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Tarrenae

How How Can I Lower The Cost Of My Grocery Bills When I Need Organic Expensive Food?

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Hi everyone,

I am new here,I am gluten intolerant,and started avoiding gluten in foods because I couldn't digest it.and it would make me bloated,cranky,tired,irritated,cause stomach pains,explosive diarrhea,and etc.I went to the doctor and he told me to avoid gluten because I was mildy sensitive on tests.However I do not know if I am a full Celiac or not,I remember throwing up every time I ate pancakes as a kid,suffered from chronic ear infections and etc.I am also allergic to dairy,and other foods.I don't have a true allergy they are severe food intolerances.I started gluten-free 8 years ago.I have never had a traditional celiac test but I know how my body acts if I eat wheat,and its not pleasant.

Anyway I have since developed a host of other health problems Irritable bowel syndrome,insulin resistance and hypoglycemia,chronic fatigue and chemical sensitivities to name a few.My problem is my grocery bill with organic and gluten free foods is TERRIBLY high and much more then I can afford.Has anyone else had this problem???and if so how did you cut back on costs????How much does everyone spend currently on their groceries??? I NEED to spend less at the store,I shop at whole food simply because they have everything in one spot but ITS WAY TO EXPENSIVE..every time I go I spend over 200 for a week.And that does not include gluten free organic shampoo soaps,detergents etc.???HELP!!Yes I have to avoid gluten in my shampoos or my scalp breaks out and I get hives and painful rashes.

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avoid the prepackaged products, and use meat as a compliment, not main dish. gluten-free grains, legumes, and on-sale vegetables and fruits can get your costs much lower, but it means cooking. :)

how do you normally eat? (so we can give specific suggestions)

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Hi everyone,

I am new here,I am gluten intolerant,and started avoiding gluten in foods because I couldn't digest it.and it would make me bloated,cranky,tired,irritated,cause stomach pains,explosive diarrhea,and etc.I went to the doctor and he told me to avoid gluten because I was mildy sensitive on tests.However I do not know if I am a full Celiac or not,I remember throwing up every time I ate pancakes as a kid,suffered from chronic ear infections and etc.I am also allergic to dairy,and other foods.I don't have a true allergy they are severe food intolerances.I started gluten-free 8 years ago.I have never had a traditional celiac test but I know how my body acts if I eat wheat,and its not pleasant.

Anyway I have since developed a host of other health problems Irritable bowel syndrome,insulin resistance and hypoglycemia,chronic fatigue and chemical sensitivities to name a few.My problem is my grocery bill with organic and gluten free foods is TERRIBLY high and much more then I can afford.Has anyone else had this problem???and if so how did you cut back on costs????How much does everyone spend currently on their groceries??? I NEED to spend less at the store,I shop at whole food simply because they have everything in one spot but ITS WAY TO EXPENSIVE..every time I go I spend over 200 for a week.And that does not include gluten free organic shampoo soaps,detergents etc.???HELP!!Yes I have to avoid gluten in my shampoos or my scalp breaks out and I get hives and painful rashes.

I have celiac disease and 4 other allergies. My husband has 7 allergies. We only have 3 allergies in common. So we must shop, cook and eat frugally, while avoiding all those allergy foods. Besides growing some of our vegies and fruits (mostly berries and grapes), we only buy at Whole Foods, Ener-G Foods and another local coop, items which we can't buy at a lower price anywhere else. However managing a budget while abstaining from gluten and other food allergies IS very challenging.

So I started a blog about living frugally with celiac disease (and other allergies) 2 months ago. If you read my early (June) entries, you will learn the most about frugal cooking, shopping and eating with food allergies. My blog includes tips from many frugal shopping and cooking websites and books. However I can't really advertise my own blog on this website. So PM me and I'll give you the link to my blog.

BURDEE

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chronic fatigue and chemical sensitivities to name a few.

Have you had testing done through an alternative doctor for metal toxicity?

Mercury toxicity, lyme and celiac have a lot of things in common. It would be good to start to rule things out.

If you are interested in further testing pm me. :)

My food budget is not what we need it to be either. We can't eat legumes right now but should be able to once we finish treatments. That may be awhile. The children are starting theirs and I have to get my amalgams taken care of before I get further testing done.

If you don't mind making more than one stop Farmers Markets are in full swing right now and usually have a selection of organic fruits and veggies. We need to check one out close to us.....just found some chickens that are raised like chickens should be so we are excited about that.

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It is hard to do on a budget!

My main suggestion is to check out your local farmers' market. I don't know where you are, but there's probably one nearby on a Saturday morning. Kale at the supermarket? $2.50/bunch. Kale at the farmers' market? $1/a bunch. Organic eggs at the farmers' market are cheaper and my market also has a bunch of meat vendors. It's great because I can meet the people raising the pigs, cows, elk, whatever and they tell me exactly what they fed and how they treat their animals. I know it's antibiotic-free, non-GMO and it's cheaper. I don't know what I'm going to do when the markets end in October!

