How to Live Gluten Free on a Budget
As with eating healthy to lose weight, foods that are good for you can cost more than the normal. Living gluten free adds another layer to that cost. Here are some tips to help you to live a gluten free lifestyle without breaking the bank.
Why Gluten Free?
Most people don’t eat gluten free simply for the heck of it. There is a reason. That reason is usually a gluten sensitivity that has resulted in celiac disease. Celiac disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the gluten protein when it is found in your digestive system, namely the small intestine.
Damage done to the intestinal villi results in the inability of the body to absorb vital nutrients-like vitamins and minerals-that promote health on a cellular level. Your body could be literally starving for nutrition even though you are eating every day.
Medication can help but the only way to keep your systems from being affected is to stop eating the gluten protein. In a society that uses a lot of foods and products that contain gluten, this proposition is easier said than done. There are more cereals, bagels and breads that are gluten free on the market but they also will cost you more. Let’s say that you wanted to make your own gluten free bread. You will pay four or five times more for the flour to do it.
How can you save money going gluten free? Here are some tips.
Tips for Stocking a Gluten Free Pantry
1. Stock your pantry – The first tip is in the headline – stock your pantry instead of buying prepared meals and desserts. You never know what might be hiding in these foods or if there has been cross-contamination. You can petition the manufacturer for an ingredient list but it’s much simpler to cook your meals at home. That way, you know what you are eating at all times.
2. Find gluten free fare for everyone – Even though you are the only member of the household with celiac disease, you don’t have to spend money on two sets of groceries. There are plenty of foods that your family can enjoy that don’t involve gluten. Create more dishes with beans, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit and fresh meats and fish.
3. Eat leftovers – Instead of throwing them away, use leftover ingredients to create new dishes. Make a casserole or a soup for next night’s dinner.
4. Buy in bulk – For foods that you just love like pasta, you’ll pay more for gluten free varieties but over time it will pay for itself with increased use with no waste.
5. Make your own broth – Simmer your favorite vegetables and seasonings in water and then strain it. Let cool and then pour into smaller containers to use right away or freeze for later.
6. Use meat sparingly – Have two or three vegetarian meals a week. Let meat become a treat instead of the norm.