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Claire

Budgeting Tips For Frugal Celiacs

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Use the grocery store ad to plan your meals for the week. Use the products that are on sale to make your meals.

Don't let leftovers go to waste. If you can't eat them before they go bad, put them into gladware containers in the freezer labeled with the name of the food and the date that you froze it. Use those meals for lunches, or times when you don't feel like cooking.

Buy multiples of items when they are on sale. Many gluten free items freeze very well for later.

Buy a deep freeze or chest freezer. This is a great place to keep all of those foods you stock up on and leftovers you are freezing.

Buy in bulk when possible. I buy my favorite mixes in bulk and it saves quite a bit of money.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

Probably nothing new here as this is very basic. How about starting a list here of personal budget tips.

How do you keep down the cost of living gluten-free. Claire

BUDGETING TIPS FOR FRUGAL CELIACS

http://winnipegsun.com/News/FoodFright/200...15/1490038.html

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Guest nini

not letting leftovers go to waste is a big one... I get the very small round glad reusable/disposable plastic containers and spoon leftovers into those containers and freeze them. They make excellent individual servings.

coupons coupons coupons coupons! I find the coupon books at my local health food store usually have lots of gluten-free products in them and you can usually get more than one coupon booklet. Just yesterday I was able to get a stack of $1 off Ian's products coupons (a whole stack of them, more than 30 and they don't expire until 8/31/06 and it's only 4/30/06 right now! Also recently found a bunch of Gluten Free Pantry coupons and Amy's coupons.

Look for sales... When Kinnikinnick was on sale last month for at least $2 off each product, I stocked up on the sandwich bread since that is what we use the most

Find regular store brand products that are naturally gluten-free... Publix has a 9 page list of all of their Publix brand products that are naturally gluten-free, and then buy those products when they are on sale, like the big yogurt's for buy one get one free! Wal Mart also has tons of their Great Value line of products that are labeled gluten-free...

when I make gluten-free cookies, I freeze half of the dough in wax paper and a freezer bag and label with cooking instructions, I roll the dough in the wax paper, then when you pull it out of the freezer you can just slice into cookie rounds and bake... saves time AND money because you don't have wasted cookies (yeah, cookies tend to go bad in my house if I make a whole batch)

Shop at stores that offer DOUBLE coupons! And stock up on naturally gluten-free items like canned or frozen vegetables when they are on sale.

I'm getting to be quite an expert at this budgeting gluten-free menus... our grocery trip yesterday which will feed a family of three for the week ran us $60... hubby was impressed and cart was full!

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Excellent tips....

Here's what I did with a chicken - felt very proud of the mileage I got from it:

Bought $5 already-cooked chicken from Costco (they are much bigger than the ones at Save Mart and $2 less!). Ate that for a couple of days, with veggies. Then used some of the chicken for quesadillas. Then pulled off remaining chicken, mixed with mayo, celery, grapes, green onions, and some Herbamar seasoning (Whole Foods) and used it on top of a salad twice w/ Annie's Tuscan Italian. THEN boiled the carcass wtih celery and onions, made my own chicken stock and froze that. :rolleyes:

I'm sure this is nothing new for many of you, but I was quite proud of self as all chicken was used. (did I mention I hate to cook?)

I look forward to other frugal tips!

Susan

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Excellent tips....

Here's what I did with a chicken - felt very proud of the mileage I got from it:

Bought $5 already-cooked chicken from Costco (they are much bigger than the ones at Save Mart and $2 less!). Ate that for a couple of days, with veggies. Then used some of the chicken for quesadillas. Then pulled off remaining chicken, mixed with mayo, celery, grapes, green onions, and some Herbamar seasoning (Whole Foods) and used it on top of a salad twice w/ Annie's Tuscan Italian. THEN boiled the carcass wtih celery and onions, made my own chicken stock and froze that. :rolleyes:

I'm sure this is nothing new for many of you, but I was quite proud of self as all chicken was used. (did I mention I hate to cook?)

I look forward to other frugal tips!

