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virginiagl

Eating Right Is So Expensive!

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food is expensive enough as it is, but for someone like me who has little extra income, I'm finding it extremely financially difficult to eat right. I am wondering how everyone else who is not very well off financially and who have lots of different intolerances and allergies are able to afford to eat properly.

Supplements cost a lot too. I know I am deficient in nutrients. My hair is falling out, my nails are thin and have ridges in them, and my skin is in bad shape. I am open to suggestions!

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food is expensive enough as it is, but for someone like me who has little extra income, I'm finding it extremely financially difficult to eat right. I am wondering how everyone else who is not very well off financially and who have lots of different intolerances and allergies are able to afford to eat properly.

Supplements cost a lot too. I know I am deficient in nutrients. My hair is falling out, my nails are thin and have ridges in them, and my skin is in bad shape. I am open to suggestions!

Buy in bulk. Plan your meals in advance. Cook in bulk and freeze portions. I just figured out that it costs about $7.00 to make a loaf of bread from a premix (Bob's Red Mill) from the local grocery store. However, if I buy flours in bulk the prices are about 40% less.

Personally I think I am saving money overall because I pretty much stopped eating out. In the last 4 weeks I ate a salad from Subway and an omelet at a local restaurant. The omelet was horrid, too.

I will agree though that gluten-free food prices are insane. 8 oz of rice spaghetti noodles are twice the price of a pound of regular noodles in my local (small town...) grocery store. But I -know- I have been eating way healthier since going gluten free because I am cooking a lot more stuff from ingredients rather than from packages. It is a bit more time consuming to cook from scratch, but its a lot less work than I expected it to be. I had all the "tools" anyway, breadmaker, good mixing set, etc etc etc, so its just a matter of using it.

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I do crockpot meals. I get whatever veggies are on sale that week and plan meals around them. When I find meat on sale I buy a bunch and freeze it.

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I work full time and am a single mom so finding the time to cook is going to be tricky, not to mention I don't have a bread maker, etc. I'm finding out more and more that there is no great answer to any of this which adds to my frustration. I do appreciate the suggestions though. What works for you might not work for me, but at least it is a starting point.

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Plant a small garden this year. Expand next year. Plant those things that are easy to grow or produce alot. You can freeze zucchini and tomatoes, etc. Save seeds to grow for next year. Even if you only have room for cucumbers. A pkg. for a dollar will produce more than the dollar for the seed. You can hardly buy 2 cukes for a dollar. In the winter make zucchini bread, stir fry etc. Use the tomatoes for soups and sauces.

Organic veggies! Healthy and cheap!

I got 18 heads of cabbage last year in my first garden. This year we plan to get twice that. Trade with friends. I gave the neighbors squash and lots of green veggies. They gave me pickled beets, pears, salsa, etc. that she canned. This year I bought a canner and our garden will be double the size. What I can't use or share I take to town and give away.

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Cook some stuff on your day off. If Kiddos are old enough, they can "help". I get chicken, microwave & cut it up. Add to rice & broth & some frozen veggies. Add chicken broth (many regular kinds are gluten-free) & frozen vegs or the rest of the carrots in the fridge. Scrambled eggs take a minute if you can do eggs. Cut up apples, carrot sticks, bananas, etc. You can cook up rice & reheat in microwave or on stove with a little liquid. We cook extra chicken & burgers on the grill on the weekend & microwave during the week. Little red potatoes are cheap. Wash, cut into little pieces, mix with olive oil & cook on a cookie sheet with a piece of foil covering the cookie sheet. Look around this sight, lots of recipes & links. Ask for a Crock pot for your birthday - its worth it.

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I work full time and am a single mom so finding the time to cook is going to be tricky,

I have a more than full time job, 7 hours of class, and a daily 3 hour commute. A crock pot takes 10 minutes to cut veggies into and then another 20 minutes at the end of the day to divvy it up into freezer containers. Or start it in the morning and dinner is ready when you get home.

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I work full time and am a single mom so finding the time to cook is going to be tricky, not to mention I don't have a bread maker, etc. I'm finding out more and more that there is no great answer to any of this which adds to my frustration. I do appreciate the suggestions though. What works for you might not work for me, but at least it is a starting point.

I made a rice flour bread (no yeast, no rising) in the oven that was good. Really, if you take the time to do it you can probably make better bread WITHOUT the breadmaker.