There are also CFAs in many parts of the country, which I think stands for 'community farming association'. You join and get a big basket of fresh veggie/fruit each week. You don't know necessarily what you're going to get beforehand (what's ripe/ready!), but it can be a big savings if veg is one of your $$ items. You end up eating seasonally, which is healthier, and it supports local farming :)

Remember to save receipts, etc. because the difference between gluten-free food and regular food is tax-deductible if medically necessary.

The other thing I do, as another poster suggested, is cook a lot from scratch and avoid processed foods. But, it's time-intensive. Look also to your drinks-buying organic juices and sodas is very $$

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Another thing that has helped me is I eat a lot of naturally gluten free items. If there is a sale on Tinkyada pasta I stock up on the ones I like.

With it being summer right now, fruit stands are a great way to get fresh fruits and veggies.

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Here's an article that explains how an organic food menu can cost less than a processed food menu:

http://www.mercola.com/2005/feb/16/organic_food.htm

Whole organic foods really can be cheaper than pre-packaged processed foods. Farmer's Markets and co-ops are great places to get whole, natural ingredients. Food from local farms is usually less expensive and more nutritious than food that comes from large corporate organic farms as well.

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The best advice is to buy little prepacked foods and buy as many foods that everyone can eat as possible. I only buy a few brands of cookies and cereals for the kids and they must be free of the kids allergens. I never buy gluten-free bread, rarely buy gluten-free waffles, and occassionally buy gluten-free pizza dough crusts. Pasta is always stocked. But so is rice and potatoes. You can also look to buy flours in bulk. Find some other Celiacs in your area who want to place an order to split. It will cost you more up front, but the little 1 lb bags of flour can be expensive. Also, eat naturally gluten-free meals. Meat, veggie, fruit, salad, etc. Fruit and veggies from farmers markets or inexpensive grocery stores.

Another thing to consider is while your grocery bill may be higher, you prescription bill should start going down! At one point I was on 11 meds a month. So I had large co-pays for the meds and the dr visits. Now that I am gluten-free, I take 1 med a month and vitamins. The only time I go to the Dr now is for an infection. So that helps the overall budget and helps to justify some of the speciality food costs.

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Could you grow any of your own food? I use Earthboxes and am growing tomatoes, lettuce, onions, herbs and some other things. We also have strawberries, apples and pears. I've been able to can some of the apples and pears, but the trees aren't doing so well this year.

In the winter months, I make my own sprouts. That helps some.

I also get weekly boxes of organic produce. There are several farms in this area that will either deliver to your door or to a drop off point. These really save me money and the farm I am currently getting them from allows me to customize the box I am getting. This is so much nicer than the farm I used to get produce from. The only choices you had from them was all fruit, all veg, or mixed box.

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Could you grow any of your own food? I use Earthboxes and am growing tomatoes, lettuce, onions, herbs and some other things. We also have strawberries, apples and pears. I've been able to can some of the apples and pears, but the trees aren't doing so well this year.

In the winter months, I make my own sprouts. That helps some.

I also get weekly boxes of organic produce. There are several farms in this area that will either deliver to your door or to a drop off point. These really save me money and the farm I am currently getting them from allows me to customize the box I am getting. This is so much nicer than the farm I used to get produce from. The only choices you had from them was all fruit, all veg, or mixed box.

My parents both earth boxes for the first time a few months ago to grow tomatoes, usually they were growing them in their garden. They love the Earth Boxes and said they were well worth the money. Now they will have tasty tomatoes all winter too.

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Additionally, you could look into a pre-tax flexible spending account which might be offered by your employer. Granted, it takes some effort but it is possible to deduct the increased cost of "speciality food." You can't deduct the full price of say a gluten-free loaf of bread but the increased cost, from say a "normal" loaf. If a gluten-free loaf is $6, and a "normal" loaf is $3.00, you can deduct the $3.00 by showing receipts. It's work, but also something to consider.

-Adam

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Here is a link to a consumer reports article on when it pays (and doesn't) to buy organic foods. Some interesting information, and you may be spending more $ than you need to on some things.

We keep our grocery bill low by buying in bulk and doing almost all of our cooking from scratch. I almost never shop at Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods), but do get a few things there that I can't find anywhere else. amazon .com sometimes has good specials, especially with free shipping over $25. We use very few mixes because those will break the bank in a hurry. I prefer to mix up the dry indredients to my favorite recipes in advance and then it is as easy as dump and go when it's time for dinner.

We are raising chickens for the eggs, but they are not laying yet (3 more weeks to go - woo hoo!). That won't save us any money for a while because we will need to recoup some of the $ we spent building their coop. Perhaps you could get more of your produce and eggs at the Farmers Market as others have suggested. I'm not sure where you live, but here is a link to find a farmers market near you.

