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SarahTorg

Eating Gluten Free On A Small Budget

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I usually do really well when I shop for groceries, but scince going gluten free my spending is too high each week.

I'm trying to figure out what its worth. Is it worth it to spend a little more and spend less time in the kitchen?

I don't know..

Just curious as to what others do.

It frustrates me that a lot of the products are so expensive. :-(

I typically shop at Fred Meyer grocery store, and will go to a store called the PCC which is a natural food market.

I don't necessarily need all items to be organic, but it always seems that a lot of the gluten free items are also organic, and higher priced.

Last week I saw this box of cereal bars for over 5 dollars!!!!

I do a lot of baking, and cooking from scratch, but I can only spend so much time in the kitchen before I go insane!

Tell me your best shopping tips, or quick baking tips.

So far I've bought a gluten free cook book that I am very pleased with, and I've learned about the different flour blends, and make my own cookies, brownies, pancakes..

I just want my old shopping budget back :(

Sarah

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Guest nini

I'm on a very very tight budget and I limit my gluten-free specialty food purchases... It is more cost effective to me to spend a day in the kitchen baking and cooking in large quantities and freezing things for convenience later. Another thing I try to do is stick to a diet of mainly things that are naturally gluten-free like fresh fruits and veggies, canned and frozen veggies, plain meats and individual spices to season foods, block cheeses and big bags of rice... I limit my gluten-free pasta purchases to one a week, and specialty mixes are also a limited purchase. (although I regularly get Pamela's Wheat Free bread mix) The one gluten-free staple that I tend to buy regularly is Kinnikinicks Italian White Tapioca Rice bread.

my standard grocery list consists of:

salad stuff

fresh seasonal fruit

canned veggies (corn, peas, asparagus, green beans, potatoes, carrots)

Organic chicken (I'm allergic to antibiotics in chicken)

ground beef

canned tuna fish (Natural Sea brand)

pork chops if on sale

stew meat

cheese

corn chips (I get Publix brand)

Mission Corn Tortillas

Mission Taco Shells or Ortega Taco Shells

Milk

Juice

hope that helps.

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Hi

Yep, I agree it's EXPENSIVE. I used to spend $30 a week and now it's about $85 a week.

haha

Not just because of the gluten-free products (pricey), but because I am trying to build a foundation of products used in gluten-free recipes (I cook often) that I never needed in regular recipes. IE. guar gum, saffron, special flours, etc.

HOWEVER, I must say that I overcame the GUILT and WORRY about it because I figure

I'm LUCKY not to have to buy or take MEDICINE or shots or anything like that. So, gluten-free food is my medicine and it's worth every penny when I go long periods of time without getting sick! ;)


Gluten Free since November 2005

.

"If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.." ---Ed Polish

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I hear you. Our food buget is through the roof.....what budget?

If we cut out all the gluten free treats we've been buying we should be able to come a little bit closer to budget. Try to stick to naturally gluten free stuff. Once you get your staples down for baking, things should level off a bit.


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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I guess if I were to factor in the transition costs when our household went gluten free, our costs are/were very high. We tried all of the gluten-free substitutes out there and threw out a lot of them when we didn't like them, we purchased a few cookbooks, new flours, xantham gum etc., so that was expensive.

But really we've been able to be gluten free without an excessive amount of additional cost I'd have to say. Instead of having bread with our supper, we have it without (meat, vegetables, potatoes for instance)... we buy very few specialty foods. Cereal is a must. The cookies are pretty good and since we have two kids ages 5 and 7, they're somewhat of a treat. Crackers for my Celiac daughter to take to school have replaced the other crackers.

We do bake our own bread in the form of hamburger buns. We make toast out of them, tuna melts, ham and cheese sandwiches, etc from them. We've found a good pie crust recipe, a good choc chip cookie recipe, decent spaghetti noodles, macaroni noodles that we sub in to regular Kraft Dinner for the kids, the gluten-free weiners (butterball) we buy aren't any more expensive than the ones we used to buy. We make our own lunchables with kielbasa, cheese, a halloween-sized choc bar and crackers (reg for one DD and gluten-free for our Celiac DD).

I read once on this board that you should avoid the substitutes and find ways of satisfying yourself with naturally gluten free food (meat, vegetables, starchy vegetables, plain rice with sauces, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, eggs). That's worked well for us and for the most part we don't even notice it's gluten free.