Susan

Hi Susan--You can't ask much more from a chicken than that! I'm impressed :D

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This saves time as well as money: A couple times a year I make a huge pot of vegetarian chili. All the ingredients are maybe $15. I freeze it in serving-size containers, and then whenever I want a low-effort, healthy meal, I pull one out. Sometimes I make cornbread to go with it, sometimes I serve it over a handful of penne (my favorite brand is Trader Joe's), sometimes I melt a little cheddar on top.

Probably the biggest way we can save money, unfortunately, is just not getting many special gluten-free foods. Keeping the diet simple rather than having a lot of baking mixes or breads.

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I'm trying to come up with home versions of some of the gluten free stuff I can't afford. It will cost me more in the short term, but be worth it in the long term. There is a WONDERFUL glutenfree chicken nugget at the local kroger, but I can't afford them as a staple, so I'm going to work up a home chicken nugget.

One thing that annoys me no end is that so many gluten free things come in packages that are hard to reseal, thus compelling me to use my own ziplocks. It's the same with some regular food, but it's worse with gluten free because it costs so much more! Look at normal saltine cracker, Those came in a square tube sort of thing, and you could tie off the end with a twist tie. Very little gluten free packaging seems to have that much common sence.

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I just stick with the basics: fruit, veggies, meat, nuts, yogurt and cheese. I also like buckwheat a lot. I don't buy any of the processed gluten free junk. Surprisingly I spend a lot less on food than I used to.

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I cook everything from scratch, rather than buying expensive gluten-free food. I use time bake and the crock pot a lot since I have 4 kids and work part-time and don't have too much extra time to cook. I also stick with basic foods - chicken and rice, chicken salad, stews, soups, tacos, etc. And I learned to cook with dried beans (they're pretty cheap) to make soups, chili and casseroles.

Also mix up my own flour (costs about $1/pound if buying in bulk) and bake with it rather than paying outrageous prices for baked goods.

I still spend a lot of money on food, but I think it's because I want to buy healthy stuff and I have 4 hungry kids.

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I've only just started gluten-free and am mostly doing so just by eating stuff that doesn't have G in it...you know, fruit, yogurt, meat, etc. I've always been a mostly cook-my-own kind of gal and never did much like most breads (though there were exceptions...), or eat sandwiches, so it's not a huge change for me, though eating out is challenging.

I'm kind of surprised not to have seen anyone mention spaghetti squash here, though. I recently learned about it (actually in an article about diabetes, as a low-carb alternative to the real stuff), and am just thrilled. It's just a kind of squash (i.e. a vegetable) but when you cook it up, it comes out like, well, spaghetti -- long strings, fairly neutral slightly sweet flavor. I found it in my local grocery store (Food Lion -- not known for carrying obscure produce!); it's easy to cook up (pierce and boil, or slice in 1/2 and cook in an oven at 350 until a fork slides in easily, about 45 minutes either way); and I think you could substitute it pretty much anywhere you'd use pasta. So far I've only used it as "spaghetti" (I use a little less squash and a little more sauce than I would with the real stuff), but I think you could substitute it for pretty much any noodle. I'll probably try it next as "lasagne." It might even work in a soup? Has anyone tried this?

Happy times for me.

-- Alexandra

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Buy rice noodles at the Asian store rather than at the health food store or supermarket. Buy rice in a big sack at the Asian store and eat it every day.

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I've only just started gluten-free and am mostly doing so just by eating stuff that doesn't have G in it...you know, fruit, yogurt, meat, etc.

Actually some yogurt isn't safe.... I feel like the whole world is conspiring to poisen us. :huh:

I don't know which yogurt.

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Actually some yogurt isn't safe.... I feel like the whole world is conspiring to poisen us. :huh:

I don't know which yogurt.

Thanks -- yes, I am also reading labels (actually this is a life-long habit taught by my mom (thanks mom!), it's the avoidance of gluten that's new). I think I am OK, was doing plain Stonyfield and now doing plain Wholefoods store brand (called 365) -- cheaper. As far as I can tell both are gluten-free though if anyone knows different, please let me know!

