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Advice Please On Cost Of Gluten Free Bread

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I'm going to be starting my gluten-free diet after my blood is drawn on Friday. I went to Publix to try to find more things to eat, and was shocked by how expensive the gluten-free breads and pasta were. I'm a coupon mom and am always looking for a better buy. I know that our local whole foods store sells grains in bulk and I happen to enjoy baking (though I have little time for it with a 1 and 3 year old). I like the look of the recipe on this site for yeast-free bread http://www.celiac.com/articles/22197/1/Yeast-Free-Sandwich-Bread-Gluten-Free/Page1.html and I was wondering if anyone knew if that would be more cost effective since there are a ton of ingredients listed for it.

Thanks :)

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One of the first things we all notice is the price of gluten-free products. When you first start the diet, you really should keep it simple and start with whole foods, not go crazy buying processed gluten-free stuff. Shop the outer rim of the store with fresh fruits, veggies, meats, etc. A lot of things I eat now are things I've eaten all my life.

Some of us like Udi's bread...personally I am always searching for the "perfect" elusive bread recipe as I do think it's less expensive baking my own although the initial investment in flours can get expensive. And I've made some inedible loaves of bread, too, but I'm getting better. :P

I have Jules Shepard's cookbook Free For All Cooking that has this recipe. I wouldn't recommend you start with this recipe though as it contains oats and 10 to 15% of people with celiac cannot tolerate oats in any form and they shouldn't be introduced early in the diet (and even then, they should be certified gluten-free oats). I waited 9 months after diagnosis before I tried oats.

It is not recommended you buy from bulk bins due to cross-contamination issues.

Hope this helps a bit...and ask whatever questions you want as well as browse the forums and you may find that others have already asked the things you are concerned about.

ETA: Make sure you do not go gluten-free until all testing for celiac is done. If the test is positive, do you plan to have the endoscopy/biopsy?

Edited by sa1937

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I found it to be less expensive to just buy bread. Between the expense of all the different flours and gums and such it was really pricey when I first started both in dollars and time. But back then there weren't many gluten free bread options that were not like eating either a brick or styrofoam.

Now I go with Udi's which is the least expensive one I have found. If they are out of that I go with Grainless Baker which is a bit more.

Some of the baking mixes are pretty good and I use those for muffins etc. They are costly but I discovered that although gluten free specialty stuff costs more that cost is far less than all the copays and meds were before I was diagnosed.

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Thank you very much for your advice! Yeah, I'm starting to read that more about the oats and how I shouldn't eat any yet. I hope I can remember all these restrictions!

Sylvia, I'm not sure I'm going to get any further testing after the blood test. I've already had an endoscopy and colonoscopy in the last couple of months. I don't think my dr was actually looking for celiac during the procedures. I'll ask him when I go for the blood test. With as crazy as my system has been and the fact that my grandmother has it, I think a positive blood test will be enough for me.

Ravenwoodglass, thanks for the brand recommendations. :) I've run across the Udi brand name several times here, I'll see if my store carries that one.

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I love the Udi's bread. It's the best I've tried so far. I guess I was lucky in a way that I always bought the Ezekiel bread before I was diagnosed so I was used to paying at least $4 for a loaf of bread! The way I make this work for my budget is to eat bread sparingly. Most of the time I eat burgers and such without bread. I might have sandwiches for dinner one night a week or so and on the weekends I may have a sandwich for lunch. The bread stays in the freezer so it usually lasts my family two weeks or so.

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Welcome! I'm a couponer too. There are sometimes coupons for gluten free products--remember to write to the companies when you try a new gluten-free product you like. They will send you coupons sometimes. Also look up the companies on facebook. There have been facebook coupons in the last few months for Udi's and for Rudi's gluten-free bread.

Beyond that however, the main way I save money is by NOT eating a lot of specialty gluten-free items. Bread and pasta is no longer a staple for me. They are more like treats. Instead I switched to foods that are naturally gluten-free--rice, corn, potatoes, meats, veggies, fruit. None of these things cost any more and you can still stock up when they are on sale/buy fresh items when in season and fill your freezer. Also There are still SO MANY items you can buy with coupons that are gluten-free. I made a list of what all I buy with coupons still in another thread. Just a minute, I'll see if I can find it to copy and paste here.

ETA: Okay I found my list from the other post. It's long but I'm sure there is more that could be added for someone that is only avoiding gluten since I also have additional food allergies.

