21 Tips to Make Your Gluten Free Shop Cheaper
“Gluten free on a budget” is not easy!!! Everything seems more expensive but I want show you ways around it.
I will never understand the £5 supplement I regularly see on gluten free pizzas in restaurants and don’t get me started on the £3.50 loaves of bread. But, its not changing any time soon, so I thought I’d gather together a few tips to help get the cost down.
It’s broken down into:
- Bread and pasta
- The rest of your shop
- Starter Boxes
- Helpful Apps & Websites
- Allergy Shows
Bread & Pasta
(1) Stockpile bread when its reduced and freeze it. I think it holds together better when cooked from frozen anyway! *YOU CAN FREEZE WRAPS TOO!!*
(2) Buy different breads for different uses. Love this tip!! Some of you said you buy different breads for different things to bring the price down – ie. buy the more expensive stuff for fresh sandwiches but cheaper stuff if its just for toast/bread & butter pudding/breadcrumbs. Genius!
(3) Swap them for something else. Gluten free bread and pasta will always be more expensive so can you swap it for a naturally gluten free, cheaper alternative e.g. potatoes or rice? Just occasionally maybe?
(4) Buy your rice in bulk.
- 10kg of Tilda comes in at £2.30/kg whereas the small bags are £4.75/kg!!!!
- Don’t forget to check the rice in the world food aisle – Kohinoor 10kg bag comes in at £1.75/kg.
(5) Make your expensive pasta last a little longer. I only like the more expensive gluten free pasta brands so it can be expensive. I like to pack mine out with veg, mainly to get extra veggies in but it does bring the cost down too! You could use courgetti/boodles or my current fave is to add chunks of aubergine for the fibre hit which also helps to fill you up.
(6) Watch out for events in supermarkets – Aldi often has a gluten free week where Old El Paso gluten free boxes, wraps, etc are discounted so buy plenty and freeze them!
(7) Hunt down the gluten free meal deals – some places do include gluten free in their meal deals, even the coop has a few options!
(8) Thermos/Hot Pot for Lunch – If you regularly eat on-the-go, that can be really expensive. Maybe invest in one of these so you can take leftovers and eat when you’re ready! Top 10 guide
How to make the rest of it cheaper
(9) Stop buying ready-meals. Batch cook instead. An obvious one but easy to not do. Bolognese is always a good one.
(10) Grab yellow sticker bargains when you see them – aka price reductions when something is coming close to is best before date. Ask your supermarket if there is a common time/day they do it. Bread is always a fab one because you can just shove it in the freezer as soon as you’re home and it’ll keep for ages.
(11) Don’t share your gf food with others in the house. Controversial one because of the cross contamination risk but I know lots of you do this. For example, we get through a lot of wraps! It would be really expensive if Charlie ate mine so he always has “normal ones”. And with something like this, there isn’t too many crumbs anyway!!
(12) Don’t buy stuff just because its in the free from aisle. Ok, I’ve fell foul to this one. Shortly after my diagnosis, I bought a celebration cake. It wasn’t anyones birthdays, I just felt I needed it. Its something I’d never have done before my diagnosis- so why do it now!! I’ve got a whole blog post about “stuff you don’t need in the free from aisle” to help here too!
If you want to see the *complete list* of accidentally gluten free products at each of the supermarkets, click the names below.
(13) Bake your own snacks & treats where possible. Unless you’re queen/king of the baking fails (which I’m sure none of you are!!!!), making at home is almost always cheaper.
(14) Make Fakeaways – Its hard to find safe, gluten free takeaways so I often make my own at home which works out so much cheaper anyway. Here’s my fakeaway guide.
(15) Can you change other bits in your trolley? Maybe you can’t save on the free from stuff but how about looking at the rest of your trolley and swapping away from the big brands? Channelling my inner “Eat Well for Less” here… supermarket own beans are often gluten free and so much cheaper. 4 tins of Asdas own are £1 vs Heinz £2.50.
(16) Did you know, in some places you can get bread and flour on prescription!??! There have been a lot of changes to prescription policies for coeliacs recently but Coeliac UK has loads of info on their website. Check here. They’ve even got a map of regions that are eligible.
I’ve actually never lived in an eligible region, but you might be more lucky!!
Register for Starter Boxes
(17) Some gluten free brands offer “starter boxes” FOR FREE. By simply signing up, they will send you a box of goodies to try!
- If you’re eligible for prescriptions, you can get a starter box.
- If you’re not eligible, you can still get a free loaf of bread to try!
- Either call them or email (details on on their website here, “free starter pack” in orange at the top).
- Please note, their bread contains milk.
- Glutafin (sister company of Schar) – if you’re eligible for prescriptions, you can get a taster box. You can sign up via their website or call them!
Here’s pics of what you’d likely receive:
(18) Approved Food
What they do: “We specialise in surplus and short-dated stock, food that is either near or just passed its ‘best before’ date – allowing us to pass on huge savings to our customers.” It safe!!!! It looks at the “best before” date (more of a taste/look type thing), not “use before” (safety).
There’s tons of gf products on there – from cereals to nut butters. I found some dairy free milk and gluten free pasta, both down from £2.99 to 0.99. Well worth checking it out!! Here’s their website.
(19) Here’s a few more apps that have been recommended by my lovely insta friend @budgethealthyeating.
- Olio – free food in your local area (works a bit like fb marketplace)
- TooGoodToGo – buy and collect discounted food from retailers with surplus food
- Green Jinn – cashback
- Shopmium- cashback
- CheckOut Smart – cashback
(20) Coop – sign up and get £1 off your shop and then they send you lots of offers after!
Try new products at Allergy Shows
(21) Gluten free cereal bars, breads etc can be expensive so if you’re looking for something new, it can be extra disappointing when you’ve spent £2 on a new cereal bar and its rubbish. A great way to try new bits is the Allergy Shows (my fave is the summer one at the Excel). There’s always TONs of samples on offer!!
HELPFUL POSTS to get the cost down
Stuff you don’t need in the free from aisle – the free from aisle is expensive but there’s lots of bits you don’t actually need there. Find out what I’m on about here!
Hope this has been useful! If you’ve got any other tips I should add, please shout!!