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SarahTorg

Eating Gluten Free On A Small Budget

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Someone on here tipped me off to the Sinnamon popcorn - Yum!

Hey that was me :)

Isn't that the best stuff ever??? All Lesser Evil's flavors are good, but Sinnamon is delicious (this from a true choco-holic, so that's saying something that I prefer the cinnamon kind!)

- Lauren

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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?

Sorry, haven't forgotten about this post, i've just not been online for some time...

Thanks for the cashew milk recipe, I'll have to check it out!

I prefer drinking tequila :P Love Margaritas, but can't trust the mixes they use. I have run into a similar problem, last time I went out, I thought it would be safer to drink it with some 7UP and extra lime. tasty, but still got a belly ache (acid reflux) so i wonder if they are filling their bottles with cheaper "cuervo gold" and not telling....I also really love red wine, but I am picky, and the stuff most bars serve is usually pretty much like vinegar!

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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

Sarah,

I sometimes get Ian's gluten free chicken nuggets or fish sticks located in the freezer section. expensive, but sometimes the trade off is worth it if you are on a time budget. Again, I try to find most of my stuff at the discount food stores, and will freeze what I might not use before it is out of date. I was actually lucky to find on super sale the last time i visited my local discount store a gluten free chicken nugget meal also, the lady at the store must have thought i was nuts for buying a whole stack, but at just 3 bucks, it was cheaper and easier to throw them in the freezer here at work for lunches than trying to worry about what i was going to have for lunch some days!

as nini says, the kinnickinnick brand is really good and I can even get it in my local grocery store. my favorite premade bready thing by them are the bagels! but, if you have a Whole Foods store by you, they actually have a gluten free bakery which makes the best gluten free bread I have ever had. Depending on the store, sometimes they have it out fresh, or else it is in the freezer. I have tried the plain sandwich bread, (BLT the other night, yum yum!), the prairie bread, which has seeds and buckwheat, and a sundried tomato (great for grilled cheese!). I wrap my frozen bread in a cloth napkin and nuke for less than a minute and let set so that the steam will keep the bread soft. I do this with the Kinnickinnick bagels as well. once you remove the napkin, try to eat it as soon as you can, though once i did not, and it really wasn't too dry after all.

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I went nuts when we started -bought all the flours mixes -funny thing was I really didn't eat a lot of bread, etc. before I was diagnosed. :) Now I mostly use plain meat , vegetables and fruit and add gluten-free flour when needed to thicken etc. For special occasions I do like to experiment with all my neat gluten-free stuff.

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Great advice here.

I wish I had a resource like this when I started out.

I feel your pain Sarah

There is always that question to bake or buy and I have done a lot of both but baking is usally worth the effort and cheaper (those $1.50 apeice hot dog buns suck).

Bob's Red Mill sell's most of it's products in bulk 30# sacks for around 20 to 35 bucks and I used to buy them through my local grocer Winco.

I sure like the idea of a tax write off as L.A. mentioned........it's crossed mu mind a time or two.

The fresh natural foods thing is really the most practical and you can do it anywhere anytime.

Dryed foods like fruit and jerky are good. I dry a lot of fruit (cuz I grow it).

Costco has these great sesame rice crackers that are cheap and xlt for a quick good snack with cheese or meat.

I keep most of my flours in the freezer so the keep longer and have turned into a mexican food freak.

There is a lot of Mex that's gluten-free. Thai food is good gluten-free also.

I buy the best new crop Jasimine rice from the asian store that is very awesome stuff and cheap.

Meat, potatoes and veggies are the foods I consider myself sooooooo lucky to still eat........

without them I'd be miserable.

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Hi Sarah,

You asked about kids' lunches. We've been gluten-free since the beginning of the school year. Like you, we have had little success with sandwich breads that actually taste good (my bread only tastes good as toast), so we make our own "lunchables" (you know those pre-fab cheese/crackers/meat/chocolate bar things) - I buy gluten-free crackers (the Blue Diamond Almond crackers are really good, as are the Glutino ones), Butterball Kielbasa sausage and cheese, and make the little packs for the kids, and even throw in a tiny chocolate bar. They love these.

Also, Maple Leaf makes a snack pack that has top dog weiners that are miniature (about an inch long) with a ketchup dipping sauce and a tiny fork inside that they enjoy bringing in their lunches.

Other than that, we send leftover pizza (a treat), Glutino (pizza flavoured) bread sticks with butter/margarine to dip, pepperette sticks (Pillars is gluten-free), cheese sticks (the stringable cheese), little containers of grapes or cut up apples or cut up kiwi or mandarin oranges, pudding cups, apple sauce cups, grape tomatoes, cut up red/green peppers... gluten-free rice crispie squares (you can melt some chocolate chips into the marshmallows to add flavour)

At home lunches - one of our favourites is Kraft Dinner (dump out the noodles and substitute about 1 1/4 cups of tinkikada noodles) - the mix is gluten-free.

