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aeraen

Your One Best Money Saving Idea

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We got a rice cooker (~$15 @ Target) and now get the huge bags of rice. I also mix in beans towards the end of the cooking cycle. A huge batch will make several meals and is always ready in the fridge.

Yes, the rice cooker is wonderful! I used to always just cook it on the stove, but it's just much easier and will stay warm. Can also cook millet, quinoa, wild rice, etc in it.

I mix in the small dried red lentils sometimes, just to have a meal in one with a veg. Or else I'll throw everything else in at the end to heat it up-- beans, tofu, peanut sauce, frozen or fresh veg, etc.

Since someone else already posted rice cooker, I'm adding the large pot of bean soup from dried beans at the beginning of the week item. Lentil, black beans, chick-peas, pinto beans, navy beans, split peas... All for less than $1.50/lb. Serves 6-12, and easily dressed up with veg, herbs, and/or spices.

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Since going gluten free, I hardly ever eat out, so that saves a lot of money. I just keep trying to find recipes so that I can make things myself. I now bake gluten-free bread cheaper than when I used to buy fresh wheat bread, and it's much nicer than the expensive gluten-free bread at the shops.

I have found that there are products like rice and tapioca flour that are for sale in the "gluten free" section of the supermarket, and in the regular baking section. The ones in the baking section are half the price as the ones in the gluten-free section, the product is the same inside the package.

I buy brown and arborio rice in bulk. Always look for specials, if the product is going to last a long time, buy in bulk, it can be expensive at the time, but the savings will sart to show as time goes on. As well as buying in bulk, we also cook in bulk and freeze the extra serves, which helps save time cooking later on. It's great when you have a week where you only have to spend $30 for fresh fruit and veg.

We also save money by making a lot of our meals vegetarian (my partner is, but I still eat meat). We use eggs a lot as a cheap source of protein.

Now that I'm well and not spending heaps of money on going to dr after dr, test after test, my bank balance and body are much healthier than before. I know it's had to get used to, and I do spend a lot more time cooking, but it is worth it.

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Thank you for all the advise. Yes, the supplements are for pro-biotics, omega 3 and a bunch of other stuff. It's been really hard to even find some who knows how to treat Celiac disease were we live (small town outside Cape Town, South Africa).

We have been given a bread machine, which will help, as a loaf of gluten free bread is 8 times more expensive than ordinary bread. We also have a fantastic organic vegetable garden which feeds us a lot, and next year will hopefully produce some fruit as well.

The beans is a great idea. I've not got much experience in cooking vegetarian dishes, but have started experimenting. My mom in law is a vegetarian and her dishes are amazing, so have asked her for some of her favourite recipes.

The chat with my husband didn't go to badly, he basically said we'll make it work, that I'm worth it. :) Lovely man!!

Thanks again to all for all the advise and support! xxx

In my experimenting stage, I once bought something called "fufu" flour, made (I believe) from bananas. As the box specified it was for African dishes, you might be able to find that more easily in your area. For some reason, I'm thinking that bean flours might be more readily available to you, as well.

Your husband does sound like a lovely man. My DH and I take it as a challenge, and actually enjoy "the hunt" for finding tasty and cost-efficient meals.

Igg Positive - Great advice about the library... that's where I get all of my cookbooks, too. If I like a recipe, I just re-type it into a word doc, and keep it. However, most of my cooking is just regular food, rather than special celiac-inspired recipes. Occasionally we have to adapt (tonight is eggs benedict, and I am going to experiment w/ home made English muffins), but I seldom cook meals from specific Gluten-free cookbooks.

One thing I like to do is print out recipes that I have tried and liked, and place them in a binder. While DH and I have done that for years, we now have one specific gluten-free binder, with recipes that are either naturally gluten-free, or ones adapted to be gluten-free. Makes meal planning easier when you have a stash of "tried-and-trues".

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My solution: FOOD CO-OPS!! Bountiful Baskets (bountifulbaskets.org) and Azure Standard have SAVED me these last few months as I have been newly self-diagnosed. We also rely on Costco, WinCo and our local health food store when they have good sales. My family is used to eating whole foods anyway, so that has helped with the transition. I don't buy mixes, or ready made gluten-free items from the store as they are SO expensive! (okay, check that - my husband bought me gluten-free doughnuts for my birthday, which I am still hoarding in the freezer!) ;) We eat tons of fruits & vegetables thanks to Bountiful Baskets - which is only $15 for a laundry basket load of fruits & vegetables. So I am right there with you - money is extremely tight, and feeding my family of 4 in a gluten-free kitchen has been really tricky. I keep my food simple and whole, and that saves money right from the start.

