Author Topic: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?  (Read 7899 times)

rothwem

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How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« on: April 11, 2016, 10:42:54 AM »
My girlfriend has Celiac's and its killing our grocery savings.  We live together and split the grocery bill, and we're spending around $700/month for the two of us, and its driving me nuts.  Since gluten allergies have become trendy, there's more selection for her, but that's almost worse-there's more stuff and it costs ridiculous amounts of money.  Things like gluten free bread are ~$7, while normal bread is $2.  Regular oatmeal is $7 for 10 pounds of it, Gluten free oatmeal is $6 for 2 pounds. 

Anyone have any tips for saving money on food when there's an allergy in the house?  Its not like we're going broke and my girlfriend's health is important to me, but as I take a critical look at our spending, our food bill stands out as an obvious spot to improve. 

Orvell

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 10:49:36 AM »
Since specifically GF things are where the price difference comes in, the answer for cost savings would be to not use one-to-one substitutes. Instead of buying GF bread, don't use bread. :) Instead of GF oatmeal, try making smoothies or eggs for breakfast, etc. Substitute a whole different food group rather than a (very $) GF ingredient.
Disclaimer: I don't have Celiac's.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 10:52:32 AM »
I was going to say exactly what Orvell did!

I don't have celiac, but I don't really eat grains other than rice, and occasionally oats or corn. For me, a key is ethnic cooking. There isn't a lot of gluten in most Thai or Mexican dishes. We do tons of curries on rice, taco bowls with rice or as taco salads, corn tortillas when we're feeling it, etc.

So just change what you eat, rather than trying to modify what you've already been doing. It's kinda like MMM's car in cities thing- if you feel like you're swimming against a tide, then you need to change how you're doing things for your life where you are.

mskyle

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 11:02:42 AM »
My boyfriend is celiac and we definitely spend more pp on groceries than I did on groceries for myself (although this is partly just because he eats a lot more than I do!).

I feel like this is something where you really have to work within your girlfriend's comfort zone. The cheapest way to eat GF is to not eat "GF." Rice and tortillas instead of pasta and bread. Stuff like that. But that maybe requires your girlfriend to make more life changes than she needs/wants to. Like, my boyfriend likes sandwiches, and I just don't have the heart to tell him not to eat sandwiches until we genuinely can't afford his sandwiches. On his tiny, stupid, expensive GF bread.

Try learning to cook a few awesome naturally GF meals and work those into your at-home rotation. Taco Tuesday is your friend. Roasted chickpeas are a great protein-rich side (or main dish). Fried rice patties are just plain delicious.

ketchup

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 11:02:59 AM »
I agree with both responses so far!

Buy things that don't say "gluten-free" on the label.  Buy things that naturally don't have gluten in them.  "Gluten-free-shit-in-a-box" is quite expensive due to the current trendiness.  And nearly none of it is even really "healthy."  It just happens to have been made from gluten-free flours.

As far as cheap grains go, it's hard to do better than a big-ass bag of rice.  No gluten there.  A big bag of rice, plus fresh produce, eggs, and meat, no junk food or gluten-free-shit-in-a-box and you should be able to do way less than $700/month with very healthy food and no gluten for your GF.

Disclaimer: don't have Celiac, but don't eat wheat or most grains.  Our most spendy months are $500 for two people, usually less.  And that's with some of the meat/eggs being the fancy-pants pasture-raised stuff.

MrsDinero

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 11:11:48 AM »
I don't have Celiac but my friend does and lives on very tight budget.  For the most part they have gone Paleo because it is easier and cheaper (they grow their own vegetables).  They do budget in GF bread once or twice a month. The same with GF pasta but she is the only one who eats it, meaning her kids and husband don't have it because it is so expensive.

If it breaking the budget the simple answer might be to just cut back on what is being bought.

NotJen

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 11:43:03 AM »
I agree with the suggestion to cut back on the gluten-free products, and just try to eat more of what is naturally good for her.

I'm not GF, but I'm a single person who doesn't eat bread that frequently.  When I do buy bread, I immediately stick it in the freezer.  That way, I can have a few slices a week, without wasting a whole loaf or feeling the need to eat it all before it goes bad.  Your girlfriend could buy the fancy bread, but use it less often and save money that way.