So instead of the sandwich being the main feature in the lunch box, it's a series of tiny packages of things, probably 10 or so different things on any given day. When they get home from school, they can eat whatever's left in the lunch box for afternoon snack.

If your kids are picky, you might consider giving them an assortment and not forcing the issue. You will be surprised that they will eventually try this stuff - but the bigger the "deal" you make of it, the less likely they'll try it sometimes.

Good luck

mamatide

ETA - DOH! I see I already answered you earlier in this thread - sorry to be repetitive! We also send the kids tuna salad (tuna mixed with mayo) in little cups to eat with crackers...

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As mentioned, I use the pre-made gluten-free goodies as a rare treat. Like many people on the board, I have other food issues as well, so just "gluten-free" doesn't mean it's safe. So I eat a lot of stuff that's naturally minimally processed, like bananas, veggies, etc.

Some of it depends on where you are and what resources are available. Farmer's markets are great. I definitely stock up on my "safe" foods when they're on sale. I try to minimize my time in Whole Paycheck Foods because it's so tempting, but every now and then I get the chocolate chip cookies... And location makes a big difference, too. In some parts of the country, there's enough demand for organics that you find them at the normal supermarket, in others they're insanely expensive.

Generally, though, since we rarely go out to eat and don't buy a whole lot of pre-made stuff, the food bill doesn't get too crazy. But there are times when dinner is embarrassingly basic. We cook generous amounts of stuff at a time and freeze it in meal-sized containers. To keep it simple, there is minimal gluten in the house.

My long term plan involves a chest freezer. We do have a secondary mini-fridge that is just for my safe flours & such-- in the long run, buying in bulk is cheaper. If there's a craiglist.org site near you, that can be a great resource for things like fridges/freezers if you don't mind scouring them out.

Also, since I don't buy my lunch, my morning latte, sodas, or any impulse snacks during the day, I save money there. Ironically, my whole food budget has probably gone up mostly because I'm a lot more interested in eating food than I used to be... but yes, the initial startup costs (figuring out which flours worked, discovering which brands have CC issues, etc.) were pretty high, and it felt wasteful.

Good luck!

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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)

I'm new here so how do I find this blog. I'd like to see that. Also how do I find the Sinamon popcorn you are all talking about.

Thanks,

Nikki8

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I feel for you guys as I was stumped with the lack of food choices for the first month or so of being gluten free and the food bill was soaring. My doctor wanted me to stick to a strict prescription diet after diagnosis but at £6.15 per item it was getting ridiculous. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid which meant I became medically exempt from paying prescription fees and this made things a whole lot easier. Now I get my basics like bread, flour, cake mixes, pasta, buscuits and crackers etc for nothing from the nhs so all I need to do is top up on meat and veggies etc. Who'd have thought thyroid disease would become a blessing :unsure: .

At the moment i'm addicted to these little buggers http://www.glutafin.co.uk/en/article.asp?id=574

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I feel for you guys as I was stumped with the lack of food choices for the first month or so of being gluten free and the food bill was soaring. My doctor wanted me to stick to a strict prescription diet after diagnosis but at £6.15 per item it was getting ridiculous. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid which meant I became medically exempt from paying prescription fees and this made things a whole lot easier. Now I get my basics like bread, flour, cake mixes, pasta, buscuits and crackers etc for nothing from the nhs so all I need to do is top up on meat and veggies etc. Who'd have thought thyroid disease would become a blessing :unsure: .

At the moment i'm addicted to these little buggers http://www.glutafin.co.uk/en/article.asp?id=574

Hi,

What is the "nhs"?

Tom

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My food costs have gone way down, but then I have been eating only naturally gluten free. Example today - breakfast - pancakes (made from a banana and an egg), snack - a pear, lunch - carrot and chicken soup, snack applesauce, dinner roast beef and squash, snack - grape juice. Food cost for the day - $3.20. (bought the meat when it was on sale, bought the veggies in season/on sale) Prep time - breakfast 5 min., lunch 15 min. 3 days ago, dinner 10 min.

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I buy pasta and bread and cookies gluten-free. I shop a lot at the Wegmans and since they label their brand name products gluten free, I buy my soup broths, pasta sauces, dips and etc through the store on the mainstream level. The pasta sauces are very good, there are different flavors which makes it nice. I am not really into buying organic, and since I too live on a tight budget it is easier to buy mainstream when possible.

I buy mixes every now and again. I don't buy as much bread these days, I have been buying corn tortilias and making wrap sandwiches when I want for lunch. I eat fruits and veggies as snacks. I have learned that eating things naturally gluten free is easier and there is still a wide selection. It just takes a few months to really settle in.

Good Luck

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