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Jnkmnky

Coping With The Cost Of This Diet...

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Nope, I totally agree. Though at least here in Canada we can claim the additional cost of gluten free food on our taxes. I have been keeping track of my gluten-free food and saving the bills, but it is very time consuming to figure out the price difference because it is more than just sticker price. I also note the weight of the package so I can make a fair comparison. For instance, organice corn flakes in a small box are almost the same price as a big box of Kellogs. I'm very happy we can at least make the claim here, don't know about in the US. As well, in order to make the claim, you must include a letter from your physician stating you are on the diet for medical reasons (as opposed to making a lifestyle choice). I am a newly single parent, I had hoped to get my grocery bill to $60/week, it is probably double that now that I am gluten-free. I find the best thing for me to do is to use as many naturally gluten-free and gluten-free mainstream products as possible. I only buy organic when it is the only way to get gluten-free for instance. It is a huge burden, I totally agree, and it is one of the more depressing aspects of the diet. I think, "here I am spending $6 for muffins that frankly, really are not that great!". I feel your pain....


LORI

Dx celiac disease Aug 25/05, ate KFC that night and gluten-free ever since

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I agree. Here in the UK, the cost is appalling too. Muesli is £3.00 a packet (gluten-free), but the normal stuff is a third of that price and the same comparisons go for the rest of the stuff.

I'll tell you something else that makes me mad too. My superstores aren't that educated regarded celiac disease. They lop all the gluten-free foods together on the same shelves BELOW the organic white bread flour. There's dust everywhere and it contaminates. I've asked them to move it, but so far, nothing. They seem to be under the impression that organic is the same as gluten free/milk free, etc.

I won't shop there again until it shifts.


Diagnosed with celiac disease via blood test September 2005.

gluten-free since September 2005

Diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis Aug 2004

Diagnosed early osteoporosis Aug 2004

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I'm sure the whole board knows my thoughts on gluten-free specialty items by now, but I know you're not alone. Even if I don't buy them, I find it annoying that they are so expensive. But it's supply and demand... There aren't a lot of people making the products even though there isn't a great demand, over all, either. We're not really dealing with a competitive market place. I think, though, that the education that some of the folks on this site (and this site itself) give people who had never previously heard of the disease will help in the long run as more people come to look for gluten-free foods and "switch brands" encouraging competition.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Guest nini

I choke on the price of gluten-free specialty foods too. It's ridiculous. So, I only buy a few select gluten-free specialty items and the rest of my food I stick with fruits and veggies and mainstream products that are naturally gluten-free. I am also sensitive to additives in meat/chicken/turkey ie: antibiotics, hormones, nitrites, nitrates... so I have to spend the extra $$$ on "clean" meats but it's worth it to me to not get sick when I eat.

On a regular basis I usually only buy Kinnikinnick sandwich bread, and Tinkyada pastas... I'll get Kinnikinnick donuts or bagels once in a blue moon for a special treat but not on a regular basis. It is incredibly expensive.

One of the ways I cut the cost is buy joining a co op and getting a discount on my purchases there. 4 times a year they have a festival where for co op members everything in the store is 10% off instead of the usual 5% off. I tend to save big shopping trips for those days. Also, I write a regular article/column for their newsletter on living Gluten Free, and for every article that is published I get 20% off on a shopping trip... well worth my time.

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I don't buy any specialty gluten-free foods. I eat only natural whole foods. I find that by eating unprocessed food I don't eat nearly as much as I used to. I also used to be very overweight and have to control my portions carefully. The net result of this dietary change is my grocery bill went way down. The price of the specialty gluten-free foods is simply the law of supply and demand. There is not a huge demand therefore the supply is limited and the price is higher. I would look for ways to cut out the processed stuff.


If all the world is indeed a stage and we are merely players then will someone give me the script because I have no f!@#$%^ clue as to what is going on!

What does not kill you makes you stronger.

Nobody cares about losers and quitters never win. If you fail with the cowards then what's the message you send?

Can't get it right, no matter what I do. Might as well be me and keep fu@$ing up for you. - Brian Thomas (Halloween, the greatest metal band ever!)

Ian Moore. Self diagnosed at 36 because the doctors were clueless.

Started low-carb diet early 2004, felt better but not totally gluten-free. Went 100% gluten-free early 2005 and life has never been better.