I work realy hard at it, and our grocery bill is not much larger than it was when we were eating gluten. I feed all 5 of us for $250/month - $300 if we are splurging. No, we don't always buy organic produce, but we do it as much as we can. Add to that the fact that we almost never eat out anymore, and I don't have to take any prescription meds anymore (I used to have to take 8 meds at a time just to survive). We are actually a little ahead!

Good luck!

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I work realy hard at it, and our grocery bill is not much larger than it was when we were eating gluten. I feed all 5 of us for $250/month - $300 if we are splurging. No, we don't always buy organic produce, but we do it as much as we can.

How in the world do you manage this! :o:huh: Since we/ve gone back to a meat diet plus eating organic our food budget has gone up dramatically. We are still under the $1600 a month that my husband heard (on the radio) that a typical family of four spends. If we had the funds for $1600 we'd be able to eat how we are supposed to.

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How in the world do you manage this! :o:huh: Since we/ve gone back to a meat diet plus eating organic our food budget has gone up dramatically. We are still under the $1600 a month that my husband heard (on the radio) that a typical family of four spends. If we had the funds for $1600 we'd be able to eat how we are supposed to.

Wow - wish I could afford to spend $1600/month! How average are those people and what the heck are they eating?!? ;) I wonder if that includes eating out? I read recently that nearly half of the food that people eat nowadays is from restaurants. Guess they don't have any celiacs in their family!

We keep our grocery bill low in the following ways:

Storing a year's supply of basics (rice, powdered milk, veggies, fruits, etc). We used to store wheat, but alas, those days are gone. This is a fundamental tenet of my religion, but it makes sense for everyone, IMO. It allows us to shop sales and stock up when prices are lowest.

Canning our own jam and produce that we grow every year.

I make all of our cleaning products like laundry soap and household cleaners. I use a lot of vinegar, salt and baking soda for cleaning. It doesn't smell like a pine forest, but it works and is better for the environment too.

We buy in bulk, and try to buy one thing that will work for all of us (ie - only one kind of shampoo for everyone).

I bake almost everything from scratch - cookies, bread, etc.

We almost never eat out. The last time we ate out was a month ago.

We eat very little meat (which my husband is not all that crazy about, but it's really for his own good).

Pre-gluten-free I used to be able to keep it at $200, but those days are over.

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Anyone interested in this subject should pick up "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a great read (I could not put it down), and quite relevant to this topic :)

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Storing a year's supply of basics (rice, powdered milk, veggies, fruits, etc). We used to store wheat, but alas, those days are gone. This is a fundamental tenet of my religion, but it makes sense for everyone, IMO. It allows us to shop sales and stock up when prices are lowest.

Canning our own jam and produce that we grow every year.

I make all of our cleaning products like laundry soap and household cleaners. I use a lot of vinegar, salt and baking soda for cleaning. It doesn't smell like a pine forest, but it works and is better for the environment too.

Pre gluten free and a couple years ago our food budget was around 500-600.....now we spend 1100-1200 and that leaves us short. We eat a lot of meat which is a lot of the expense. It's going to have to stay that way until we finish treatments for everything, including food sensitivities. We are intolerant to beans so that leaves those out. We have many food intolerances. :(

I've heard good things about castille soap too......have you ever used that? I use 7th generation or something similar but really need to learn to make my own stuff.

I've not really canned before and we don't have a garden. I may be able to do a few containers at some point but no big garden. I bought canning stuff a few years ago but have never had the readily available money to stock up and can.

I think for us right now is the farmers markets. I need to search some out. That will save us money for now. :)

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Anyone interested in this subject should pick up "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a great read (I could not put it down), and quite relevant to this topic :)

Thanks Mango! I've got this bookmarked.

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We are intolerant to beans so that leaves those out. We have many food intolerances. :(

You sure do have lots of intollerances to contend with. Must be quite a juggling act to find something that works for everyone. Thankfully (knock on wood) we just have the gluten to deal with. Darn it that you can't eat beans, too. They are a great source of cheap protein. Can you tolerate eggs?

I've heard good things about castille soap too......have you ever used that? I use 7th generation or something similar but really need to learn to make my own stuff.

Castile soap is great, and inexpensive, too. I sometimes buy Dr. Bronners when I am running short on time. It is very mild to the skin, too.

I've not really canned before and we don't have a garden. I may be able to do a few containers at some point but no big garden. I bought canning stuff a few years ago but have never had the readily available money to stock up and can.

Canning is easy and fun! I user Pomona's Universal Pectin for making jam because it requires a lot less sugar than other kinds (It's made from citrus fruit - don't know if that's on your list of intollerances or not :) ). I buy the canning jars at the second hand store cheaply, and the lids/rings at Wally World when they clear them out at the end of the year. Sometimes jars can be found at garage sales too. Buying jars at the regular grocery store is WAY expensive.

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