My friends at Health Now Medical have a great clinic for Gluten sensitivity testing. They also have a few pointers that I’d like to share with you.
First of all, it is worth spending money on Gluten Free food if you’ve been diagnosed with either celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. I’m sure you’ve noticed the additional expense associated with gluten-free breads, pastas and baked goods.
When I first went Gluten Free I thought it was way too expensive. I would cheat and not always stay the course. After understanding the long term implications – I never looked back.
Gluten Free Products are generally more expensive. However, if you look at the big picture such as short term and long term health ramifications it is WAY cheaper than the long term negative health ramifications. I suggest not cheating and sticking to the course.
Here are some helpful tips on how to purchase gluten free products on a shoe string budget:
1. Buy in bulk. If you find something you like, see if the grocery store will let you buy a case of it (at a discount) to save some money. I know Whole Foods does this, but check with your grocery store.
2. Buy online. When I find a product I enjoy, I see if they’ll sell directly to me. It’s often much less expensive than buying at the grocery store. If the amount they’ll sell to you seem too much for you to consume in a timely manner, consider sharing with a friend or family member who’s also eating gluten-free.
3. Bake your own “goodies” instead of buying the pre-packaged ones. Pre-prepared baked goods are very pricey. Making your own is definitely healthier and less expensive because you are providing the labor. Please remember to keep these desserts and highly refined treats to a minimum.
4. This tip may sound strange, but… keep your receipt. I frequently hear patients complain that not only was the loaf of bread they tried super expensive, but they didn’t even like it and ended up throwing half of it away. Have you ever done that? Bought something that was gluten-free or dairy-free and then you didn’t like it? Did you throw it away? Let me tell you a little secret. This is true at Whole Foods, it’s true at Safeway, and it’s likely true wherever you shop: Hold on to your receipt and you can return pretty much anything. Why? You actually don’t need a reason beyond, “I didn’t like it.” Honestly. I can only speak for Whole Foods from the level of personal experience, but I did a little research and Safeway has newly launched their “Gluten Free Eating Right” line where a 100% money back guarantee is guaranteed if you’re not happy with your purchase. Don’t be shy. I do this often. I’m frequently trying new products for my personal use as well as a way to let clients know about new things. I keep my receipt and have often made returns. The stores want you to do this so that you’ll continue to experiment until you find the brands you love.
5. Start a garden. No, you won’t be growing your own gluten-free grains, but the money you save from growing your own organic vegetables can be quite a help on your overall budget. It’s fun to have your own garden and, if you’ve got a nice relationship with nearby neighbors, consider getting together and growing different vegetables that can be shared.
6. Consider eating less meat. What does this have to do with saving money? The types of animal products you should be eating are very expensive. Grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chickens and wild or healthfully fed farm-raised fish are pricey. Beans, on the other hand, are quite cheap. Grocery bills can be cheaper if you purchase protein in the form of beans, whole grains, nuts and greens. These meals can be fun to make, are quite delicious, and you may notice feeling less full and better overall after eating this way. If you need some recipes, let me know!
I hope you found these tips helpful and will share with a friend. For more recipes and Gluten Free Programs check out my online programs. They are all Gluten Free and Whole Food based. Focused on reducing inflammation too!