Foods I buy with coupons and sales:

Mission corn tortillas

canned tuna/pouch tuna

frozen veggies (Birdseye, Green Giant, Allens)

canned veggies

Frozen fruit--Strawberries, blue berries, etc.

canned tomatoes (Muir Glen, Hunts, DelMonte, Fumanos)

spaghetti sauce (Prego, Classico, Ragu--just check ingredients carefully)

canned beans/refried beans

salsa

chips (corn or potato)

chicken (Bj's has an organic brand called Harvestland and they usually put out coupons in their flyers, I also recently stocked up on Air chilled MBA Organic Smart chicken with a coupon from their fb page)

spices-McCormick puts out lots of coupons around holidays

sugar--brown sugar, powdered sugar and cane sugar for baking

Fleishman's yeast--has been free after coupon and sales around the holidays for the last 3 years

Corn Starch

Baking Powder

Salt--Sea salt, Kosher salt, seasoning salt

canned fruit for pies (around the holidays)

Chex cereals--always have coupons out but they are hard to find a great deal. I buy whenever I can get them for $1.50 or less.

Nuts--around the holidays there will be lots of coupons

Eggs--coupons abound with lots of brands. Best sales around Easter.

Olive oil--I do buy light OO in bulk from BJ's but whenever I see a great deal on a small bottle I will get one to use for the table and keep near the stove (Usually under $3 is my buy price).

Coconut Milk--currently I have four half gallons I got for $1 each after coupon.

Almond Milk--also usually $1-1.5 per half gallon.

Rice--Mahatma/Water Maid, Minute rice, Uncle Ben's brown rice, pretty much anything that is plain rice I will stock up when there's a coupon and a deal

Dried fruit--raisins, dried cranberries, dates (Make sure they are gluten-free), banana chips

rice cakes (been a while since I've seen a coupon for these but they are cheap anyway)

Progresso soups (select ones, I don't really stock up on these but I keep some on hand for huricane emergencies)

Nature Valley nut bars (forget exact name as it's been a while since I bought any but it's the one that's gluten-free)

Lara bars (these have had coupons out in the past but are hard to come by--I once got 20 for free after sale and coupon, usually I just buy when they go on sale for $1 per bar)

Ketchup--Hunts or Heinz--I'm not picky as long as it's cheap, gluten-free and HFCS-free--the time to stock up on cheap condiments is now with summer sales

Mustard--Frenches yellow is always free or very cheap, Spicy Brown and other flavors can be gotten for under .50

Mayo--I very rarely buy this but there are lots of coupons always.

peanut butter (almost all brands have coupons out)

Jam, jellies, fruit spreads (Welches, Smuckers, Polaner)

Pickles (Mt Olive, Vlasic (been a whiel sinc ei've seen a Vlasic coupons)

Relish

Herbal tea

Orange juice and other types of juice (I don't buy often but will get soem if it's under $1 after coupon)

Bottled water (I keep for my huricane emergency kit or for long road trips)

Gatorade (got a ton of this free last summer, I hope that sale/coupon comes around again)

Here are some gluten-free items I have seen coupons for but I don't really buy them enough (if at all) to call them stock-up items:

Rudi's bread

Udi's bread

Enjoy Life products

Pacific soups and broths

BC fruit snacks (I don't buy, but there are ALWAYS coupson out--big sales are back to school/sumemr time)

Ice cream (all types of brand: Breyers, Blue Bunney, etc--I don't buy anymore but when I did it was always cheap in the summer)

BBQ sauce (Kraft, Sweet Baby Rays usually have coupons)

Yogurt--I don't buy anymore but my buy price was .33 or less per 6 oz cup. Several brands were often better than that with coupons and sales.

Dressings--Kraft, Annies, Ken's, etc. I no longer buy but dressings are always cheap in the summer and have long expiration dates (usually a year out).

Applesauce--was always cheap but I stopped buyign it just because we didn't eat it enough.

Jello/pudding

Condensed milk--always on sale around holidays

Cheese--Kraft, Sargento, Cabot, Breakstones cottage, Ricotta, I no longer buy but my buy price was $1 or less per bag of shredded. Best prices are around the super bowl or cinco de mayo.

Sour cream--was almost always free with a coupon, but I no longer buy

Popcorn--I don't buy the microwave kind anymore but it was often free with a coupon

lunch meat--I don't buy, but many brands have coupons out frequently (Oscar mayer, Buddig) just make sure what you get is gluten-free

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Thank you very much for your advice! Yeah, I'm starting to read that more about the oats and how I shouldn't eat any yet. I hope I can remember all these restrictions!

Sylvia, I'm not sure I'm going to get any further testing after the blood test. I've already had an endoscopy and colonoscopy in the last couple of months. I don't think my dr was actually looking for celiac during the procedures. I'll ask him when I go for the blood test. With as crazy as my system has been and the fact that my grandmother has it, I think a positive blood test will be enough for me.

