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Gluten Free on a Budget

Updated on October 26, 2014

Eating Gluten Free Can Be Affordable

When you first start looking at a gluten free diet, you may be overwhelmed by the cost of some of the items. Don't let that discourage you! You really can afford to eat gluten free foods that won't break the budget!!

In all reality, gluten free can be as expensive or as low cost as you make it.

For starters, you might be tempted to run to the local gluten free specialty store but the truth is that most grocery stores carry a lot of gluten free food already at much better prices. For example, Gluten Free Bisquick was $6.59 at the gluten free specialty store but the same box was only $4.59 at my grocery store. That's a $2.00 difference for the exact same item! Huge difference! If just one item made that much of a difference, think how much you would save if you bought 10 items.

Image credit: JenwithFlash

gluten free breakfast ideas
gluten free breakfast ideas

Start Your Day with a Great Gluten Free Breakfast!

There are so many options available for breakfast but since we are going for affordable here, we'll start with yogurt and juice. My breakfast here consists of a Yoplait yogurt for $0.70 and a bottle of Lipton 100% Natural Citrus Tea for $1.39. Breakfast for $2.09.

We can go even cheaper with 2 eggs for $0.16 each plus shredded cheese, approximately $0.50. Add a glass of milk for $0.18. (One gallon for $3.00 divided by 16 servings). There's a nice breakfast for $1.04.

If these options are still too costly, buy a box of Chex cereal for the week. For $3.99, you can have a gluten free breakfast every day for a week.

Add a banana to any of these meals for about $0.29 and it will be even more filling!

Image credit: JenwithFlash

LUNCH!

Gluten free lunch
Gluten free lunch

Lunch and dinner can get a little trickier to put together on a budget but it can be done! Here's one of my most frequent lunches.

I bought this salad at work off of the salad bar. It consists of lettuce, a few cucumber slices, 3 cherry tomatoes, a few onion slices, about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, and some oil. It cost me $1.94. I added some Wishbone Italian dressing - let's say maybe $0.25. I paid $1.59 for the bottle and have used it quite a few times. I have my bottle of Super Fruit Punch Honest Ade for $1.39 and Frito's for $0.23. I bought this little package for the picture for $1.00 but if you buy a big family size bag of Frito's, they come to $0.23 per serving. That's a total lunch for $3.81 - less than a McDonald's Value Meal and it's gluten free!

Image credit: JenwithFlash

Take Your Own Gluten Free Salad for Lunch!

Tupperware Salad-to-Go Lunch Set, Bowl, Utensils, Dressing Container, Blue
Tupperware Salad-to-Go Lunch Set, Bowl, Utensils, Dressing Container, Blue

This great container comes with utensils and a dressing container. Big size for filling salads.

 

It Might Not Seem Like a Lot of Food!

Much More Filling Than It Looks!

A few months ago, I wouldn't have thought I could survive on this little bit of food. However, the one big thing that I've learned about eating gluten free is that you don't crave foods and the meals that you eat are actually very satisfying. I'm not sure if it's the same for everyone but if it is, it makes a huge difference when you realize you don't have to buy as much food.

Snacks and Drinks - Plenty of Options!

gluten-free-on-a-budget
gluten-free-on-a-budget

Snacks and drinks are both fairly easy to find. All fruits and vegetables are gluten free and can fit into most budgets. Corn chips and salsa are more good choices. There's plenty of gluten free drinks to choose from too such as soda, teas,and juices.

Image credit: JenwithFlash

Make It More Fun

Using a decorative lunch bag can make the boring task of taking lunch to work every day more fun. It makes lunch a little less mundane! Everyone can have their own unique bag in their own unique style.

BUILT NY Spicy Relish Neoprene Lunch Bag with Adjustable Crossbody Strap, Mini Dot Navy
BUILT NY Spicy Relish Neoprene Lunch Bag with Adjustable Crossbody Strap, Mini Dot Navy

Nice stylish lunch bag! Keep your food insulated and cool for a super lunch!

 
BUILT Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote
BUILT Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote

Nobody will even know that it's a lunch bag because you'll be so stylish!! This lunch bag keeps your food cool and looks like a purse.

 
gluten free on a budget
gluten free on a budget

Dinner

I don't have the costs for most of these items but here's a few ideas for gluten free dinners.

Tacos. These can be made fairly inexpensive with items that you can find at most grocery stores. Ortega shells, ground beef, Sargento shredded cheese, and La Preferida taco seasoning are all gluten free. Add as many veggies as you like and you have a delicious meal!

