be expensive). Hey, I'm saving money by not buying so much Immodium AD :( and maybe on other future medical costs, such as possible osteoperosis or other problems.

Now I'm finally finding some ways to cut food expenses, but, like you, :) still struggle with the costs of some items. I've cut back on how many specialty foods I buy from the health store. A recent favorite is making my own chicken broth and adding leftover shredded chicken; navy beans; a few tablespoons of gluten-free flour; cumin; finely chopped carrots, peppers, and onion; diced green chilies; and rice for soup. Top with crushed tortilla chips. Soups are usually fairly cost-effective. (I saw a recipe today for soup with tomatoes, cabbage, juice, onions, and salsa.) Anybody tried to freeze soups you've made? :huh:

I also starting gardening again this year. The cooked gluten-free breakfast foods go a long ways for the cost. My brother and I have looked for gluten-free food specials and buy in bulk, then split costs. He joined a co-op at a health food store where he can get discounts certain times of the month. My best savings :) have been from going to a bent-n-dent store or overstock store (watch too many dents and expiration dates).

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At first I found it very hard to buy a loaf of bread that was $4.99 - $5.99 which is the most expensive item that I buy that is gluten free. I do buy a lot of food from walmart the value brand which are priced ok.

My shopping list at Whole Foods include which I can not find at regular stores

Bread (My Kroger does carry Kinninnick breads so I do go there at times)

Brown rice tortillas (I can not stand regular Corn tortillas)

Amy's rice pizza crust

Sunshine patties

365 whole foods mixes of

Brownies

pancake and waffles mixes

salad dressing

noodles sometimes (walmart stopped carring these)

Pamalas cookies

veggie cheese slices

Depending on what I need when I go I can get out of the store for $20-$32 everything else I go to Walmart or one of my local food stores to get the other groceries. Yes since I have been buying gluten free food, my buget has increased by a few dollars, but with coupons and getting things on sale then it is not so bad.

donna

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I am not sure about other Countries but here in Canada you get a tax break on all the "specialty" food we have to buy on a regular basis. Keep track monthly and come tax time you can claim it on your forms. Not exactly sure what the break is as this is my first year being diagnosed, but my Lawyer informed me that you do get a break. Might want to look into it in other countries, every little bit helps..

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