Alternate oatmeal with other breakfast items (I like smoothies as a breakfast option).   Has she tried quinoa?  I made a good breakfast bake with quinoa once that was similar to an oatmeal bake.   Yogurt with fresh fruit (I've been making my own, and it puts what's available in the store to shame).

Vanguards and Lentils

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Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 11:50:59 AM »
Another good oatmeal alternative is amaranth. Absolutely delicious and nutty, and holds up well in the fridge- make a big batch and eat it all week. I did this back in college. Great with some pecans, apple, and cinnamon in it.

dycker1978

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 11:58:20 AM »
A couple of things...

1. as someone mentioned, don't buy the things that explicitly say gluten free.  read ingredient lists and make a choice, for example, oat meal is not made from wheat, but oats and is inherently gluten free. Just make sure you are getting oat meal, not wheat bran.

2. Make breads and such on your own.  My son has stomach issues, and we thought we would experiment with reducing gluten.  Bread is easily made.  You can buy the flours out right, or buy the materials that the flour is made of and grind it yourself(think rice).

3. Asian stores have a host of rice/tapioca/veggie pasta's at a reduced cost over the grocery store.  Just read the ingredient lists. 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 12:09:21 PM »
A couple of things...

1. as someone mentioned, don't buy the things that explicitly say gluten free.  read ingredient lists and make a choice, for example, oat meal is not made from wheat, but oats and is inherently gluten free. Just make sure you are getting oat meal, not wheat bran.

2. Make breads and such on your own.  My son has stomach issues, and we thought we would experiment with reducing gluten.  Bread is easily made.  You can buy the flours out right, or buy the materials that the flour is made of and grind it yourself(think rice).

3. Asian stores have a host of rice/tapioca/veggie pasta's at a reduced cost over the grocery store.  Just read the ingredient lists.

The problem with oats is they are usually processed on the same equipment as wheat, and so there is cross contamination. That is why she buys certified gluten-free oats: the company is guaranteeing that there has been no wheat exposure, and that is more expensive, sadly.

TrMama

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 12:15:56 PM »
We don't have any celiac sufferers in the house, but my 7yo has multiple food intolerances and for a while we tried a gluten free elimination diet. I found my grocery bill actually decreased by half. Since her other food intolerances preclude most ready made gluten free items I was forced to bake anything made from any kind of flour from scratch.

So in addition to the advice above, if you want to eat baked items, learn to make them yourself. There are eleventy-million recipes for gluten free bread online and in books. Try some of them out.

Ethnic groceries (or Bulk Barn if you're in Canada) are great places to find all the weird ingredients for less money. For example when we wanted noodles, I bought the cheap rice noodles from the Asian section, rather than the expensive gluten free rice noodles from the gluten free isle.

Kitsune

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 12:34:02 PM »
Gluten-free-in-a-box is $$$$$$$$$. Agreed.

The main solution I've found: look into cooking food from cultures that don't usually have a lot of wheat.

For example, if you remove flour tortillas, Mexican and TexMex is pretty much naturally gluten-free (tacos! Chilli! Anything-in-tortillas!). Thai food is gluten-free as long as you avoid the commercial sauces and use GF soy sauce or tamari (which is like 1$ more expensive than regular soy sauce, but you're not using a huge amount at a time). Look for traditional 'italian' food: a lot of veggies, cheeses, and meats, and very little pasta (Marcella Hazan has a great cookbook for that sort of thing, you can probably find it at the library). Don't try to REPLACE gluten (that's $$$, and also usually tastes not-great), look for things that never had gluten in the first place.

Also, quite frankly: a steak with fried mushrooms is the same price as a burger on a kinda-gross GF burger bun. If I'm gonna spend that much money on food, I know which one I'm gonna eat...

For breakfast, we usually do eggs and sauteed veggies, or 'parfaits' with homemade yogurt and fruit - more expensive than oatmeal or regular bread, but healthier AND cheaper than GF bread (that tastes like cardboard).

SailorGirl

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2016, 12:34:08 PM »
As everyone else has said, don't buy that crap.  Most of it has extra sugar or fat to make up for the lack of stretchy gluten and it's ungodly expensive.

Yeast breads are tricky without gluten but quick breads work great and you can find all kinds of recipes include 90 second microwave breads.  Noodles can be made from spaghetti squash or zucchini, wraps from lettuce, pizza crust from all kinds of things.