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make our own lunchables with kielbasa, cheese, a halloween-sized choc bar and crackers (reg for one DD and gluten-free for our Celiac DD).

Be careful of the smaller sized candy bars, there are many of them which contain gluten while the larger ones will be gluten-free!

Admittedly, eating gluten-free is VERY expensive! I try to defray the costs by shopping at my local discount food store which has discontinued, scratch and dent, or slightly out of date stuff from other stores. it's hit or miss, but i can usually find at least something there gluten-free that i can either try that I've wanted to try for much cheaper, instead of taking the chance on spending full price and ending up hating it. I try to find lots of flours that i use in my baking mixes and if they are close to date, put them right in the freezer for when i need them.

Don't forget, that if you ever make bread stuffs that you can't bear to eat, don't throw them out, you can always toast them and make them into breadcrumbs, or if the cookies you've tried making are too dry(I'm a chewy kinda girl), crush them up for a graham cracker type crust.

good luck!


Gluten-free after trying unsuccessfully and falling off wagon and becoming so sick--this is when the docs found the Hashimoto's, 2003. I have not eaten gluten willingly since then, until January, 2013. Past GI symptoms, delayed DH rash, biopsies on both have been negative, as well as IgE (all tests performed while not willingly consuming gluten). GERD dx in 2007, citric acid is worst offender. Mushrooms (the regular kind, that is) cause GI symptoms along with occasional rash (different than DH, the red dot kind) and I now wonder how many times I got sick from mushrooms and thought it was gluten contamination.

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I've been buying on Amazon - Pamela's baking/pacake mix is TONS cheaper, and free shipping (although everything is in bulk) - they also have pastas and gluten-free crackers, etc. just do a search for "gluten free" under both "grocery" and "gourmet food" (they have different options under both sections). Someone on here tipped me off to the Sinnamon popcorn - Yum!

We also eat a lot of stir fry, and I buy rice in bulk at our asian market (along with rice and potato and tapioca flour/starch - much cheaper there!). I don't eat bread any more - just haven't found one that is worth it, although I have a few mixes in my pantry that I got for free when I was diagnosed - someday I'll get around to baking them :)

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A lot of the Kraft products are gluten free--if you write them or go online and request a gluten free list from them they will mail one out to you...this really helped reduce my grocery bill. In Canada, at tax time, we can write off the difference between the cost of "normal" food and the price of the gluten free items--last year this increased my refund by approximatley $500. You may want to look into that angle for where you live and see if there is something similar. I agree with Nini, best to go with food that is naturally gluten free. Good luck :)


Best RX? Ice Cream!

Positive Blood Test 2000

Negative Biopsy 2000

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We are spending more on groceries now even though I don't buy many specialty gluten-free foods. About the only special things I buy on a regular basis are potato starch and Vances. I now tend to get organic versus regular produce, organic shortening versus Crisco, and "clean" meats versus regular, etc. which are obviously more expensive. We also don't eat out anymore, so that increases the sheer amount of food I need to buy.

On the other hand, since we don't eat out, we save there; and we are eating a far more healthy diet than before, too.

In our case, the two balance each other out for the most part.


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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Guest cassidy

I would recommend finding which store brand items and main stream items you can buy. I buy a lot of Publix brand and that saves money. I also go to several grocery stores - I get what I can at walmart and then go to publix and lastly to the health food store to get the things I couldn't anywhere else. I try to cook large meals and freeze them in portions so I have ready-made frozen meals that are very quick. I also try to get fruits and veggies at local fruit stands.

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I would recommend finding which store brand items and main stream items you can buy. I buy a lot of Publix brand and that saves money. I also go to several grocery stores - I get what I can at walmart and then go to publix and lastly to the health food store to get the things I couldn't anywhere else. I try to cook large meals and freeze them in portions so I have ready-made frozen meals that are very quick. I also try to get fruits and veggies at local fruit stands.

This is pretty much what my wife and I do also. We are actually spending less money because nothing is wasted. Making a larger portion and then having leftovers for a day or so is how we are able to spend less time in the kitchen. About the only expensive items we buy are bread and pasta.

