I see a lot of people discussing the cost of free from foods on gluten free forums, pages, etc and although I agree that gluten free food is more expensive and it can be a real annoyance, there’s not a lot that can be done, so there’s no real point in getting worked up about it.
I’d love to pay 95p for 1kg of pasta like it is in the normal aisle and 50p for a loaf of bread would be nice too but unfortunately, it’s unlikely that will ever happen due to having to be gluten free, so I’ve got over it and moved on to making my free from shop as affordable as possible.
When I moved out, I knew I needed to watch what I was buying in the supermarket to avoid the weekly food shop getting out of hand but with careful planning and a few great finds, I’ve managed to keep our weekly food shop for two, most of which is gluten free (J does eat gluten) to under £30 a week and we always have plenty of food in, so I thought I’d share with you how.
Keep Free From Aisle Products to a Minimum
In the local Tesco where I do my weekly shop, there’s a whole aisle dedicated to free from, so it’s easy to get over excited and want to buy everything but my top money saving tip is to buy as little from this aisle as possible.
I still need pasta and bread from time to time and like to buy the odd pack of biscuits or a cake for myself but as a whole, I tend to swiftly walk past this aisle and focus on my next tip…
Go Naturally Gluten Free
The number one way to keep your weekly food bill down whilst being 100% gluten free is to opt for naturally gluten free food/meals opposed to dishes that require processed free from products.
Some top tips is to go for lots of meat and fish if you eat those kinds of foods, lots of veggies and to eat more rice and potatoes and less pasta.
Some of my favourite meals are naturally gluten free such as stir fry, chilli, lamb mince curry and cooked breakfast.
Find Alternatives to Sandwiches for Lunch
Loaves of gluten free bread can cost anywhere up to £3.50 which is a lot of money for a few sandwiches, so I found a big money (and calorie) saver was to ditch the sandwiches at lunch and opt for other things.
Salads are a good one but I like to have rice cakes (Tesco own brand are Coeliac safe) with cold meats and you can add raw veg sticks and houmous too to bulk it up.
If you stopped buying gluten free bread, you could start to make a big weekly saving!
I tend to have a loaf in my freezer if I fancy a sandwich or some toast but try not to make it a daily staple!
Keep An Eye Out for Non-Branded Gluten Free Foods
Not everything in the supermarket that is gluten free is in free from packaging, some foods will naturally contain no gluten and be safe for Coeliacs and others will be labelled gluten free but in regular supermarket packaging and these finds are often a lot cheaper.
I’ve done a whole blog post on my top gluten free finds from outside the free from aisle, so check that out to potentially save yourself some money on things like pasta, crisps and ready meals!
So, there you have it, just a few tips for keeping your weekly food shop down when sticking to a gluten-free diet. I also pick a breakfast that is low cost and only needs purchasing every few weeks such as cereal and also utilise my freezer as much as possible such as freezing leftovers and splitting up packs of meat and freezing into portions, so they last more than one meal.
These tips might not work for everyone but if you’re in a similar situation to me where you’re shopping for two adults, these might be a good place to start.
Do you have any top tips for keeping gluten free food shopping affordable? Share them in the comments!