Ravenwoodglass, thanks for the brand recommendations. :) I've run across the Udi brand name several times here, I'll see if my store carries that one.

My daughter only had the celiac panel, which was highly positive and went gluten-free since celiac has a genetic link and the fact that I was already diagnosed. So she went gluten-free based on the lab test only (she also had a thyroid problem and is anemic).

I was buying Udi's ever since my local health food store started carrying it last summer but I found the last couple of loaves were not consistent in quality. Bummer as I really liked it. So now I've been baking more of my own bread...of course, the quality isn't always consistent with it either. :P My daughter lives in Denver, home of Udi's, and can buy hers fresh at Whole Foods. Here it's always frozen and I think that makes a difference.

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Make sure to shop around a little. My local health food store has Udi's for more than $1 less a loaf than Whole Foods.

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Sign-up at Udi's website and they do send out coupons. Never tried because it has egg as an ingredient.

I agree with Syvia's responses. When you find your recipe double the batch and slice and freeze the extra loaf. You can put 2 slices in ziplock bags for a quick thaw for a sandwich or toast.

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I love udis bread as well, but I prefer to make my own. It does use a lot of different flours, but I also do a lot of baking so I always have them on hand. My kids, who are not gluten-free, prefer my homemade gluten free bread over regular wheat bread. I think it ends up being cheaper and I can make it when I need it instead of going out to have to buy it. And we kinda live in the sticks so I have to drive at least 30 minutes to the closest place that has udis. I got the recipe from gluten free mommmy blog. I don't think it is an acitve blog anymore, but her recipes are still up and there are a lot to choose from. It is the best bread!

http://glutenfreemommy.com/baking-gluten-free-bread-millet-oatmeal-bread/

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We have a local gluten-free bakery here in Colorado called "Outside the Breadbox" that makes very good gluten-free bread. If you buy the two-day old bread, which is discounted, you can actually get a reasonable price for a loaf. Since my bread goes straight into the fridge or freezer, I don't care if it's a few days old when it gets to me.

You might be able to do something like that, if you shop around.

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Awesome! Thanks everyone, and thanks for the couponing advice Glutenfreemanna!

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I, too, make my own bread simply as I prefer it to purchased (except Udi's is pretty good) and I love baking too much to give it up. Like a few others on this board one of my goals is to make really and truly wonderful gluten-free bread, pizza, fresh pasta, croissants, English muffins and so on. Anything yeasty. Cakes, cookies, brownies and quick breads are pretty easy to make with gluten-free substitutes.

Guess what 4 gluten-free hotdog buns are at our store? $8.49!!! Insane. And they're not even very good. Have not seen the Udi's hotdog or hamburger buns yet. Udi's bread is $7.29 here.

I would recommend maybe either buying Udi's or not even having bread/pizza/pasta for awhile if that works for you. You may still remember the smells and flavours of the real thing - it can be a painful shock to sink your teeth into a piece of so-called bread and realize that it tastes just a touch better than cardboard with the addition of chalk. Sure, you can douse it with preserves and honeys but even that doesn't help many brands! I will never forget trying Schar's white "bread" the first time in Italy. I cried. It was so mealy and dry and crumbly and absolutely dreadful. It made me feel like I was being punished almost. I could not finish it, even with a chunk of wonderful cheese and fresh prosciutto. It was THAT BAD. Thank goodness a few brands are better than others! :)

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I forgot to mention pasta. I have tried a few of the gluten-free specialty pastas. Some are quite good but do start checking for doneness about 1/2 way through the cook time they give on the package. I usually get Thai Kitchen Rice Noodles in the Oriental section of my grocery store. They are inexpensive but only have one like angel hair pasta, my favorite, and one shaped like linguine. The angel hair cooks in less than 3 minutes so it is really handy when time is short.

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Raven just reminding me of another money saving tip. If your city has an Asian or international grocery store you can usually find really good deals in there. Rice, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, rice paper wrappers (for making spring rolls), rice flour, glutonous or sweet rice flour (it's gluten free) are all much less than the ones that are certified gluten-free at Whole foods. Produce is a better deal at my Asian grocery store too.

I also wanted to mention that it's not really a good idea to buy grains from the bulk bins. They likely have bulk wheat and barley as well. People will share the scoops sometimes or the employee filling the bins could use the same scoop to fill all the bins. Huge cc risk there. Unless you know what wheat grains look like and you are willing to wash and sort your grains really well it could be a problem. I know some people do wash, sort and then soak their grains before hand grinding them and don't have any trouble but I thought I would mention the cc risk (and the amoutn of extra work you would need to do to ensure it's safe) upfront. IMO it's safer to buy in bulk from trusted companies using that big website named after the rainforest that starts with the letter A (the name can't be mentioned here).