Tom

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I agree that my food bill went through the roof when me and my two sons were diagnosed with celiac disease. Our entire family went gluten free, so it can get pricey. but, less eating out (only 2x per month) and less doctors visits and not buying Imodium, Pepto, & tums in bulk makes up for the extra money I now spend on food. also, now that my kids actually eat the meals I prepare for them, I figure we wate much less and that counts as a huge savings too. On Doctor visits alone we were spending $45 every week!!!! No to mention medications and otheer remedies that were a waste of money. Although my grocery bill can get quite expensive, it is definitely worth it to see my two kids actually gaining weight and growing. And now that I am healthy, I have the energy to bake.


Myself & 2 children (when they were ages 20 months & 4 & I was 28) diagnosed celiac in July 2005

All Gluten-free since July 2005

My mother & 1 sister diagnosed celiac in December 2005

same sister diagnosed with IBS March 2006

1 other sister self-diagnosed celiac in February 2006

2 other sisters & 1 brother have not been tested yet

My 3rd child is gluten free, but we are not certain he is celiac

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Another thing I try to do is stick to a diet of mainly things that are naturally gluten-free like fresh fruits and veggies, canned and frozen veggies, plain meats and individual spices to season foods, block cheeses and big bags of rice...

This is the smartest thing I've learnt when it comes to eating gluten-free. You don't have to buy the overpriced gluten-free labelled stuff - go for what's natural, basic staples that are already gluten-free.

For me, it tends to be ALOT cheaper if I buy my fresh fruit and veg from the markets. About $5 for a full bag or two of everything.

I've also found a gourmet food supplier that I can get my pasta from in bulk, for cheap. I save 30% even if I buy just 1 packet.


wheat free & yeast free since may '06

also lactose intolerant

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I don't buy any specialty premade items. I buy a variety of flours and make biscuits if I want something bready (10-15 minutes) and cookies or cake if I want something sweet (15-25 min). Otherwise I just shop in the standard food aisles.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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We spend approx. $500-$600 a month on groceries and small household items like dishwasher detergent. (The bigger household items like paper towels, toilet paper, etc., we buy at Sam's).

That breaks down to about $150 2x per month at Walmart or Super Target - those are our "stock up" trips. The rest goes towards fresh produce and the kinnikinnick english muffins that I'm addicted to at the health food store.

We don't eat out, ever, so we definitely save money there. Going out for drinks, however... :rolleyes:

I make my own cashew milk instead of buying premade almond milk. I bake my own muffins and bread (I spent a lot of time researching the cheapest places to buy flours in bulk) and I don't drink soda much although my husband does.

I think most of our cost comes from the fact that we don't eat the same foods. He's a very good cook but a very picky eater (his idea of vegetables are frozen peas completely covered in mayonaise and parmesean cheese), so we struggle to find food we both would want to eat. I've been doing a LOT of recipe searching lately, so our options are increasing, but we still won't eat together more than once or twice a week.

All that said, I lived on $25 a week in fresh produce, meats, eggs and rice for 2 months before the wedding (I was paranoid about discovering another intolerance and not feeling better before the wedding), so it is doable.

:)


ELIZABETH

gluten-free (04.17.2006)

corn-free (03.27.2007)

xanthan gum-free

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Hi

Yep, I agree it's EXPENSIVE. I used to spend $30 a week and now it's about $85 a week.

haha

Not just because of the gluten-free products (pricey), but because I am trying to build a foundation of products used in gluten-free recipes (I cook often) that I never needed in regular recipes. IE. guar gum, saffron, special flours, etc.

HOWEVER, I must say that I overcame the GUILT and WORRY about it because I figure

I'm LUCKY not to have to buy or take MEDICINE or shots or anything like that. So, gluten-free food is my medicine and it's worth every penny when I go long periods of time without getting sick! ;)

You took the words right out of my mouth!

(also. . .rice and beans, can't get cheaper and you can do mexican, indian, salads, & soups all with the same base. Just change spices)


Visit to the er 4.1.06

blood test, positive for celiac disease 4.6.06

Endoscopy/biopsy/last day of gluten 5.25.06

Misdiagnosed for 2 decades. :( Feeling great now :)

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It's hard; my grocery costs have definitely gone up. There's no way to get around it; gluten free items cost more than non gluten free items.

I try not to eat out at all so I can afford groceries and I also try to stick with staples like chicken, rice, and salad, but gluten free snack bars and cereal and oats are very expensive; there's no getting around it.

It sucks!

