So you’re going gluten-free. Great! And you know what you want to buy. Even better! So now the problem is how to not break the bank with all the overpriced G-free stuff out there. Seriously, it’s unbelievable how much they’ll try to charge you for gluten-free bread. But not to worry! There are plenty of tips and tricks to keep from getting gouged. Here are 7 of the best rules for how to shop for gluten-free products without breaking your budget.
Flickr user Andrea_Nguyen
1. Stay Away From Pricey Substitutes
Foods that are “specially made” gluten-free, like breads, cookies and frozen items, are usually far more expensive than the regular versions. You don’t have to feel forced to buy them!
2. Go Natural
Instead of searching out expensive gluten-free foods, stock up on as many naturally gluten-free foods as you can. You might be more overwhelmed with what you can’t have to remember all the things you can – there are more than you think!
3. Coupons Aren’t A Joke Anymore
Those little pieces of paper are about to become your best friend. Check out coupon websites like Surviving the Stores and GlutenDude for crazy discounts on awesome gluten-free products. It might be a little more of a drag, but your wallet will thank you so, so much.
4. When In Doubt, Make Your Own!
Can’t find a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie you like that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? We hear you. That’s why people invented recipe blogs! Try out recipes of your own for things like bread and brownies, find one you love (we’ve got a few recipes you might like right on Noshable), make a BUNCH and stick the leftovers in the freezer.
Really. Wouldn’t you prefer this brownie by The Heritage Cook over some sad storebought one?
5. Order Online
Sometimes you find a brand of gluten-free flour or cake mix you adore – and then it turns out it’s only made in Massachusetts, or Arizona. Bummer. But that’s what online shopping is for! You can find everything from flour to actual gluten-free bread ready for shipping right to your front door. Some big brands will ship direct like Enjoy Life, but you can also find products you know and love on other sites like Amazon and Gluten-Free Delivers (often for cheaper!)
6. Change Up Your Go-To Stores
You might balk at the idea of shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s when you’re used to the awesome prices at Costco or Wal-Mart. But those specialty stores often have way more gluten-free products, and usually are running some kind of promotion on those products that brings the price down anyway.
7. Bulk Is Better
When you find a gluten-free pasta you really love, you never want to run out, right? So buy it in bulk and stock up for a few months. Sure, it might be pricier than what you might spend for a two-week supply, but now you never have to worry about taking a chance on another brand if the one you love runs out of their gluten-free product next week. And if you really want to sit down and do the math, buying bulk is cheaper in the long run.
What are your best tips for buying gluten-free products on a budget? Tell us in the comments below!