Rearrange you meal expectations and try making stir fry for breakfast.  Today I had a bowl of rice with sweet and spicy chili sauce.  Lunch is lettuce, avocado, boiled egg and I think I have a few scraps of cheese left.  Snacks are yogurt and some gf granola that I scored for half off. The ONLY time I pay for gf food is when it's super discounted and even then I view it as a treat.

RelaxedGal

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 12:52:34 PM »
Depending on her tax situation, deducting the extra cost of gluten free foods might be worthwhile.  A pain to document, but possibly worthwhile.

https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/resources/tax-deductions/

workathomedad

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 12:52:43 PM »
I have Celiacs and it sucks (similar to the the poster below, I get extremely ill even in small amounts, though fortunately not as bad as him), I've given up eating out even at "gluten free" restaurants because of the cross exposure, even with that small amount I usually end up spending the rest of the day in excruciating pain on the toilet, chills, and weakness and still feel run down the next day.

You don't *have* to pay more for groceries, you can orient towards really basic ingredients, rice, beans, vegetables (think maybe a basic stir fry without soy sauce, or a burrito bowl, or even Indian curry's).  It can force you to eat more healthy. Spinach, carrots, apples, and other basic fruits and vegetables don't have gluten - of course! Same example dishes we have: Chicken curry, chicken and broccoli stir fry, Italian wedding or chicken and rice soup, steak and potatoes with a side vegetable, baked salmon with rice, smoothies, salads (check the dressing).

You might also consider it a "medical expense" - it really sucks, so have some compassion.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 12:59:54 PM by workathomedad »

Daley

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 12:53:56 PM »
I've got the real deal, I'm a bit more sensitive than most, and have been living with its cost and consequences post-diagnosis for roughly five years now.

The advice given thus far is mostly good, and what I would advocate... that is, changing your diet, not trying to replicate the SAD (Standard American Diet) diet in gluten-free form. That will go a long way to saving on the food budget.

That said, some of the advice given about just buying cheap bulk grains and the like such as with Ketchup and Dycker1978's advice highlights the disconnect between understanding the difference between a voluntary gluten-free diet and Celiac disease and illustrates how little voluntary "gluten free" eaters actually know and understand. I've lost track of the people I've met over the years who claimed to have gluten sensitivities and were on "gluten free" diets that were just loaded with gluten in their diet. They always claim how "easy" it is to eat gluten free, and don't get all the fuss, too. Sadly, no... you don't get it and you won't get it until you know what it's like to have your small intestine swell up and shut down, leaving food to rot in your stomach for days until you have to throw it back up because it won't pass through your inflamed guts that feel like you're trying to digest razor blades with... and sometimes when you're really lucky? The inflammation from an exposure is so bad that you can't even pass water for a day or more.

I'm sorry for being graphic, but I think it's necessary to communicate what we're dealing with here.

The best way and closest analog to describe the restrictions for gluten with Celiac is something that probably isn't readily understood outside of Jewish communities: very strict, Lubavitch level definitions of treif and kashrut (kosher) restrictions, where practically just waving kosher food over a pan that's fried a ham steak in it invalidates that food's kashrut status. I'm exaggerating slightly for effect, but it's not far from the truth. Gluten == treif. For example, I deliberately experimented early on with various foods (mostly rice crackers) where the registered parts per million cross-contamination of wheat present in the product was listed on the package, and I found that I had gluten intolerance reactions to the presence of wheat cross-contamination down to around the 15-20 PPM level. All it takes is one molecule of wheat gluten out of every 50-65 thousand molecules ingested in any one given portion of food to trigger a gluten reaction that makes my gut feel like I've gone a few rounds as a punching bag.

Thankfully, many with Celiac aren't near as sensitive as myself, but it highlights the very serious issue of cross contamination. People with Celiac can't ignore the labels and just buy products that should be gluten free, because the issue of cross-contamination is a very serious one - especially with grains. It's not enough that it's just rice. It needs to be rice that wasn't from a paddy next to a wheat field, and wasn't stored in a silo or packaged in a facility that handles wheat. That labeling of "gluten free" is critical and a life saver in some instances for us, and the Certified Gluten Free seal is one that can be reasonably trusted as they have considerably stricter requirements for approval. It's true that the FDA has set guidelines requiring testing below a certain threshold for any company to legally mark their food gluten free, but the standard is too lax for at least a third of the Celiac community (IIRC) with a definition of gluten free that still allows enough gluten through to make folks like myself sick.