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My costs went up as well. My boyfriend and I spend about $125 per week on groceries--sometimes less, sometimes more, but that's what we've budgeted. I try not to buy too many of the specialty items, but I'd rather spend some money on specialty items than go somewhere with other people and feel deprived when I see them eating things that I can't have. I also make as many naturally gluten free dishes as possible and then eat the leftovers as well--we actually spend more, though, on leaner meats, lamb, etc (we splurge to avoid dinnertime monotony). I basically transferred my entire eating out budget to the grocery budget, so if I do eat out it is a special circumstance that comes from my personal weekly money, which I'm not as willing to part with. The great thing is that not wanting to spend money on going out to eat also saves me from potential cc nightmares.


Diagnosed July 2004

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Going out for drinks, however... :rolleyes:

I make my own cashew milk instead of buying premade almond milk. I bake my own muffins and bread (I spent a lot of time researching the cheapest places to buy flours in bulk) and I don't drink soda much although my husband does.

emc-

how do you make your own cashew milk?? trying to ease off the dairy so i hopefully don't create an intolerance to that, that would be even more difficult for me than giving up gluten has been!

i hear ya on the baking flours. i've finally perfected my baking mix, which include at least 4-5 different types of flour not to mention the xanthan...cost me near 40 bucks to make what a $7 bag of regular flour would get you! (and then, i have to keep it in the fridge and fight with hubby on the space issue)

what's your favorite drink? :D


Gluten-free after trying unsuccessfully and falling off wagon and becoming so sick--this is when the docs found the Hashimoto's, 2003. I have not eaten gluten willingly since then, until January, 2013. Past GI symptoms, delayed DH rash, biopsies on both have been negative, as well as IgE (all tests performed while not willingly consuming gluten). GERD dx in 2007, citric acid is worst offender. Mushrooms (the regular kind, that is) cause GI symptoms along with occasional rash (different than DH, the red dot kind) and I now wonder how many times I got sick from mushrooms and thought it was gluten contamination.

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emc-

how do you make your own cashew milk?? trying to ease off the dairy so i hopefully don't create an intolerance to that, that would be even more difficult for me than giving up gluten has been!

i hear ya on the baking flours. i've finally perfected my baking mix, which include at least 4-5 different types of flour not to mention the xanthan...cost me near 40 bucks to make what a $7 bag of regular flour would get you! (and then, i have to keep it in the fridge and fight with hubby on the space issue)

what's your favorite drink? :D

It's really easy! I buy raw cashew pieces from my health food store - they sell them a pound for $4. I use 1/2-1 cup per every 4 cups of water - depends on whether I want it creamier or thinner. (If I'm just using it for baking, I often make it thinner to save money). I soak the cashew pieces in the water overnight and then put 1/2 cup of that water in the blender with all the cashew pieces, blend well and then add the rest of the water. Then strain it through a cheesecloth covered mesh strainer and sweeten. I like to add stevia to mine, but you could add whatever.

Enjoy!

Oh and my favorite drink is bombay sapphire & sprite, but I've recently discovered that it gives me a tummy ache for the next few days (finally figured that out!) so I've switched over to drinking just wine - Pinot Noir is my favorite. :) What's yours?


ELIZABETH

gluten-free (04.17.2006)

corn-free (03.27.2007)

xanthan gum-free

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Thanks for all the great tips!

I think I'll commit one day to batch baking.

I can be very happy off of dry beans, rice, tomato sauce, fruits, veggies and turkey. haha

Its my kids that are another story.

I'm just wishing that I could just make them a quick sandwich sometimes. I've tried several breads, and They hate them. i don't blame them really.

I'm not too fond of the ones I've tried.

I did buy a bread mix to try, but haven't baked it up yet. I think the brand is the gluten free pantry.

And I absolutely LOVED the idea of making failed bread into bread crumbs!!!!!

I could make stuffing too!!! EEEEK!!

Is there a good thread somewhere on here that discusses kids lunches?

I'd hate to rehash something that has already been discussed if i can help it.

Lately I have been bringing my cell phone grocery shopping, so I can call a company up before purchasing a questionable product. That has been great!

I know when I first bought some needed flours, I spent a small fortune, and then I was scared to experiment for a while.

I did make a decent pizza crust, brownies, biscuts, apple bread, pancakes..

I do love the perspective on eating out. We would eat out at least once a week!!!!

I'm spending about 160 a week on groceries now, and that is buying frest fruits, veggies, rice cakes, gluten bread for dh along with gluten snacks so I don't have to bake those. I buy mostly organic or free range meats, organic milk, rice milks

Okay, now I'm feeling obsessed and want to construct a new menu and shopping list!

