Are you a coeliac on a budget? Ever wondered how much I spend on my gluten free food shopping? My answer used to be WAY TOO MUCH! The amount of money I spent on gluten free food was ridiculous and then seeing it being tallied up at the till was quite a painful process! Reluctantly handing over a ridiculous amount of money for gluten free food when most of it wasn’t great or was half the size of other non gluten items made me so sad! I felt cheated! But fear not, here are some tips for those who are on a tight budget and need to cut down on the food shop quite considerably!
Tip 1: Make your own sweet treats.
Yes I know. I too am guilty of stocking up on gluten free biscuits and sweet treats. I am the worst offender when it comes to muffins! But, sweet treats and snacks waste a lot of cash. You are better off making your own. Many gluten free snacks and treats have a lot of sugar and other rubbish in them. If you make your own, you know exactly what you are putting in and have freedom of choice for your ingredients. So have fun and get baking!
Tip 2: Use cash when you are out shopping.
I used to do this all the time when I was a student at university way before I was even diagnosed with coeliac disease. I had the cash, got the goods, and sometimes even had cash to spare! This way, you only buy the items that you really need. I also became quite savvy when food shopping, and could always spot a good bargain! You will also be less tempted to over indulge!
Tip 3: Make meal plans.
I also did this at university with my three friends in our house. We each had a set day in which we would cook for each other and buy all the ingredients for that meal. This saved money, and we all enjoyed cooking for each other. You could create a meal plan for the week, or even for the month, and buy the food you need accordingly!
Tip 4: Go to markets
There are lots of markets that sell gluten free flour, buckwheat flour, gluten-free lentil, chickpea, millet, and rice at very reasonable price. International markets also have a wider variety of produce at lower prices. So definitely have a hunt around!
Tip 5: Look in the other shopping aisles
Be shopping savvy and look in the other aisles for soups, sauces, crisps, sweets and tomato ketchup. You may just find a bargain. A lot of stock is not in the gluten free aisle but it is gluten free!
Tip 6: Save your pennies for a rainy day
If you get some spare change, put it away in a money jar. You will be surprised at how much you can save in a short space of time. If you live with other people, then maybe you can encourage everyone to do it.
Tip 7: Save your leftovers
Try not to let good food go to waste. Keep veg in the freezer and you could then make a broth or stew. Meat scraps other than chicken can also be used to make broth. If you have leftover wine and have only a tablespoon of tomato paste left in the can, freeze it in an ice cube tray. These little cubes of leftovers add flavor to stews, stocks and dinner dishes.
Tip 8: Buy less prepackaged and processed foods
Avoid processed and packaged food as much as possible. In addition to the cost, these foods also contain loads of added salt, carbs, calories and unhealthy preservatives & additives. Stick to a diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice, pasta, fish and poultry, and limited meats and you will save some serious dough! Maybe buy a few boxed frozen food meals in case you get stuck for food but stick to making your own dishes as much as possible!
Tip 9: Use an app
Can’t decide what to make? There are lots of apps that can help you find a recipe with the ingredients that you have in your kitchen! Super helpful! Supercook, All recipes, Big Oven, Epicurious and Cookpad are just some of the great apps that can help you on your way to creating a delicious meal!
Tip 10: Don’t forget the coupons!
Many supermarkets have reward schemes and coupons to use up on your shop. So do look into this and use up the coupons, as they will save you money in the long run!
So there we are just a few tips to help you on your way to saving money and being savvy when buying your gluten free goods! Be social and talk to friends, family and other gluten free-ers! They may know some secrets about saving money and you may just find a bargain or two!