Here's a great example: corn tortillas and corn chips. Mission brand tortillas and chips proudly boast in huge copy on the packaging that they're "gluten free", and under the FDA guidelines, they legally are. However, they're not gluten free enough for me to safely eat their products, they make me sick. Another brand, La Banderita, has the phrase "gluten free" in much smaller letters on its packaging and it's not a major selling point, but I can eat them safely.

I can't safely eat out and off of "gluten free" restaurant menus in places that serve baked goods and anything breaded, I can't do bulk items, I can't just buy any rice, or any beans, prepackaged or not, I have to bag produce and thoroughly re-wash any vegetation that isn't in sealed bags sourced from general grocery stores and ensure there's no cross-contamination that can be picked up off of check-out lines. Food has to be processed in gluten free facilities for me to eat and handled carefully even while procuring, and that just comes at a price premium. Eating truly gluten free when nearly wholly dependent upon the modern food industry just costs more. It sucks, but it's the reality of this auto-immune disorder.

The thing is, the gluten free label is important for Celiac sufferers, and there's an added cost associated with ensuring that the product is legitimately gluten free. It's the cost of preventing cross-contamination with one of the most common ingredients in all processed food in our food supply in North America. Not all "gluten free" tags are clearly equal (nor is the definition of "gluten free"), but all are necessary for the genuine Celiac sufferer (which is interestingly currently being proposed as 1:141 Americans by the NIH).

This is what you're dealing with, and the consequences of not being strict gluten free when dealing with it means a dramatically increased risks of malnutrition and several forms of gut cancer longer term. If you truly love someone with Celiac, don't be a miser with the food budget, and don't mess with their food supply in dangerous ways. Go off the beaten path, introduce different styles of food from cultures that don't use wheat to meal plan, use more whole ingredients, but don't shop with the idea that just because "wheat" isn't an ingredient (even with whole foods) that there isn't the risk for wheat cross-contamination, and this is where the "gluten free" label begins to have value.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 01:03:41 PM by I.P. Daley »

pbkmaine

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workathomedad

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2016, 01:07:33 PM »
just because "wheat" isn't an ingredient (even with whole foods) that there isn't the risk for wheat cross-contamination, and this is where the "gluten free" label begins to have value.

Hah! It's not what you meant, but I've gotten sick a few times at "Whole Foods" when trying the dishes without wheat from the buffet :-(

I can't eat the burrito bowls at Chipotle's either :-(

Kitsune

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
just because "wheat" isn't an ingredient (even with whole foods) that there isn't the risk for wheat cross-contamination, and this is where the "gluten free" label begins to have value.

Hah! It's not what you meant, but I've gotten sick a few times at "Whole Foods" when trying the dishes without wheat from the buffet :-(

I can't eat the burrito bowls at Chipotle's either :-(

Yeah... there's a few local places where, even if nothing I'm eating should logically have wheat, I get sick (fries and tzatziki! WTF, cross-contamination!).


SailorGirl

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2016, 01:16:45 PM »
just because "wheat" isn't an ingredient (even with whole foods) that there isn't the risk for wheat cross-contamination, and this is where the "gluten free" label begins to have value.

Hah! It's not what you meant, but I've gotten sick a few times at "Whole Foods" when trying the dishes without wheat from the buffet :-(

I can't eat the burrito bowls at Chipotle's either :-(

Yeah... there's a few local places where, even if nothing I'm eating should logically have wheat, I get sick (fries and tzatziki! WTF, cross-contamination!).

Many places don't have a dedicated fryer and the french fries are cooked in the same place as onion rings or other breaded foods. 

Daley

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2016, 01:18:53 PM »
just because "wheat" isn't an ingredient (even with whole foods) that there isn't the risk for wheat cross-contamination, and this is where the "gluten free" label begins to have value.

Hah! It's not what you meant, but I've gotten sick a few times at "Whole Foods" when trying the dishes without wheat from the buffet :-(

I can't eat the burrito bowls at Chipotle's either :-(

That's why I say stuff like restaurants aren't actually gluten free even with their "gluten free" menus. They may serve food that doesn't have wheat as a primary ingredient that makes the wheat belly hipsters feel good, but to call the food gluten free is impossible when sourced and/or served in a facility that handles any wheat products.