I'm only rambling because its REALLY late.

Children make it hard to be online during the day...

Sarah

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Guest nini

my daughter really likes Kinnickinick sandwich bread (I use the Italian Tapioca Rice bread) when I get it home I store it in the fridge instead of the freezer and when she wants a sandwich I microwave two pieces of bread on a paper towel (sprinkle a little water on each slice) and this makes it nice and moist and warm. Don't do it too long or it gets hard and crunchy. Each microwave is different so you will have to figure out timing on yours, start with least amt. of time you think might work, like 10 seconds and go from there.

There are some good threads about kids meals around here, I just can't think clearly enough this morning to find them, I hope someone elses posts a link for you, if not I'll try when I get home from work.

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One thing to think about when deciding if you are going to buy the prepackaged gluten-free biscuits and cake mixes is or bake your own is.

If you do buy the flours etc will you use them up before they go out of date? The last few weeks I have been buying a lot special made gluten-free stuff (Donuts, Ice cream cones, sweet biscuits) because I wouldn't use the flours. However I got a new cookbook the other day and some of the recipies in it sound so delectable I think I might start baking my own.

I find that I am now eating more because I give myself more choice I can enjoy a donut as dessert if I want rather than just being limited to Ice cream.

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Thanks for all the great tips!

I think I'll commit one day to batch baking.

I can be very happy off of dry beans, rice, tomato sauce, fruits, veggies and turkey. haha

Its my kids that are another story.

I'm just wishing that I could just make them a quick sandwich sometimes. I've tried several breads, and They hate them. i don't blame them really.

I'm not too fond of the ones I've tried.

I did buy a bread mix to try, but haven't baked it up yet. I think the brand is the gluten free pantry.

And I absolutely LOVED the idea of making failed bread into bread crumbs!!!!!

I could make stuffing too!!! EEEEK!!

Is there a good thread somewhere on here that discusses kids lunches?

I'd hate to rehash something that has already been discussed if i can help it.

Lately I have been bringing my cell phone grocery shopping, so I can call a company up before purchasing a questionable product. That has been great!

I know when I first bought some needed flours, I spent a small fortune, and then I was scared to experiment for a while.

I did make a decent pizza crust, brownies, biscuts, apple bread, pancakes..

I do love the perspective on eating out. We would eat out at least once a week!!!!

I'm spending about 160 a week on groceries now, and that is buying frest fruits, veggies, rice cakes, gluten bread for dh along with gluten snacks so I don't have to bake those. I buy mostly organic or free range meats, organic milk, rice milks

Okay, now I'm feeling obsessed and want to construct a new menu and shopping list!

I'm only rambling because its REALLY late.

Children make it hard to be online during the day...

Sarah

Dear Sarah,

I can hardly afford any of the gluten-free specialty items. I mostly buy stuff at the regular store, sticking to fruit, veggies, poultry and meat. I do treat myself to the allowed candies. It is surprising how much you can eat at the regular store. I cannot afford to go organic, though I would if I could. Go to Amanda's Mommy's Blog for an extensive list of safe foods that are at the regular grocery. When I can, I treat myself to Pamela's Gluten-free Chocolate Chip cookies, and Glutino Bars. They are so good! Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are cheap, though. Most of the time, I eat them or one of the candies on Amanda's Mommy's List.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl B)


Jin

Strawberry Allergy, mold allergy, dustmites allergy, ragweed allergy, dust allergy, food dye allergy - 1985

Asthma - 1994

Ovarian Cyst - May 1999

Anemia - 2000

4 More Ovarian Cysts - March 2000

Bloodwork for Celiac - November 2000 negative

Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Intercolisis, Gastric Emptying Study - May and June 2001 negative biopsy

Fibromyalgia - June 2001

IBS - June 2001

Gallbladder Removal - July 28, 2003 after doctor said the tests showed nothing, so it was not gallbladder disease. It was very inflamed and irritated and nearly ruptured the surgeon told me at my 10 day post-op check-up.

Thyroid Disease - August 2004

Celiac Disease - March 2007 Current Dr. refers to me as Celiac, as she says blood tests are often inaccurate.

Official Purple Glittery Bat Keeper, District Attorney, and Chinese Restaurant Owner of The Silver Dragon of Rachelville

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