Food Fondles

Gluten Free Diet on A Budget: My Top 4 Tips

I have been eating a gluten free diet for the past 5 years now in efforts to improve my digestion, IBS stomach bloat and improving my effort in reducing inflammation in my body. Another hobby of mine is personal finance and budgeting, therefore I absolutely love finding ways to eat a gluten free diet on a budget. Here are my top tips that have helped me control my spending when following a gluten free diet.

Avoid splurging on gluten-free alternatives

This is my first tip because the moment I embarked on a gluten free diet, everything in the Free From section excited me. If like me, you get excited about all the substitutes you can have, only to realise they are astonishingly more expensive than their wheat counterparts and the majority of the time aren’t as satisfying. But instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can! For example, there are many alternatives right under our noses for a staple like bread. If you think of the essence of bread, it is used for is sandwiching in items or making crunchy toast. Thus, instead of gluten free bread (which 90% of the time is purely unsatisfying) use lettuce to wrap your fillings in, or rice cakes with plenty of toppings for that perfect crunch. By no means am I saying this will be as satisfying as a nice piece of fresh sourdough, but it sure does help! Another swap suggestion is opting for potatoes or rice instead of pasta, both of which are staples in my diet.

Buy in Bulk

Even before I adapted to a gluten free diet, I absolutely loved rice. This was a huge plus because it sure helped me eat a gluten free diet on a budget. I’d choose it over pasta any day. I always have a stash to hand and it makes a perfect accompaniment to any sauce, stew, curry, salmon, chicken..the list goes on. I regularly buy a 10kg bag (£9.50 for a 10 kg bag from Sainsbury’s) One item I have bought more of, though, are potatoes. I usually buy a 2 kg bag of Maris Piper potatoes (.80p per kilo in Sainsbury’s) and). Further to this, I always buy chilli, ginger and various vegetables and keep them in the freezer. Chilli and ginger freeze exceptionally well and you can use from frozen. Simply cut the chilli up or grate the ginger straight into your recipe. And a bonus tip to avoid food waste – buy frozen vegetables!

Shop in the World Foods section

This is probably the most underrated tip and, in my opinion, is not utilised enough. You know those big bags of rice I mentioned? This is where you will find them cheaper. Forget the rice section, head straight to this one. These sections can usually be found on the outside shelves. Items that I buy from these sections are: coconut milk which is great for curries, various dried spices, rice, rice noodles which are great for Asian soups (like this one!), pickled and tinned vegetables (especially beans, lentils, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes), sauces such as gluten free soy sauce (Tamari) and any other condiments, like sriracha and chilli sauce.

Make enough for dinner the night before for leftovers the next day

This I cannot stress enough. I take my lunch into work every single day. Whether it be a salad, a curry, a traybake or rice and meat from the dinner before. Buying lunch everyday, gluten free or not, is a sure fast way to rack up some serious spending at the end of the month. Where I work in London the average price of lunch is £7 and I don’t know about you, I’d prefer my cooking. Also, this saves the hassle of having to seek out gluten free options which means giving the trainee cashier a grilling about how you can only eat gluten free food, who has no idea what you’re talking about, and has to get 3 other staff members involved. We’ve all been there.

I hope my top tips help you, let me know in the comments if you found them useful!

Want to see my other posts?

The Best Gluten Free Greek Dishes
The Best Gluten Free Albanian Dishes
The Best Gluten Free Italian Dishes

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