There we go! Wheat Free =/= Gluten Free
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 01:21:13 PM by I.P. Daley »

Mongoose

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2016, 01:19:11 PM »
I have a child with celiac and we either don't eat the types of products normally made with wheat or I bake from scratch using certified flours. I also source or limit rice due to the potential for ingesting more arsenic than I am comfortable with feeding a kid. We use corn tortillas for Mexican/TexMex food but mostly eat meat with fruits, vegetables and legumes. It's just easier. Our grocery bill will never be as low as folks who eat a lot of inexpensive wheat products but we get by on $600 or so for 4 people. I was trying to go lower but it was horrifically stressful. We buy bulk, less expensive cuts of meat and whatever vegetables are on sale, and then buy a few GF ingredients like specialty soy sauce etc.

For GF flours, we found the best local prices are at Natural Grocers. We get almond flour and basmati rice from Trader Joes.

I posted my GF bread recipe a couple of days ago over on my journal. It works well for my kiddo. YMMV.

Miss Piggy

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2016, 01:35:13 PM »
"Gluten-free-shit-in-a-box" is quite expensive due to the current trendiness.  And nearly none of it is even really "healthy."  It just happens to have been made from gluten-free flours.

This cracks me up.

Spouse 1: "Honey, I'm gonna run to the grocery store...you need anything?"

Spouse 2: "Yes! Please pick up some of that gluten-free-shit-in-a-box. I'm almost out. Don't forget...it's not the gluten-free-shit-in-a-bag like you bought last week...get the shit-in-a-box."

workathomedad

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2016, 01:44:13 PM »
I'm also very lactose intolerant. Normally it can be just a secondary reaction of Celiacs, but mine appears to be permanent. Something to watch out for is a damaged gut can have multiple sensitivities. I put up with my Celiacs for years and only caught onto the lactose intolerance first because, I guess, it just slowly became increasingly worse over time but never got as bad as I.P. Daley's reaction. My doctor was very unhelpful and just kept giving me IBS prescriptions. My wife actually figured it out before I did.

I just always felt embarrassed of the problem and didn't really want to think about it. "You mean people aren't supposed to spend a couple hours in the bathroom feeling sick after they eat anything?"
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 01:46:51 PM by workathomedad »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2016, 02:50:29 PM »
I am celiac and I think my daughter is too. I was diagnosed 24 years ago. I am moderately sensitive - no eating shared fryer food but share the toaster oven with the rest of the non-gf family. If I get glutenned, it takes about two weeks to fully recover.  I have difficultly now maintaining iron and B12 levels which is a typical side effect from damaged stomach not healing completely. 

When I was first diagnosed nothing was gluten free anywhere and I was just learning to cook.  I would say that I am a pretty advanced skill level in the kitchen now. But through concerted effort a lot of my cooking doesn't taste gluten free (ie gluey or cardboardish)  Two favourite cookbooks are The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B Russell and Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly. I make a lot of the specialty condiments in the summer and can them- tomato relish, plum sauce, bbq and pasta sauce.   It is pretty second nature to make my own peanut sauce and salad dressing.  I do have to buy gluten free soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce as part of the ingredients. Tremendous savings compared with buying certified gluten free condiments but definitely more expensive than regular making it from scratch would be.
I do buy the gluten free oats, but use them sparingly.  I find it hard to eat a bowl of porridge because my tummy is just not used to that amount of whole grain.  I will add them to cookies or make apple crisp topping. We don't eat a lot of baked goods because they don't taste very good for the price. Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking, by Bronski  has an amazing carrot cake that the extended family asks me to bring to parties now.  Certain types of Indian cuisine is also gluten free and again learning to cook from scratch is the most economical.  I have found that I need to buy organic or more locally packaged products.  The super cheap rice at the Asian import store can cause me problems.
We buy gf bread, tortillas, pizza shells and organic tortilla chips to replace the non-gluten free items.  My daughter has only been eating gluten free for half a year so most of the replica food is eaten by her.  She finds school lunch hard to make but I eat leftovers most lunches.
 