I found out really quick that I overdose on white rice after about the third meal in a week. :) So the next time I get to a store that has it (I live in a REALLY small town) I'm gonna pick up a big bag of wild rice.

My wife found 3 or 4 gluten-free recipe books at our local library and they have been somewhat invaluable in planning meals. One book has suggestions for breakfast salads that are great since its not like I can grab a bowl of oatmeal or cereal or waffles or whatever. Plus I got a couple of boxes of cinnamon chex gluten-free cereal and its pretty amazing. It was a little more expensive than regular chex but not a lot.

I also found out that I can make gluten-free pizza dough, bake it, freeze it, then defrost/top/bake the pizza. And the dough is way better than normal dough in my opinion. Heavy, thick stuff. Mmmm.

I guess what I am saying is, don't stress it or overthink it too much. You can live quite well without wheat substitutes, and you can get plenty of carbs from veggies and corn.

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Actually gluten free dough doesn't need all that kneading and rising so it's easier to make it without a bread maker. A great easy baking book is Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts.

You only have to make 2 flour blends and keep them in a container to use for whatever you want. If you want to wait on the sweet stuff you can just make her bread flour blend and use that to make bread. Her bread is so easy. You mix all the ingredients, let it rise in the bread pan and bake it. No kneading, punching down or second rising!

I can't do xanthan gum or tapioca right now, so I subsituted guar gum and cornstarch and it turned out fine.

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Plant a small garden this year. Expand next year. Plant those things that are easy to grow or produce alot. You can freeze zucchini and tomatoes, etc. Save seeds to grow for next year. Even if you only have room for cucumbers. A pkg. for a dollar will produce more than the dollar for the seed. You can hardly buy 2 cukes for a dollar. In the winter make zucchini bread, stir fry etc. Use the tomatoes for soups and sauces.

Organic veggies! Healthy and cheap!

My husband has quite a large garden. He already has it charted out for this coming summer. I am definitely going to be more involved and plan on freezing and canning many veggies. What I canned this past summer has a good chance of cc so can't use most of it. Now I know how to be careful:)

This year the garden will include winter squash, carrots, chinese cabbage, watermelon, four kinds of canteloupe, peas, string beans, shell beans, onions, garlic, radishes, dill, hot peppers, green peppers (red if we let them mature), potatoes, several varieties of tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, romaine and leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and sweet potatoes. I can't tolerate a few of these but hope by summer my system will handle them. We have two kinds of sweet grapes that we eat fresh or dry into raisens. Also lots of asparagus that comes up every year. We also have some fruit trees but so far they haven't produced.

I'm thankful my husband LOVES to garden.

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Actually gluten free dough doesn't need all that kneading and rising so it's easier to make it without a bread maker. A great easy baking book is Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts.

I definitely need to check out the book. I have made a couple breads that were certainly not sandwich-quality. Tasty, yes, but not something that would hold ham and cheese together. What I really want is a hamburger bun. <drool>

To Virginia (the op...) I just read your other post about the microwave and wow, I really feel bad for you! I thought it was bad trying to find long carbs to eat without wheat and wheat pasta (I am involved in endurance sports and I am running out of steam on just white rice...) but its nothing compared to what you are dealing with.

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You guys are all so amazing in what you know and how you are coping. I feel like such a whiny baby right now. I wish I could garden, but I live in a apartment with no room...not even for serious container gardening. So gardening unfortunately is out of my reach.

Good to know I don't have to have a bread maker. I am going to have to learn to plan my meals out better but it still is going to be expensive since I have limited choices and have a need for organic food at this point. The food companies really have us over a barrel don't they?

The crock pot idea is worth looking into...I wonder how much it will cost in electricity to use it since it has to be on all day. Any ideas? Thanks everyone! I am still thrilled I have found a website and can talk to others who know exactly what this is like. I am glad I opened up and decided to jump into the community.

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We all went through the whiny stage. It's a huge loss and it takes time to figure out how to cope with it. Once you can establish new things as habits, it becomes much easier.

Dunno about the crock pot and electricity, but I'd guess it was less than using the oven, since you use the heat once it's on, and don't lose everything to the air after an hour of cooking.

I found a chart of sorts: http://www.aps.com/aps_services/residential/waystosave/ResWaystoSave_24.html

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A BIG money saver is not to eat bread at all. I did this because I couldn't stand it anyway. I use corn tortillas (can you have corn?) or just lettuce as the wrapper for a sandwich. Much healthier, as well. Also use the tortillas to make little pizzas.

richard

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