If you’re following a gluten-free diet, you probably notice that it’s harder to manage your grocery bills since most gluten-free products are quite expensive. With this, it makes you think twice whether you should stick to this type of diet or switch to a more practical diet that can still meet your health and fitness needs.
While other people can easily change their diets as they please, this doesn’t apply to those who are diagnosed with medical conditions such as Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. For them, having a gluten-free diet is imperative. If they eat gluten-containing foods, their bodies will exhibit uncomfortable digestive symptoms that can make their conditions worse. Nevertheless, unlike other medical conditions, these ones are more manageable and have fewer food restrictions.
Whether you’re choosing a gluten-free diet due to medical reasons or not, you can still lead a healthy life and have fun eating gluten-free foods without breaking the bank by performing the following tips:
Center your meals around lean meats, whole grains, and produce.
Oftentimes, processed gluten-free products such as bread, cereals, pasta, and pastries make you pour money down the drain. Instead of preparing and eating a large portion of these food groups, center your meals around lean meats, whole grains, and produce. Aside from being readily available in your local grocery shops and from your preferred organic food online stores, these food groups are undoubtedly healthier and cheaper than specialty-made gluten-free products.
If you haven’t made your research yet, all types of meat such as pork, beef, lamb, fish, and poultry are gluten-free. Meanwhile, you can replace gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye with quinoa, oats, brown rice, and buckwheat. All fresh fruits and vegetables are also gluten-free. However, it may not be the same for dried and preserved produce since some of the ingredients used might not be gluten-free.
Create your meal plan for the week and make a grocery list.
Another great way to save money while on a gluten-free diet is creating a meal plan and a grocery list. Planning your meals ahead of time ensures a more balanced gluten-free menu and a more organized grocery list.
Based on your meal plan, you can list and buy food ingredients that you only need, preventing unused ingredients from spoiling or going to waste. Also, this helps prevent yourself from impulsively buying expensive gluten-free convenience foods.
Avoid buying gluten-free snacks and convenience meals.
Expensive gluten-free products are those that often come packed or boxed such as snacks and convenience meals. In fact, a gluten-free loaf usually cost two or two times more than the conventional loaf. While most food manufacturers try to make their products gluten-free, it doesn’t always mean that they’re also healthy. Even some gluten-free products can be considered junk such as cookies, candies, crackers, and ice cream because of their high caloric, starch, and sugar content.
Instead of buying gluten-free snacks and convenience meals, you can try making your own gluten-free snacks out of lean meats, whole grains, and fresh produce. You can make a healthy popcorn mix with fruits and peanuts, cheesy chicken sticks, zucchini pizzas, tuna lettuce cups, quinoa rice cakes, and many more.
Consider buying gluten-free products online.
Sometimes, the best deals on gluten-free products can be found online. Online grocery stores often offer exclusive deals that cannot be bought in their physical counterparts. They also give away special vouchers and coupons that help you save on your purchase. What’s more, they offer free shipping promotions when you buy in bulk and meet their required minimum order.
Eating a healthy gluten-free diet while not being broke is still possible if you make careful food choices. Instead of always picking food products from the “free-from aisles,” you can also make your gluten-free food from scratch. This way, you’re guaranteed to have a healthier yet affordable gluten-free meal.