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My advice is simple: since cost is an issue, drop the nutritionist and buy wholesome food that will make you healthier. IMHO, the only gut-healing supplements necessary for better health are L-glutamine and probiotics. As long as you take a good liquid vitamin and any specific vitamins or minerals in which you're highly deficient, those two supplements should help your healing process along.

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Going to my local butcher has saved me a ton of money, the meat is not only cheaper but much fresher. I can buy a weeks worth of meat for about forty dollars. During the spring and summer I also go to the Farmer's Market and buy a bunch of veggies that I can freeze or can...I had an entire winter's worth of veggies for about sixty bucks.

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I just found out about my gluten free sensitivity (still waiting on test results) and I'm not planning on changing a whole lot. I never thought I would be grateful for being pre-diabetic because I stopped eating cakes and cookies etc a long time ago. Don't eat cereal. I also stopped eating processed food. I don't even own a microwave. I eat fresh fruits and veggies, meat and things like rice and quinoa which I buy in bulk. I was already eating this way although I admit that it took me years to to reach this point. Little steps here and there.

I do like an occasional pancake or biscuit so I bought the gluten free Bisquick but so far that's the only 'gluten free' product I have purchased. Oh..and some Betty Crocker gluten free cookies which were good but since I have pretty much given up white sugar I found them to be way to sweet. I could only eat two.

Currently I'm doing the fine tuning (which is looking for hidden gluten) but right now the only thing I'm giving up at the moment is bread.

Its just me and hubbie (empty nester) so no kids to worry about. I might be in for a rude awakening but right now I'm not expecting my food bill to change all that much.

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Great topic. I've read all the replies and they are very helpful. Thank you all. My family has been on a gluten free diet for 4 weeks and we were getting pretty discouraged at the rising cost of groceries, and the inability to find gluten-free mixes that can replace our favorite bread/pancake/cake recipes. My lowest point was the day I tried to make decent pancakes. I had 12 (!!!) bags on the kitchen counter (guar gum, 4 different starches, egg replacer etc....). So much trouble for something that didn't taste that good. And so expensive. After reading this post, I understood that a different mind-set helps. I've stopped trying to find the perfect replacement -mixes and am trying new "basic" recipes that I found in my grandmother's cookbooks (recipes that are over 100 years old).

Found a great buckwheat pancake recipe (1 bag flour + water - yeah!!!), and also traditional cake and bread recipes made from chick pea flour. Going back to basics! Things are looking up. Thanks again.

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Great topic. I've read all the replies and they are very helpful. Thank you all. My family has been on a gluten free diet for 4 weeks and we were getting pretty discouraged at the rising cost of groceries, and the inability to find gluten-free mixes that can replace our favorite bread/pancake/cake recipes. My lowest point was the day I tried to make decent pancakes. I had 12 (!!!) bags on the kitchen counter (guar gum, 4 different starches, egg replacer etc....). So much trouble for something that didn't taste that good. And so expensive. After reading this post, I understood that a different mind-set helps. I've stopped trying to find the perfect replacement -mixes and am trying new "basic" recipes that I found in my grandmother's cookbooks (recipes that are over 100 years old).

Found a great buckwheat pancake recipe (1 bag flour + water - yeah!!!), and also traditional cake and bread recipes made from chick pea flour. Going back to basics! Things are looking up. Thanks again.

Yeah, I've been using my older cookbooks too! There are rice breads and such from the South, as well as corn and buckwheat.

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I found out about having celiac only 2 months ago. As suggested by others I try to buy a minimum of the specialty products produced for those with celiac....they are often very caloric, devoid of fiber and incredibly expensive. The bread is frustrating to me - too many calories little or no fiber - I'm just learning to live without it.

I eat whole, natural foods as much as possible...I buy pizza dough mix, pancake mix and gluten free cereals that I occasionally eat and that is about it. For an occasional treat I cut up fresh locally made corn tortillas and nuke them in the microwave until they are crunchy and make a little guacamole. I add a plain baked sweet potato to my dinner once or twice a week (very filling and delicious just plain). I add flaxseed and psyllium flakes (tasteless) to cereal to boost my fiber. I try to stick with fresh organic fruits and vegetables, alternate grains like quinoa, oats, brown rice and corn (I love quinoa - it can be cooked so many ways - hot or as a cold salad). I occasionally will buy a gluten free French macron or peanut butter and almond meal cookie from a local bakery for a treat.

I feel so much better that I really can't complain about the restrictions....I have to remind myself that the focus of my life is not food. I'm trying hard not to let celiac be the center of my universe while still remaining healthy and gluten free.

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