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I hear ya that the prices for mock-g foods are high! I was just at WHole Foods, where they just started carrying WF brand bakery goods - gluten-free ones like biscuits, carrot bread, muffins and pies. I bought a $7 carrot cake loaf and $7 biscuits. The carrot loaf was gross, no one in my family liked it, and I'll throw most of it out. The biscuits are pretty good, and there's 6 in a pack.

One, I always like to try new gluten-free stuff :) Not for daily eating, but if it's good, then I know it's out there, which makes me feel better, just knowing that if I NEED a biscuit someday, I know where to find one, lol.

Two, I like to support gluten-free products in the stores. I want more of them, and the way to get them is to support them.

Three, I can afford it and if I buy the biscuits again, will tell myself that since I no longer eat at Starbucks, that a biscuit at 6/$7 is still less than the low-quality $3 muffin I used to eat there :P

Three, when all is said and done, the only pre-made special gluten-free items my family buys are rice pasta and rice bread, both from WF. Myself and ds eat gluten-free. Dh eats gluten-free dinners with us, but has his own lunch bread (and toaster, and has to eat at the table, lol) and gets pastry snacks while he's out of the house (though he sometimes eats them here, again at the table, lol).

Our grocery bill has gone up only a tiny bit from pre-gluten-free days. We already shopped at WF and ate natural-y foods and didn't eat packaged foods a lot. Occasionally, I'll go on a search and acquire-mission for new gluten-free foods at WF, and then we have an astronomical bill for that week. I am lucky in that I live in a big city and do not need to mail order to get gluten-free foods.

Things that help us are - cooking from scratch and buying quality ingredients/foods, not buying into gluten-free-junk food replacements (mostly). Have you read the book Nourishing Traditions? I am reading it right now, after hearing poeple quote from it for years, and it is a very interesting read - to be taken with a few grains of salt, but really interesting and spot-on in many areas. It also has a recipe section I am looking forward to.

Junk food is expensive no matter if it's gluten-free or not, more if it's gluten-free, but it's basically an outrageous price to be paying for colored sugar that does the body no good and ultimately does it harm. Look closely at the things you are seeing as "staples". Most cultures around the world don't eat pretzels. Some of them don't even have bread. If you are trying to replicate a 1950s American cuisine, I think eating gluten-free will be disappointing, and expensive.

Can you transition your family away from pretzels and on to corn chips? And if sandwich bread prices are annoying you, try your family on meat roll-ups (sandwich slice meat rolled around cheese or veggie) with rice on the side - let them have fun with chopsticks :)

Just some thoughts....

Merika :)

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my grocery bills are astronomical!! and i'm a grad student. :( i just posted about this in another section, but i'm really frustrated. even when you stick to "unprocessed" foods, it's still expensive. plus, i don't have time to cook from scratch all the time, so i depend on having a loaf of bread on hand or whatnot to help me out. i think food costs can be high when you eat gluten even if you eat healthfully, and i think that being gluten-free definitely compounds it for me and my tiny income.


diagnosed 8/05 through positive bloodwork & biopsy

gluten-free since then!

"Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries." Theodore Roethke

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Meat roll-ups are ok once in awhile, but not a diet that's sustainable for anyone. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

lol! "anyone" but some of us on the board. ;-) so, the suggestion of corn tortillas as a wrapper doesn't fly either? ;-)

I won't disagree with you about opportunistic pricing, but that is a "feature" of a supply and demand market where the supply is insufficient. Without equivalent competitors, those who engage in opportunistic pricing can get away with it. The thing you describe - talking to your local "regular" grocery store to get them to carry a few goods at a lower price - is a good example of bringing some competition in to the market. Some items at Whole Foods (and the like) are nearly competitively priced, if they're readily available at many other markets. (But places like that also rely on captive audiences being willing to pay more. That affects those who *need* gluten-free items as well, because they're "caught", inappropriately, in the 'captive market' demographic that the store otherwise caters to.) Hopefully, as more stores are encouraged to carry these items, like you did, it will help, but it's going to be a while, I think. :-(

BTW, I'm curious why you'd rather serve pretzels than corn chips? I only ask because, given the choice - at the same price - I'd take corn chips over pretzels every day of the week. Family preference?