-- Alexandra

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Resurrecting an old thread. I'm hoping to get into grad school this year so I'm 1) trying to cut my budget to save money, and 2) trying to learn to live on less so I won't have to borrow as much when I'm in school.

I live pretty lean now, but I'm up for hearing about ANY budgeting tips, not just about food.

And I'm not giving up the wine, so don't start with me! :P

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Resurrecting an old thread. I'm hoping to get into grad school this year so I'm 1) trying to cut my budget to save money, and 2) trying to learn to live on less so I won't have to borrow as much when I'm in school.

I live pretty lean now, but I'm up for hearing about ANY budgeting tips, not just about food.

And I'm not giving up the wine, so don't start with me! :P

Case discounts on wine

Date guys who will pay

Show up at friend's houses at dinner time

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Case discounts on wine

Date guys who will pay

Show up at friend's houses at dinner time

But they have to be gluten-free friends.

Does a case discount (or the 10% off 6 bottles discount) beat the Costco $10 bottles of wine? (WA has a state 50% markup on all alcohol).

I tried the Trader Joe's cheap stuff. The post-consumption headache is not worth the discount.

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But they have to be gluten-free friends.

Does a case discount (or the 10% off 6 bottles discount) beat the Costco $10 bottles of wine? (WA has a state 50% markup on all alcohol).

I tried the Trader Joe's cheap stuff. The post-consumption headache is not worth the discount.

Might be too late this year, but some wineries let you help with the harvest in exchange for wine.

In KS, Costco & TJ's can't sell wine. Strange Liquour laws here.

We get Oregon or Washington state wine for our Xmas gift from my bro who lives in Oregon. Maybe Santa might bring you some?

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Maybe Santa might bring you some?

Probably not a good budgeting tip :P:rolleyes:

Umm, we have vacuum packed hamburger patties washed up on Motiti Island waiting for salvage. They should not be too damaged by the oil leaking fron the container ship :blink:

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Probably not a good budgeting tip :P:rolleyes:

Umm, we have vacuum packed hamburger patties washed up on Motiti Island waiting for salvage. They should not be too damaged by the oil leaking fron the container ship :blink:

Well, I guess they won't stick to the pan.

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We have found developing a good relationship with our local health food store to be very helpful. After working with her for a couple of years, we now have a buying plan with her to reduce our costs on most of our food from her. She has also developed a great network with local farmers that we can rely on. She also grows some produce for us that is very specific to our needs. And for those packaged foods that we do enjoy, I am now getting them at about 60% of standard health food store cost. She special orders almost anything that I need and is great about going direct to grower/supplier when needed. She also has a good network into some reliable bulk food sources.

I tend to buy many things in bulk - beans in 25 pound bags, same for rice. I buy my hemp seed in five pound bulk (another advantage to this is that the bulk hemp seeds for this particular brand were in a gluten free facility, but their retail packages were not - a common theme that can be found with some of my supply lines).

I love using mason jars (I got them at discount from the health food store in a preorder arrangement, but I also try to pick them up from donations and other sales), and I find that my leftovers keep much better since I switched to using them. The wide mouth pint jars also do great in the freezer (this is how I store my bulk hemp seed - repackage it into wide mouth pints and put in freezer). I also freeze cooked beans in the wide mouth pints.

I finally found the liquor store local to us with the best wine pricing. There is a case discount, and there is a buyer's club program too. I can get wine for less than $10/bottle - ranging between $6-8 typically.

I have found that using leftovers is critical, but I also find that having those leftovers available to eat is also critical to prevent me from grabbing some other "convenience" food. I was explaining to my DD yesterday that we do not have leftovers - those are "processed foods"! And then in her confusion of understanding that we do not do well with "processed foods", I had to explain that we do better when we do not eat foods processed by *others*.

The chicken example on the first page was a good example, and it can be applied to other meats as well. We also have some farmers local to us that provide us great pricing on food. I buy sweet potatoes by the bushel, and that makes for good pricing too. That farmer usually has other produce that I can pick up too, including squashes.

