Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the last year – you can add another one to this list – this time hitting far too close to home. My husband, and sole provider for the Leger house, was laid off today. As the family works through this new challenge in our life, I’m thinking about cutting costs (yes, I am plagued with many other thoughts as well, but this one fits appropriately with the blog post). Now is the time to rework our budget – including the grocery bill. But how do you cut costs on a gluten-free diet? It isn’t easy, especially since I do a lot of them already. So I thought I would pass along my tips.
Mix Your Own Gluten-Free Flour
I’ve been doing this for 8 and half years. I purchase the flours I need at Asian food markets and mix them up. While rice flour prices have gone up a bit with the cost of rice, I do think it saves us money. Each small bag of rice flour, glutinous (sweet) rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch averages about $1.25 (some more, some less). I am sure I am saving 2-4 dollars by doing this instead of buying the premixed versions.
Clip Coupons and Use Reward Cards
Where I live there aren’t a ton of coupons for gluten-free products, nor do I see gluten-free products go on sale very often. But I do use my shopping card for my local natural food store that gets punched with each purchase (more or less depending on how much we spend). Eventually I’ll get 5% off once the card is filled up. You might want to explore your local natural food stores for more information on incentives like that. The Frugal Mom also just posted a link to a coupon to EnjoyLife Foods. That’s worth checking out.
Buy in Bulk
I haven’t done this but I know a lot of people who have. Some have gone through their natural food store and buy a particular item in bulk and save some money. Others may go directly to the product’s manufacturer and buy in bulk and get a discount that way as well.
Tap Your Inner Gluten-Free Chef
Homemade pizza anyone? How about a good-old fashioned soup or dare I say chili? (I actually don’t eat chili, nor do I make it, so that’s just a suggestion for you!) Time to experiment with soups, crusts, buns, hot dish (a.k.a. casseroles for those of you who don’t live in Minnesota), meatloaf, fried rice, etc in order to stretch the almighty dollar with each meal.
Anyone else have suggestions? Feel free to post your comments here! In the meantime, we’re looking optimistically into the future of our family as we turn a corner and move on to our next phase and adventure in life.