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I couple months ago I was at my local grocery store and I started talking to a woman in line. She was the leader of our local co-op. I got involved several months ago and it has saved my a lot of money on speciality items. Sometimes the co-op price might be a few cents less than the suppermarket but often times items are several dollars less. I try to buy things that I need when their on sale through the co-op. You might ask around your area to see if there's a co-op. You can visit, www.unitedbuyingclubs.com to get more information. I got Envirokidz cereal on sale and it was $2.00 less per box. You do have to purchase a lot of things by the case. However, I can usually find someone in our group that will split the items with me. :D Prices are still too high even at that........

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  Until there's mainstream knowledge about the prevalence of celiac disease and people begin being dx, the few who are aware are being ripped off  as pioneers of this disease.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is why I go around to various health forums and try to make people aware of celiac disease. Not surprisingly most people have never heard of Celiac even though they have all of the symptoms of it. Some are even aware of the fact that their bodies do not like gluten...but they have no idea what Celiac is.

I figure its a win win if alot of these people are properly diagnosed. They can find an answer to their health problems and the more people diagnosed the more people will be eating gluten-free. Hopefully someday this will drive the prices down.

I'm having to make lots of changes to be able to afford this diet...especially with gas prices through the roof right now. It sucks. :angry:


Rachel

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As for meat roll-up..  My kids hate them.  Don't want to touch them cuz they're slimey.   :ph34r:  They chew them like they're chewing worms.  It's not pleasant for witnesses of the meal.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

hehee... I think they're slimey too, so I usually actually wrap in lettuce. But I imagine that's not cool enough either! :-D Homecooked gourmet leftovers might be able to make it past the cool-o-meter, but that'd be a ridiculous time requirement, even for me who likes cooking. :-)

I might be predjudiced against corn chips. I think of them as greasy, salty and not filling.

There are a lot of corn chips that are not greasy at all. (Greasy corn chips are nasty!) Trader Joe's makes a number that are not greasy, as does Garden of Eatin'. If you pair them up with hummus, you do get protein (and fiber). But if corn isn't liked too much, I doubt that'd be a winner. ;-)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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jnkmnky,

I see now your point :) If all your kids eat separately at school, couldn't you feed the non-celiacs normal bread? Or is your point about keeping the entire house gluten-free - inwhich case you'd be contaminating the counters, etc, and keeping gluten in the house for one kid to get into?

As for the pricing, hmmm, I'm not so sure anyone's getting rich off it. I think it's supply and demand and also a reflection of the government supported agribusiness we have in the US which supports corn, wheat, soy and other farmers. The government generally does not support organic items or amaranth and other "exotic" grains. (This is actually one reason why Europe is pissed at us - for trying to import our cheap government supported grains and take over their less-supported local foods.)

I don't know a lot about it, but my extended family owns a farm in MN that grows grains, and government programs are a big part of how they stay in business and also survive weather/economy fluctuations. It will be interesting to see if anything happens to the prices of midwestern farm goods, as a lot of it is typically transported down the Mississippi and with New Orleans being so messed up right now, the barges are being affected.

As for supply and demand, as more of us buy the alternative foods, more stores will carry them, prices will become more competitive, more companies will go into business selling the items, and these businesses will be able to buy in larger quantities and therefore get lower prices (like Walmart does). I think in time we will see more selection and lower prices. But we will have to buy the stuff that's out there now to see it happen. sigh....

Congrats on getting Albertson's to carry the gluten-free foods you wanted :) That is wonderful news!

Merika

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Guest gfinnebraska

I make my gluten-free bread in a bread machine. I buy the mixes through Gluten Free Pantry ~ you can buy package of 1 or a 5 lb. bag of the mix. It isn't expensive that way, and you get to eat those first few slices warm from the "oven". Yum!!

I only make gluten-free bread in my maker to keep away from the cross contamination issues. Other than that, I just try and eat naturally gluten-free foods. If you stick to meat, fruits, veggies, rice, potatoes, etc., then there isn't the added expense. ;) A Whole Foods just opened an hour from me, so I am going to check it out and buy things from their gluten-free baker ~ but that will only be the occasional treat!