If you can find ways to reduce your energy costs, that is another one that we work on. We have worked on getting our windows and doors sealed up better and try to keep the lights and other appliances off. I also try to minimize my driving. I am amazed at how much other people drive sometimes. I try to plan driving as well as I can, and I minimize it as much as possible.

It would probably help to look at where your money is going now to figure out where you can start to save more - look at insurance options, like home/renter and vehicle, to see if you can find less expensive options. You can look at those cable/internet/phone costs too.

Good luck on getting into grad school!

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I love using mason jars (I got them at discount from the health food store in a preorder arrangement, but I also try to pick them up from donations and other sales), and I find that my leftovers keep much better since I switched to using them. The wide mouth pint jars also do great in the freezer (this is how I store my bulk hemp seed - repackage it into wide mouth pints and put in freezer). I also freeze cooked beans in the wide mouth pints.

I have a question about this. I got some of those plastic screw on lids so I could freeze things in my mason jars. I tried it with some broth and the jars cracked in the freezer. Do you leave the lids off the jars when you first freeze things? or do you just not freeze liquids in glass jars? I had the same problem using the jars in my fridge (maybe my fridge is set too cold?). So I've given up using them for anything except dry items stored in the pantry. I should also mention, that these are antique jars passed down from my grandmother. Would I not that problem if I bought newer ones?

I used those Ball freezer "jars" made out of plastic for freezing homemade broth, cooked beans, cooked fruits and veggies (from pumpkin puree to roasted red peppers) and they work great but are a little small.

I have also tried my hand at canning but found there is not much $$ savings unless you can food grown from your own garden or you get a really good deal on a loss leader. Canning or freezing is great when you see a seasonal perishable item being sold at a discount. A lot of times you can make a deal with the farmer (if at a farmers market) or the grocer to buy them out of their very ripe produce. I have gotten plums, pears, peaches, apples, etc. at a deeper discount by asking if they will give a discount if I buy out most of their stock. The same with meat. If I see a case full of fresh chicken that is going out of date that day I will ask the meat manager if he can give deeper discount if I buy it all. Usually they knock another 15-30% off. You have to be able to do something with this food THAT day of course. So you have to be able to rush home, process the fruit or repackage and freeze the meat right away so it doesn't go bad. But if you have the time and bargaining skills you can save money that way--especially on organics. I stalk the orgainc meat section and make note of when the meats are going out of date so I can check back on that day or the day before.

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I am using standard lids (separate lid and band) when I freeze my jars. I try to let them cool a bit on the counter and/or fridge before popping it into the freezer. I had some cracking issues when I was using the jars to make ice blocks last year, but it was more of a problem when I pulled them out of the freezer and thawed them too quickly. I try not to give the jars big temp changes over a short time now. The pint and half pint jars that I have used in the freezer have all been new ones, and most are Ball.

I love the meat bargaining suggestion - do you do that at the standard grocery store? Do you suggest the added % off, or is that what they are offering?

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I love the meat bargaining suggestion - do you do that at the standard grocery store? Do you suggest the added % off, or is that what they are offering?

Usually at the grocery store meat counter area. I just ask the meat manager, "If I were to buy X amount could you give me a better discount?" Just make sure you are buying a large enough amount that it's worth it for them to mark it down. I'm usually buying 20-30 pounds worth of meat at a time. They suggest the % of mark down usually. It does help if you know them/they recognize you as a regular customer or you frequently chat them up when you are in the store. It works at farmer's markets as well, but like your ability to get the bulk foods store discount, it's more about a relationship or having a certain way of suggesting it. I have not done this myself, but I know people that go to farmers markets or road-side farm stands and barter with them. Especially people that use coupons to get discounted non-food items for cheap (the majority of coupons are for non-food items). Some will barter by trading shampoo, for example, for fresh produce or farm fresh eggs. There are other things you can barter of course too like if you own a business or have a certain skill. In this economy it is becoming really common to trade, for example, landscaping services or tutoring services for a year's worth of fresh produce (like a CSA box).

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