Breakfast is the hardest meal for me.  I eat leftovers, eggs, gf pancakes (made from scratch) yogurt, cheese, fruit, potatoes and occasionally super expensive gf cereal. And trail mix - lots of nuts and dried fruit just waiting for my to snack on. 

lilactree

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2016, 09:59:06 AM »
For those who are super-sensitive to even the tiny amounts of gluten (well under the FDA's 20 ppm), check out the Glutenzap forum. I haven't been on there in a while but it is really for those super-sensitive.

Btw FDA itself says there are those who are sensitive to even 1ppm, but that standard is too hard for the food industry so they decided to go with the traditional 20ppm. Some companies and organizations use a 5ppm standard.

I think I read that a 3ppm limit is widely used in Australia.

Juslookin

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2016, 11:52:54 AM »
I am also a diagnosed Celiac.  I was out to a *mandatory* work dinner the other night. It was of course a pasta restaurant because my boss is an ass.

My co-worker / good friend, was sitting next to me and pointing out all of the good options on their gluten free menu.  Pasta, pasta, pasta and more pasta.  I said to him there is no way I will ever order pasta in a restaurant, they cook it in the same water as the regular pasta.  He was shocked, "you mean just cooking it in the same water will make you sick?" Ummmm, yeah....for the next two days, and probably before I even get home.  The moral of my story is, I have learned to understand that non-celiacs just can't know the extent of the damage a whiff of their gluten toxin will do to us.

So anyway, my advice for OP.  For bread, I use a lot of GF rice cakes.  However, I have a bread option for her if she's willing.  Bob's Red Mill makes a pretty good GF  bread mix, wonderful bread mix I think they call it.  I haven't bought it in a little while, but Amazon sells it by the case.  It was working out to about $3.00 and change a loaf.  I make it in the breadmaker and slice and freeze it.  A loaf will last me quite a while. If your GF needs to have bread this may be an option for her.
Amazon also sells Barilla GF pasta, one of the best I have tried.  It comes out to around $2.00 per box if purchased in bulk.  My pricing isn't exact because it's been a while since I've needed to stock up.

I don't know if these gluten free options will work for her, but they work for me.  I am fairly sensitive, although clearly not as sensitive as I.P. Daley.

I will second some folks advice to just stay away from gluten items.  I do a lot of protein in the form of chicken, fish, beans, love quinoa.  I also do a lot of fruits and veggies.  It's the gluten replacement products that will really get you.  I was diagnosed about three years ago.  When I first went gluten free I went nuts on gluten free processed crap.  You get over that.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 11:55:50 AM by Juslookin »

Kitsune

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2016, 07:02:29 AM »
IF you're craving sweets and don't want to pay 5$ for a mix in a box that'll taste like sweetened cardboard, try this brownie recipe: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/08/gluten-free-brownies-recipe-chocolate/

It is EXCELLENT OMG. Excellent enough that non-GF friends have adopted it as their standard brownie recipe. And the only GF flour used is cornstarch, so... relatively cheap, very accessible. Warning: when the recipe says to mix the batter for a few minutes? DO IT. Otherwise you will have brownie crumble.

ysette9

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2016, 09:43:22 AM »
I do not have Celiac's disease (thankfully) but I would like to chime in from the side of having my eyes opened to what it means to have a food allergy that I (blissfully) was completely ignorant of before.

In my late 20s I developed lactose intolerance to a pretty extreme degree. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. Similar to some experiences of others on this thread, I discovered that my sensitivity was pretty extreme. I can't tell you how tiring it is to constantly be policing ingredients lists or having people in the cheese aisle try to convince me that this aged cheddar doesn't have any lactose in it anymore even though it doesn't say so on the package. (Side story: I actually had a Whole Foods cheese person arguing with me because her special cheese training taught her that such-and-such cheese didn't have lactose, and couldn't seem to understand why I refused to buy it. You may think it is lactose-free but that doesn't stop my gut from reacting poorly over the next two days.)

Since this development I have had a lot more empathy for people who struggle with legitimate food allergies (though I think that the GF craze is ridiculous). Oddly enough, since giving birth and nursing my baby I have experienced something of a reprieve on the lactose-intolerance thing which has been awesome! I am reluctant to completely give up nursing for that reason.... :)

Hhnannies

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2016, 10:11:55 AM »
I am gluten free and find the Rawtil4 diet keeps me regulated and feeling well.  I do not buy GF products and only eat fruits and veggies and rice based.  Definitely less expensive.