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Raven just reminding me of another money saving tip. If your city has an Asian or international grocery store you can usually find really good deals in there. Rice, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, rice paper wrappers (for making spring rolls), rice flour, glutonous or sweet rice flour (it's gluten free) are all much less than the ones that are certified gluten-free at Whole foods. Produce is a better deal at my Asian grocery store too.

I also wanted to mention that it's not really a good idea to buy grains from the bulk bins. They likely have bulk wheat and barley as well. People will share the scoops sometimes or the employee filling the bins could use the same scoop to fill all the bins. Huge cc risk there. Unless you know what wheat grains look like and you are willing to wash and sort your grains really well it could be a problem. I know some people do wash, sort and then soak their grains before hand grinding them and don't have any trouble but I thought I would mention the cc risk (and the amoutn of extra work you would need to do to ensure it's safe) upfront. IMO it's safer to buy in bulk from trusted companies using that big website named after the rainforest that starts with the letter A (the name can't be mentioned here).

GlutenFreeManna, would you be interested in starting a topic talking about how you coupon gluten free? I saw your list up above and I'm amazed. I'm just trying to get into couponing and it's pretty demoralizing how many coupons are for stuff I could never eat. (And probably don't want, but you know what I mean!)

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Also, if you have a Costco near you I recently found a two-pack of Rudi's bread in the freezer section for $6.00 and something ($6.49 I think). The slices are slightly larger than Udi's, and at that price it makes each loaf the same as a load of regular bread. And it tastes good too! (although I've only toasted it or made grilled cheese sandwiches.)

Also Against the Grain baguettes are great. I buy a two-pack of them at Whole Foods for $7.00 and something. (sorry, I can never remember the cents)

Those are the only breads I can recommend, in this area anyway (Northern VA). All the rest of them that I've tried were good as doorstops and not much else. :ph34r:

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GlutenFreeManna, would you be interested in starting a topic talking about how you coupon gluten free? I saw your list up above and I'm amazed. I'm just trying to get into couponing and it's pretty demoralizing how many coupons are for stuff I could never eat. (And probably don't want, but you know what I mean!)

It has been discussed in several places on this board in the past. Just a minute I'll dig up those old posts and if you want to bump them up to continue those conversations I will be happy to answer your questions. The majority of coupons are for non-food items and that really helps with my budget as well. Everyone needs toilet paper and tooth brushes and those have no food-related restrictions.

Note that some of these topics are very old and have links to printables that may no longer exist but they give some good ideas of where to check for coupons.

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I went the "don't rely so much on bread" route. Really, it's surprising when you stop to look at it how much we get "stuck" using bread because we don't think about using anything else. Hamburgers wrapped in lettuce, tuna salad on corn tortillas, lunchmeat on rice cakes - there are lots of options!

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I'm going to be starting my gluten-free diet after my blood is drawn on Friday. I went to Publix to try to find more things to eat, and was shocked by how expensive the gluten-free breads and pasta were. I'm a coupon mom and am always looking for a better buy. I know that our local whole foods store sells grains in bulk and I happen to enjoy baking (though I have little time for it with a 1 and 3 year old). I like the look of the recipe on this site for yeast-free bread http://www.celiac.com/articles/22197/1/Yeast-Free-Sandwich-Bread-Gluten-Free/Page1.html and I was wondering if anyone knew if that would be more cost effective since there are a ton of ingredients listed for it.

Thanks :)

When I first went gluten-free, I tried replacing all of my regular food with equivalent gluten-free food. That was terribly expensive, but I didn't know how else to eat. I'd been eating the same way for 37 years. I was a very picky eater, and the thought of eating just meat and veggie turned me off. Slowly I've changed my diet and now I hardly ever eat processed food. That's also expensive, but I think you just get used to spending money on food when you have dietary issues. I think of it like this... we spend a lot of money on our car, house, and cable bill, so why should we skimp on spending money on what makes us healthy? Food is really important, so I'm willing to put in a little more $ on food than I used to just so I feel good and keep healthy.

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It has been discussed in several places on this board in the past. Just a minute I'll dig up those old posts and if you want to bump them up to continue those conversations I will be happy to answer your questions. The majority of coupons are for non-food items and that really helps with my budget as well. Everyone needs toilet paper and tooth brushes and those have no food-related restrictions.

Note that some of these topics are very old and have links to printables that may no longer exist but they give some good ideas of where to check for coupons.

Thank you so much!!

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