As you can tell by the responses, I guess, I feel, that the amount of $$ you spend on this diet is up to the individual. You can cut costs greatly if you just don't eat the specialty items. But, granted, they are good!! :)

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Just a note to add, in the US if you itemize on your taxes you can deduct the differnce between your gluten-free foods and regular foods. Tax season is soon approaching so you may want to contact your tax pro and see what you need to do to take the deduction. I believe it is considered a medical expense. This has never helped me cause I don't earn enough to itemize but it may help others. I believe you can find an article on this site about it but don't know where I saw it.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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Just a note to add, in the US if you itemize on your taxes you can deduct the differnce between your gluten-free foods and regular foods. Tax season is soon approaching so you may want to contact your tax pro and see what you need to do to take the deduction. I believe it is considered a medical expense. This has never helped me cause I don't earn enough to itemize but it may help others. I believe you can find an article on this site about it but don't know where I saw it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's more complicated than this and nearly impossible to qualify for. It's more than just itemizing. Canadians, rejoice, but Americans, forget it, lol!

Merika

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Whats wrong with meat rollups? I hardly ever eat bread, even pre-celiac disease. I order all my burgers "low carb" or "protien style" , aka bunless. Much prefer them in a letuce wrap. All those grains IMO is a horid diet for anyone, in my non-doctor opinion. Most of America at least could use alot less grains, and more real meat and fresh veggies in thier diet. :D


- Vincent -

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Guest gfinnebraska
Whats wrong with meat rollups? I hardly ever eat bread, even pre-celiac disease. I order all my burgers "low carb" or "protien style" , aka bunless. Much prefer them in a letuce wrap. All those grains IMO is a horid diet for anyone, in my non-doctor opinion. Most of America at least could use alot less grains, and more real meat and fresh veggies in thier diet. :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree ~ I was never a "bread lover" before celiac disease, and really don't miss most items post celiac disease. My Mom has started eating her burgers bunless, and enjoys them now! It just is much easier to digest and doesn't leave you with that *ugh* full feeling. :) I love fruit for lunch ~ with maybe some meat and cheese rolled up. :)

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I understand about the pricing! To save money--I try to buy in bulk when possible, pick up natural food coupons when available in a local store, buy fresh foods in season, stock up and freeze on sale meats etc, freeze fruit for later, make large quantities of baked goods and freeze for later... Instead of buying certain baked items I bake myself, which is definitely cheaper. But that takes some time, and I know not everyone has that.

Someone mentioned a coop, and that is a great idea if its possible. I am in a coop called Frontier...unfortunately they don't have much food (a few gluten-free vendors), but it is all natural/organic type brands such as: avalon organics, burt's bees, kiss my face, giovanni cosmetics, natrol, alacer, ecover, jason, weleda, tom's of maine, earth friendly products, seventh generation, simply organic, and TON more. I love it because the products I buy are a 1/3 to 1/2 off. ie. the Natrol liquid vitamins I buy in any store are $20. At Frontier, I got them for $7.50!! I highly recommend. I believe its free to join, you just have to get enough people in. If someone wants info on it, just pm me.

I hope for the day my dh and I will have higher salaries so we can buy all organic, hormone free meats. It is sad that its costs more to eat healthy...and that it is so cheap to eat things like hamburger helper and ground beef and head lettuce :D I do agree with Tiffany on the supply and demand. And I do also think that overall there is a sad system where what is healthy and better for individuals and the environment costs more than what is harmful...


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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lol!  "anyone" but some of us on the board. ;-)  so, the suggestion of corn tortillas as a wrapper doesn't fly either? ;-)

I won't disagree with you about opportunistic pricing, but that is a "feature" of a supply and demand market where the supply is insufficient.  Without equivalent competitors, those who engage in opportunistic pricing can get away with it.  The thing you describe - talking to your local "regular" grocery store to get them to carry a few goods at a lower price - is a good example of bringing some competition in to the market.  Some items at Whole Foods (and the like) are nearly competitively priced, if they're readily available at many other markets.  (But places like that also rely on captive audiences being willing to pay more.  That affects those who *need* gluten-free items as well, because they're "caught", inappropriately, in the 'captive market' demographic that the store otherwise caters to.)  Hopefully, as more stores are encouraged to carry these items, like you did, it will help, but it's going to be a while, I think. :-(

BTW, I'm curious why you'd rather serve pretzels than corn chips?  I only ask because, given the choice - at the same price - I'd take corn chips over pretzels every day of the week.  Family preference?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Some of us are intolerant to corn, also.


The one resolution, which was in my mind long before it took the form of a resolution, is the key-note of my life. It is this,always to regard as mere impertinences of fate the handicaps which were placed on my life almost at the beginning. I resolved that they should not crush or dwarf my soul, but rather be made to blossom, like Aaron's rod, with flowers-Helen Keller

Judy- Gluten Intolerant

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