Daley

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2016, 10:27:35 AM »
In my late 20s I developed lactose intolerance to a pretty extreme degree.

Reading your story and your problems, I'm not inclined to believe your problem is lactose intolerance, but a casein protein intolerance instead. If truly lactose free dairy items are giving you problems, then it's probably casein.

Since this development I have had a lot more empathy for people who struggle with legitimate food allergies (though I think that the GF craze is ridiculous).

I may joke and lovingly mock the wheat belly hipsters, but it doesn't change the debt of gratitude that this "GF craze" has given me. You have no idea how much easier it is to shop for groceries and dry goods now versus five years ago, and that is entirely thanks to this "GF craze". Most people may be doing it for the wrong reason or improperly, but their numbers have made my life (and the lives of countless other Celiac sufferers as sensitive or worse than my own) immeasurably easier.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 10:31:43 AM by I.P. Daley »

ysette9

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2016, 12:08:52 PM »
Quote
    In my late 20s I developed lactose intolerance to a pretty extreme degree.


Reading your story and your problems, I'm not inclined to believe your problem is lactose intolerance, but a casein protein intolerance instead. If truly lactose-free dairy items are giving you problems, then it's probably casein.

I probably didn't do a good job of explaining myself. Truly lactose-free dairy products are fine; it's just that my definition of "lactose-free" is more stringent than what appears to be sufficient for other people. This is very much in line with the discussion already on this thread of how many PPM of gluten one can handle. It's been irritating to have people insist that a product is lactose-free-enough since it may be for many people, but would still manage to cause me problems.

GreenQueen

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2016, 12:51:39 PM »
1. Think about the way non-North Americans eat, and try that. Corn tortillas, rice or potato noodles (cheap at Asian markets), socca (Italian flatbread made from chickpea flour-cheap at Indian markets), etc.
2. DIY gf bread stuff and freeze it. I make really inexpensive gf pizza dough in big batches, freeze it with no toppings, then bake it when I have a craving. Also make my own gf bread that is fast, cheap and satisifying. Muffins, etc. Search the net for recipes. Tons of resources.


Kitsune

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2016, 01:04:12 PM »
1. Think about the way non-North Americans eat, and try that. Corn tortillas, rice or potato noodles (cheap at Asian markets), socca (Italian flatbread made from chickpea flour-cheap at Indian markets), etc.
2. DIY gf bread stuff and freeze it. I make really inexpensive gf pizza dough in big batches, freeze it with no toppings, then bake it when I have a craving. Also make my own gf bread that is fast, cheap and satisifying. Muffins, etc. Search the net for recipes. Tons of resources.

Agreed, with the caveat that I've been sick from cheap rice noodles that, it turns out, were processed on machines that also processed wheat noodles (ARGH). It's occasionally worth spending $ to get certified GF rice noodles. Shouldn't be necessary, but...

Socca is a FANTASTIC option for pizza dough. As are corn tortillas, if you're going for a tex-mex kinda pizza (avocado, jack cheese, salsa instead of pizza sauce, grill and nom). Or potato latkes made without flour as a breakfast basis (topped with a fried egg and spinach, nom).

Mostly I've found that it's a lot simpler to eat borderline-Paleo than it is to find certified GF flours... and, as I mentioned before, if the cost of steak-and-grilled-mushrooms-with-salad is the same ingredient cost as burger-on-crappy-bun, I certainly know which one I'll pick!!

Daley

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2016, 01:30:24 PM »
I probably didn't do a good job of explaining myself.

Fair enough. I just mentioned it because I've known more than one person in my life who thought their problem was lactose and it turned out to be casein.

rothwem

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2016, 12:29:08 PM »
Hey, thanks for the tips guys!  I've had a nutty week and haven't had time to properly compose a response. 

We currently eat a ton of Mexican food.  Both of us love spicy stuff, and Mexican fits the bill.  We're on board with the corn tortillas, and that Socca sounds like good stuff. 

GreenQueen

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Re: How to cut the grocery bill when living with a Celiac?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2016, 02:08:04 PM »
You might consider buying a whispermill food grinder to make your own flours of every sort (chickpea, rice, etc) and I use my beloved vitamix to make my own gf oat flour (whole gf oats cheaper than gf oat flour), rice flours, etc. Chickpeas are too hard for the vitamix though. Costly options upfront but both will last you many years or decades.

Good luck!