Using some of the Fritos from the big family size bag that you bought, make a Frito casserole. A layer of Fritos covered with ground beef and melted cheese can be very satisfying. Add a few condiments to go along!

Another of my favorites is crustless spinach quiche. Delicious!

gluten-free-on-a-budget
gluten-free-on-a-budget

The deli at my local grocery store sells a potato salad called Steakhouse. It's really good but when I asked to look at the ingredient list, I was shocked to find it filled with lots of stuff that I didn't want to eat. This is a very simple gluten free version of it and I think it tastes great!!

Image credit: JenwithFlash

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time:

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 -1/2 lbs of red potatoes - unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup of Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • onion
  • 1/2 lb of bacon
  • 4 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes and onion up into small pieces. Boil them until soft but not mushy, about an hour. While the potatoes are boiling, cook up the bacon. Crumble it into little pieces once it's cool enough. Shred the cheese. When the potatoes are done, drain the water and let them cool for a little while - they need to be cool enough so that the cheese doesn't melt . Add the mayonnaise, bacon, and shredded cheese. Stir it all up.
  2. I like to eat it while it's still a little warm. Yummy!
Cast your vote for My Gluten Free Version of Steakhouse Potato Salad
gluten free dessert waffles
gluten free dessert waffles

Mmm... We Even Get Dessert

Yummy Waffles!

This might not be very low cost but if you've done well, you might just want a treat one night. I bought some gluten free frozen waffles. They were on sale for $3.59 at my local grocery store so I grabbed a box. Not sure how they would be, I also picked up some gluten free ice cream. Most ice cream is gluten free but be sure to check labels! I toasted 2 waffles and then put ice cream between the two and made a sandwich. Then I put some real maple syrup on them. It was soooooo good!!! The waffles were very good even by themselves. I just wanted to share this because it was so simple to make and tasted delicious.

Image credit: JenwithFlash

Egg Cookbooks

Find a great cookbook for thousands of ways to make eggs! Eggs can get boring after a while but if you mix it up enough, they'll taste good for a long time.

Eggs
Eggs

Looks of egg-cellent ideas! This book is written by a great chef who tells you everything there is to know about cooking eggs. Lots of color photos make this a great modern cookbook with easy to read instructions.

 
Eggs: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Frittatas, Omelets, Scrambles & More
Eggs: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Frittatas, Omelets, Scrambles & More

You can make omelets any way that you want but check out this cookbook for some new great ideas!

 

Looking for a Gluten Free Cookbook?

Who says gluten free is a hard diet to follow? Check out some of these cookbooks and you'll see just how fun and easy eating gluten free can be! Everyone can find something to enjoy.. even the pickiest eaters!

The Gluten-Free Bible
The Gluten-Free Bible

This book has all the information you need to know about gluten free foods. Tons of recipes.

 
The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook: Includes Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanilla, Peruvian Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes, Lamb ... Pumpkin Spice Lattes...and hundreds more!
The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook: Includes Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanilla, Peruvian Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes, Lamb ... Pumpkin Spice Lattes...and hundreds more!

You can use your slow cooker to make delicious gluten free meals. Put something in the slow cooker before work and you'll have a delicious meal by the time you come home.

 
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap

Simple gluten free recipes that are affordable for most people! Great stuff in this book!

 
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love--Fast!
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love--Fast!

Budget friendly easy recipes for when you're in a hurry or just looking for something quick to make!

 

Please share some of the ways that you are able to save money on a gluten free diet.

What's Your Favorite Low Cost Gluten Free Meal?

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    • GlutenFreeGuru profile image

      GlutenFreeGuru 3 years ago

      Excellent lens with great resources

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I often make pancakes from cornflour and 1 or 2 eggs, this is very healthy and tasteful and it fills the stomach. In the morning it's yoghurt with glutenfree muesli and/or fruit, in the evening it's easy, you can have all veggies, fresh potatoes, etc. and the gluten free pastas are not expensive over here. I buy as much organic stuff as possible, which helps me tremendously. I love being gluten free. Be careful with tacos you buy at the grocery stores or supermarkets, often they contain gluten, the 'corn' aspect of them is very misleading, so always read the ingredients carefully!

    • CassandraCae profile image

      Cassandra Kuthy 4 years ago from Ohio

      I am gonna make those potatoes. yumm!

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Some good ideas for meals here - shall have to try a few!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      It is improving. We can get gorgeous gf ciabatta over here in supermarkets now (UK) And I won't eat in restaurants that don't provide tasty gf alternatives. Here's a gluten free Valentine's day squidlike for you. (Today squidlikes are called Cupid's Kiss)

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      Being gluten free must be tough sometimes. It is helpful to have suggestions like this.