Things you don’t need in the free from aisle

30th September 2019
Blog post

The “free from” aisle isn’t just for gluten free. Some of the products are there because they have been adapted to be dairy free, egg free, sugar free etc.

If you’re ‘just’ gluten free, here’s a list of items you don’t need to buy in the free from aisle to save yourself some money and broaden your options.

The list broken down into 1) Store Cupboard and 2) Fridge/Freezer.


An example of what I mean – Mayo. If you see it in the “free from aisle”, its probably just because the brand has made a milk or egg free version. Nothing to do with gluten. The majority of mayo’s in the “normal” aisle, including the flavoured ones, are gluten free.


Store Cupboard

Sour Cream, Mayo* & Salad Cream

You don’t need these…

BUY: yet to find a “normal aisle” brand that contains gluten. Supermarket own and the big brands (Heinz, Hellmans etc) are fine.

PRICE SAVING: Chippa Mayo 58p/100g, supermarket own start at around 20p/100g.

DAIRY FREE? If you’re dairy free, you can still buy mayo outside of the free from aisle. Most full fat mayos are fine, or if want a light version check out “Heinz: Seriously Good Light”.

Jars of Sauces e.g. Curry, Pasta, White Sauce

You don’t need these…

BUY: Loads of regular aisle sauces are gluten free. If I listed them all, we’d be here all day :)! If you’re after something specific and can’t find it, message me and I’ll do my best to help!

PRICE SAVING: Asda free from white sauce 19p/100g, Asda essentials white sauce 15p/100g

Gnocchi

You don’t need these…

BUY: Asda’s own regular gnocchi is gluten free.

PRICE SAVING: Asda’s own regular gnocchi £3.20/kg vs. the first option above (which is in Asda’s free from aisle!) £6.80/kg

Cereal bars

You don’t need these…

BUY: Nature Valley protein bars, Nakd bars, Eat Natural, Lidl’s own are all gluten free… just to name just a few!

PRICE SAVING: not much of a price saving but it does add some variety to know you can shop outside of the free from aisle too!

Rice Cakes

You don’t need these…

BUY: Loads of supermarket own brands in the normal aisles are gluten free. Even lots of the flavoured ones. Avoid Snack-a-jacks (made in a factory with gluten).

PRICE SAVING: Tesco’s own milk choc rice cakes 95p/100g, Nature’s store £1.50/100g.

Gravy

You don’t need these…

BUY: Bisto Best is actually gluten free. This one causes lots of confusion. Says ‘may contain traces of gluten’ on the back but if you check on the Coeliac UK app, it says its safe (the traces must be <20ppm).**DOUBLE CHECKING THIS ONE WITH COELIAC UK NOW – im told its recently been removed**

SAVING: not much of a saving but it does add some variety to know you can shop outside of the free from aisle too!

Ketchup

You don’t need these…

BUY: Heinz & supermarket own brands are often gluten free. I think some of the ketchups in the free from section are there because they are low fodmap (ie. no onion, garlic etc).

SAVING: Rubies is 68p/100g, Heinz is more like 40p/100g (depending on the size you buy etc).

Brown Sauce

BUY: HP is not gluten free but supermarket own brands often are safe so you still don’t need to buy the free from aisle version.

Pesto

You don’t need these…

BUY: in the free from aisle because its dairy free. Most pestos are naturally gluten free anyway.

SAVING: strangely they seem to be about the same price as their “normal aisle” alternative so no saving but it can be harder to find vegan pesto so its great to know the “normal aisle” the is fine!

Stock

You don’t need these…

BUY: some brands are in the free from aisle because they are no salt/organic etc. Lots of options in the normal aisle, including Knorr Stock pots/cubes, Kallo and some Oxo stock pots (but not the cubes!!)

SAVING: not much of a saving but it does add some variety to know you can shop outside of the free from aisle too!

Pasta

BUY: ok this one is cheating a bit…if you want “proper” pasta, you will need the free from aisle. But you can technically buy gluten free pasta in the normal aisle too. The lentil/pea options are mostly gluten free. Be warned though, they taste quite different!

Canned Soup

You don’t need these…

BUY: Often in the free from aisle because of dairy. Tons of gluten free options in the normal aisle – obviously avoid minestrone!!

SAVING: No massive savings but adds a lot of variety!

Crisps and Tortilla Chips

You don’t need these…

BUY: not sure I get why there’s any in the free from aisle! Maybe because some are vegan? (but there’s lots of vegan options in the normal aisle too)! There’s tons of naturally gluten free “regular brands” including Kettle Chips, Pom Bears, loads of supermarket own. Crisps guide here.

Chocolate

You don’t need these…

BUY: usually there because its dairy free/vegan/soya free. Lots of “normal” chocolates are gf- thank goodness.. I’d be here all day if I listed them!

SAVING: Vegan chocolate is not cheap!


Fridge/Freezer

  • Yoghurts, milk, butter, cheese, ice cream – Usually only in the free from bit because they’ve been adapted to be dairy free! Be a little careful with ice cream in the normal aisle (cookie flavoured, brownie etc will be off the cards), but otherwise most of the “normal aisles” are fine).
  • Some of the ready meals – Tons of regular aisle ready meals are naturally gluten free e.g. Tesco regular Katsu
  • Fishcakes/Battered fish etc – Coop’s normal aisle options are mostly gluten free (and clearly labelled as such)
  • Sausages – Most sausages in the fridge section of the supermarket will be gluten free. Warning – often butchers sausages, and “cheaper” options inc frozen lines often contain wheat. If you’re after gluten free cheaper sausages, Asda have just launched some for around 89p
  • Chicken Nuggets – if you shop in M&S, the normal aisle nuggets are gf and taste just like Mcdonald’s

Note on Cereals

Prepare to be a bit annoyed… We used to consider a lot of supermarket own cereals “gluten free” and they are SO much cheaper than their gluten free aisle alternative. However, we can’t do that anymore so if you want cereal, you’re stuck with the free from aisle prices.

What happened? Most normal aisle cereals that used to be gluten free have “barley malt extract” in them and Coeliac UK changed the rules on how we treat that ingredient. This is my understanding of it:

  • The old rule: they used to work with the supermarkets to decide whether the level of gluten in the product was less than 20ppm. If it was, they’d let us know it was safe in the food scanner app, even if the product packaging didn’t bother stating “gluten free” itself.
  • The new rule: Coeliac UK aren’t doing this anymore. They want to force the manufacturers to add better “gluten free” labels to the packaging so they’ve removed any items containing “barley malt extract” from the food scanner app, unless the company have put gluten free on the label.

As far as I’m aware, none of the supermarkets have altered their labels so now we have no way of knowing what is gluten free/not. Newbies, that means we have no way of knowing which ones have <20ppm of gluten and are therefore safe. Oldies, if you ate a normal aisle cereal before because they used to be safe on the app, how do you know if the recipe changed? Probably not safe anymore :(!

Not sure how I feel about it… if Coeliac UK could make an exception for cereals, that would be such a cost saving.



Please remember, the points above are NOT hard rules, it varies from one brand to another so please please please check!!!!!! As always please check at the time, incase the recipe has changed.

1 Comments

  • Cara

    30th September 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Ahhhh I have to try the Gnocchi!! Thanks for this 🙂

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