How To Eat Healthy Gluten-Free Meals On A Budget
Have you ever looked at your grocery bill and realized that you spend far too much on food? Food is one of the most significant expenses we incur every month. Add a strict gluten-free diet to that and watch the numbers jump.
That stops now! We are going to share with you how to eat healthy gluten-free meals on a budget.
Whether you or someone you love has Celiac disease, or you are gluten-intolerant or have just chosen a gluten-free diet for an overall healthier way of living, it is possible to stick to a healthy gluten-free diet without breaking the bank.
Let’s take a look at some helpful tips that will show you how to cut down on your monthly grocery bill while following a gluten-free diet.
10 Tips To Eat Healthy Gluten-Free Meals On A Budget
1) Carbohydrates – budget-friendly and satisfying
Carbohydrates are essential elements in any diet. For someone on a gluten-free diet, choosing gluten-free carbohydrates to include in meals is vital. Costs can quickly add up when sourcing gluten-free carb options. However, if you can stick to cheaper gluten-free carbohydrates, it will make a significant difference in the amount you spend on maintaining a strict gluten-free diet.
Some budget-friendly gluten-free carbohydrate options you can include in your healthy diet are:
- Certified Gluten-Free Oats
- Non-GMO Corn
These are naturally gluten-free, budget friendly carbohydrate options you can add to your gluten-free diet. One of our most popular meals on a budget is Gluten-Free Cheese Burger Mac & Cheese. With these cheaper carb options, there are plenty of tasty recipes for you to try.
2) Opt for naturally gluten-free food items.
In the gluten-free universe, the less processed something is, the healthier it tends to be, and the more likely it will be more cost-effective than the processed options out there.
Instead of choosing processed food with gluten-free labels that will quickly rack up how much you spend on gluten-free meals, opt for food items that are naturally gluten-free, like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, seeds and nuts, legumes and gluten-free grains. Choosing fresh, naturally gluten-free options costs less than the processed ones. Healthline.com hosts a comprehensive list of naturally gluten-free food items to include in your diet.
- gluten-free grains – rice, millet, arrowroot, buckwheat, sweet sorghum, quinoa, corn
- fresh produce – all fresh fruit and vegetables
- lean proteins – fish, chicken, beef, pork, turkey
- nuts and seeds – almonds, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
- legumes – lentils, beans, chickpeas
- dairy – cheese, plain yogurt, butter, milk,
3) Shop for food items in bulk.
One option that people often overlook and that ultimately helps you save is bulk shopping. When shopping for groceries, generally, shopping in bulk allows you to get better deals. Once you buy in bulk, all that is needed is to make adequate storage preparations to keep everything fresh for as long as possible. Check out our tips on how to store fresh herbs to last longer.
One great way to save on fresh, naturally gluten-free food is to plan towards farmer’s markets or shop in bulk supermarkets like Costco. In-season produce is always better priced, and it is fresh and tastier. Once you’ve identified essential naturally gluten-free food items you would like to purchase and include in your healthy diet, then you can plan towards getting them in bulk from farmer’s markets and other bulk supermarkets.
4) Make your gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
There are so many gluten-free flour blends on the market now. From Better Batter to Cup4Cup. Most blends are costly. Yes they are easier because these blends are pre-measured and ready to use in recipes. But making gluten-free flour blend from scratch using bullk flour will save you enormous amount of money. Here is a good make at home gluten-free flour blend
5) Cook your meals from scratch.
While time may make this look difficult and impossible at times, cooking meals from scratch at home is the best way to cut costs on a gluten-free diet. There are so many easy glute-free recipes available now that even novice cooks can prepare the best meals or bake that special dessert.
6) Eating out is costly and a possibility of being glutened.
Treat eating out like a luxury and make it an event that happens only on special occasions. This will save you money and the possibility of being glutened. Most restaurants are not correctly set up for preparing gluten-free food. They assume that by using gluten-free ingredients, their food is gluten-free. This is how gluten cross-contamination often happens. There are several gluten-free restaurants popping up, and these are the only places I would recommend eating out at. But they are costly.
7) What about packaged processed foods?
Frequently purchasing packaged processed foods will quickly increase the amount you are spending. Cooking gluten-free meals at home from scratch helps you save costs and provides you with healthier and more delicious options. You also control the salt, fats and other possibly unwanted ingredients in your meals. I think cutting out packaged gluten-free processed foods is probably the greatest saving.
8) Plan your meals, make extra and freeze for future use.
In line with buying in bulk, on days when you have time on your hands, double or triple your recipes. This way, you can store extra meals in the freezer for future use. By freezing extra meals, it will prevent you from buying impromptu packaged meals and unplanned eats out. This is a substantial cost-saving option that helps you save in the long term, not to mention avoiding extra time in the kitchen.
9) Be organized, make a plan and stick with it.
Being organized, making a plan, and sticking with it are tips that work together with all the tips mentioned above. Planning ahead will also help you make meal plans for the week or a month and help you stay within your budget. This avoids extra shopping trips to supermarkets and picking up items that you probably don’t need.
10) A shopping list is a must!
Making shopping lists, listing food items to shop for in bulk, identifying when produce is in season, and where to shop from all go hand in hand with planning, being organized and knowing where the best deals are.
By having a shopping list, you have most likely done your research, and you know where to get the cheapest ingredients. Without the list, you will walk through a store aimlessly, probably get frustrated and buy the first item on the shelf, regardless of the cost.
You’ll need to stick with your meal plans to reduce eating out and buying impromptu meals. Sticking with planned shopping lists and where to shop for discounts will help you with great deals when buying in bulk and stocking up gluten-free food items for your pantry.
If you are out of inspiration on the gluten-free meals to cook, check out our easy to prepare everyday simple and nutritious meal recipes. Our comprehensive dinner ideas bursting with nutrients and flavours will provide you with more than enough inspiration, whether it’s a weeknight meal for the family or a weekend crowd entertainment.
Even though life will happen and throw you off your plans occasionally, having a plan means there is always something to return to and continue with. The book “My Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity” is a great meal plan that will help you plan and remain organized on your gluten-free journey.
Do you think it’s challenging to eat healthy gluten-free meals on a budget? Armed with the tips mentioned above, I’m sure you agree that while it may look complicated at first, eating gluten-free without breaking the bank is possible and achievable.