The Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Aspergers (SCD) on a Budget

If you're considering the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for yourself or your child, one thing you might be concerned about is how much it's going to cost. With ingredients such as almond flour, honey, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables and animal protein, it's a legitimate concern given that many of these items cost more than grains like pasta and rice that are common staples of the American diet. However, it is possible to follow the SCD on a budget. The SCD doesn't need to be expensive if you know where to shop and plan ahead.

Homemade SCD Blueberry Muffins
Homemade SCD Blueberry Muffins | Source

Common SCD Foods & Supplements and Where to Get Them for the Best Price

When my son started on the SCD, I was blown away by the cost of almond flour (if I could even find it!), honey, dietary supplements, and his favorite snack LaraBars. I was already purchasing other SCD staples like eggs, meat, poultry, fresh fruit, and vegetables but I knew I would be going through even more of these items and that I would need to find sources and strategies to save money.

  • Almond Flour: If you try to find almond flour at your grocery store, you may be out of luck since most typical grocery stores don't carry it. Whole Foods might have it but if they do, be prepared to pay upwards of $12 a pound. I also saw Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour for $10 a pound on Amazon. You can definitely do better than this if you shop around and buy in bulk. Because I use so much almond flour, I've started purchasing it 25 pounds at a time for only $4.85 per pound + shipping. I use Just Almonds (www.justalmonds.com) as my source and have been very happy with the quality and pricing. When the 25 pound box arrives I break it up into smaller portions using gallon size freezer bags and place them in the freezer. I always have some in the refrigerator for ready use. I purchase the 25 pound boxes approximately every 4 months or 3 times a year for a total annual cost of about $400 a year including shipping.
  • Honey: Honey is really expensive lately! I'm amazed at how much the grocery stores charge for a small container of it. Since I use so much, I needed to find a source of bulk honey for a less expensive price. Costco is the place I turn to now for this SCD staple. There, you can purchase an 80 oz / 5 pound bottle of honey for around $10. This lasts about 3 months for me and I use it all the time. The cost is only about $40 a year.
  • Larabars: My son loves the Cherry Pie Larabars. Because they're one of the only packaged snack foods that are allowed on the SCD, I love the convenience for packed lunches and quick snacks. Unfortunately, they can be expensive. If you buy single bars.you could pay $1.69 for each, which is the list price. I've found that you can save a lot of money by purchasing an entire case at a time. I usually go to Whole Foods and get a case of 16 for about $19 or about $1.20 each. Or, Amazon has an offer where you can agree to get regular shipments and pay only $16.62 per box or $1.05 each. You may also qualify for free shipping.
  • Supplements: Dietary supplements can be so expensive, especially those recommended on the SCD. I've found a source of supplements that I like with GI ProHealth. This company specializes in vitamins and enzymes for the SCD, using only allowed ingredients. Unfortunately, for the enzymes and multi-vitamin, I've been spending about $50 a month. My son has been following the SCD for a while and is doing really well and eating a variety of healthy foods to I decided to try giving him fewer vitamins than the recommendation on the bottle to stretch them further. Instead of giving him 6 a day, I've been giving him 4 and I haven't noticed any adverse affects. So my advice would be to purchase a quality vitamin but try to make it last longer. Another great place to buy supplements is Costco. This is where I purchase our Vitamin D and Fish Oil and I've found the savings to be substantial.
  • Meat and Poultry: Saving on these staples isn't too hard. I usually just wait until they go on sale at the grocery store and then stock up, using the freezer for storage until I'm ready to use it. I've found that my regular grocery store has much better prices than Costco on meats and poultry when they have a sale. Another option, that I haven't tried yet, is to go in with another family to purchase a side of cow direct from the farmer. You'll need a lot of freezer space but the cost savings and potential health benefits are huge.
  • Eggs: Again, Costco is my go-to store for eggs. My family uses 2-3 cartons of 18 eggs each week. Some are used for baking SCD friendly foods and others we hard-boil and eat as snacks or with breakfast. With so many eggs being eaten, I needed an inexpensive source. At Costco, I can purchase a two-pack of 18 eggs for about $3.50. So they're about half the cost of my regular grocery store. What a money saver!
  • Fresh Fruit & Vegetables: To save money on fruit and vegetables, I try to buy what's in season and on sale. This is one area where it's difficult to save money because the items are perishable. One way to get around that is to buy frozen fruit and vegetables. My son's favorite SCD muffin recipe calls for blueberries, which are very expensive whether fresh or frozen. Again, Costco has come to the rescue. There, I can buy a 4 pound bag of frozen wild blueberries for a steal. I forget the actual price since I haven't purchased them in awhile but I think it's around $10-$12 for that bag. This is a substantial savings over the grocery store. Raisins for muffins are another option and again, Costco sells them in bulk for an unbeatable price.

As you can see, the SCD doesn't need to be expensive. You can easily implement it and stay within a budget if you buy in bulk and plan ahead. Joining a membership club like Costco can help. Even though you pay an annual fee to join, the savings over the year will more than pay for it. So don't let money be a reason for not starting the SCD. It can be a very beneficial diet for children and adults with autism, Aspergers, Chrohn's, and Colitis.

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Comments 3 comments

BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

I seems to me the healthy foods are more expensive (for example organics). Even the cost of fruits and vegetables are going up.

And the less healthy food (like fast food, pizza) are inexpensive.

But our health is worth it. So I would go for the healthy ones even if it cost more. I'll just buy a less expensive car or cell phone instead.

By the way, maybe you can write another Hub about what exactly is the SCD diet. I am not familiar with it.


SD Dickens profile image

SD Dickens 5 years ago Author

Thanks BlissfulWriter...see the linked Hub aboe: SCD Benefits for Autism and Aspergers for more information on the SCD. It's a diet that limits certain types of carbohydrates in order to promote digestive health and is used for Autism, Aspergers and Crohn's disease.


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 4 years ago from NY

Great hub. One of my daughters is a vegan, so I know what you're talking about when you say it's expensive! My youngest son has PDD-Nos on the autism spectrum. I found he is allergic to MSG. I wanted to put him on the DAN diet, but his father is not on the same page so it's difficult. Fortunately, he loves fruits and veggies so I try to give him lots of it. Better than the fast food his father loves.. Ughh!

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