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Chalula88

Need Help With Shopping Today

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Hi Guys,

I have somewhat of a vague question I guess. I am looking for foods that are extremely cheap and gluten free, I am going to Jungle Jim's this evening and they have tons of international foods, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for foods to look for?

I am a college student living with my boyfriend and we are barely breaking even. We only spend $100-$170 a month on groceries for the both of us. There's no cutting frills to be able to afford more, we never go out, have no luxuries or a single cent spent on things that are not mandatory.

Right when we became expert bargain shoppers we found out I have celiac and for the last four months we've been struggling to find cheap foods, which means I've been eating the same few food items over and over.

I can't eat gluten (obviously, ha ha), artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sweet 'n low, etc), or blue dye.

Any suggestions?

And a few more questions...

For some reason I am still getting mouth pain on occasion, but haven't been able to figure out what the culprit is. I've eaten bean burritos made from refried beans, gluten free taco seasoning in a corn tortilla for months with no issues, all the sudden the last couple times I have had severe mouth pain while eating the burritos to the point where I had to stop eating them.

Recently I've also gotten a different kind of mouth pain after eating oscar meyer hotdogs that I've eaten my whole life. A weird stinging, burning in my gums, cheeks, and roof of my mouth.

I was thinking maybe too much sodium?

Any thoughts?

Lastly, I've had little white bits in my number two along with either very hard or very soft bowel movements (but no constipation or diarrhea), at first I thought worms, but checked online and it looks nothing like any type of worms and obviously it isn't moving. I've heard that this is undigested fats? Is that true and if so what can prevent that? I don't feel like I eat an abundance of fatty foods.

Thanks for any help or suggestions!

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a gluten free budget can be painful....

you might want to see if there is a food coop in your area. I was fortunate to have a coworker with celiacs who belongs to one, so I was able to take advantage of this. I am able to purchase gluten free things like pasta and baking mixes at a lower cost compared to local health food stores or even Whole foods. Yes the best savings are realized if you buy in bulk but it might work for you.

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Check and see if there is an 'Angel Food Ministries' in your area. They serve folks of all incomes and the food is really cheap. They do have gluten free boxes available. They distribute usually once a month.

Other than that if you have or can get a rice cooker (about 20 bucks at wally world) they can help a lot. I use them for rice and there is a steamer basket that you can toss frozen veggies or a bit of leftover meat or canned beans in the top. Stews can be cheap to make. They are cheaper if you get a chuck steak and cut it into cubes instead of buying the meat already cut up. Hummus is cheap to make and very nutritious, although the first can of Tahini will up the original cost it lasts a long time. You can use it as a dip for fresh cut up carrots and celery, both pretty cheap and both can also go into a stew.

You also could check and see if you qualify for food stamps, they can help a great deal and you don't have to apply for cash assistance or Medicaid to apply for stamps.

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Jungle Jim's is a fun place to shop but I don't go there for the bargains, if there are any. We live a ways away so don't go too often. They have a pretty good gluten-free section but the international sections are fraught with challenges when gluten-free. We have two languages under our belts but still don't buy much, except a very few frivolous or researched items and fresh ingredients. You might want to consider buyng the asian rice in large bags. We have done that for decades to save $. There are different kinds so be aware of how they are cooked before purchasing-each one is different. We invested in an automatic rice cooker over a decade ago and it is still going strong-a little expensive but has more than paid for itself and we buy the short-grain sticky asian rice-either Korean or Japanese. If you can buy meats in bulk for less $, and portion and freeze-either cooked or uncooked, that can help. Soups in the crockpot. Simple dishes made with simple, fresh ingredients. If you like herbs, buy a packet of seeds and grow them in pots. So much cheaper and many like sage and parsley can be dried. We sometimes share bulk purchases from COSTCO with Dh's co-worker who is not gluten-free-meats, veg and fruit, cheese, some canned/shelf items.

Sorry, I just read again that you are a studen so I dont know if some of these will work. :( If you are really strapped, don't be afraid to check with food pantrys/banks or other charitable organizations. You may be able to get some canned goods-veg. fruit at least.

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For shopping in general, look for items in bulk online. (Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) Groceries has some deals and free shipping. Bob's Red Mill also sells their flours relatively cheaply (cheaper than buying it in stores) on Amazon and on their own site. Glutenfreemall.com has reward points for frequent purchasing, which you can use for further purchases, and I've found some items there cheaper than other online retailers. It takes a little time and research, but there are ways to save money.

At just about any grocery store, I can find Thai Kitchen microwave meals cheap. They are like a gluten-free ramen noodle. I use about half the seasoning packet to cut down on the sodium and add some fresh veggies. It becomes a nice little soup.

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