How to save money when eating Gluten Free (or on any special diet)

I got this listing from a gluten free group that I frequent. Some great ideas here! Sometimes I know we feel like a prisoner to our required diets, so I thought this cartoon was cute!
Moe


Here are some tips from Teri Gruss on cutting costs while eating
gluten-free.

How To Cook Gluten-Free on a Budget - Cut Gluten-Free Food Costs Now!
By Teri Gruss, MS

Here are 6 practical tips and resources to help you save money on the
extraordinarily high costs of gluten-free foods. Plan ahead and you
really can save on your monthly gluten-free food costs- and at the
same time eat delicious, healthy gluten-free foods.

1. Focus on cooking with foods that are naturally gluten-free

Fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, meats,
poultry and fish are all healthy, delicious, gluten-free foods. Focus
on planning a gluten-free menu based on these naturally gluten-free
foods. Pound for pound these foods offer a lot of nutritional value
for the buck, compared to refined, processed gluten-free products.

2. Make your own gluten-free foods rather than buying expensive,
processed products

Savings can be substantial when you make your own gluten-free foods,
especially breads and snack foods. Another advantage in making
homemade gluten-free foods is better flavor and healthier ingredients.

3. It is convenient to keep a few packages of commercial gluten-free
mixes on hand. But you can save a lot of money by making your own
mixes. Measure, mix, package and refrigerator or freeze and you have
created your own fresh convenience mixes. Along with saving money,
when you make your own gluten-free flour mixes, you can customize them
to your own tastes and nutritional needs.


4. Join forces with other gluten-free families and friends to lower
costs. Websites like amazon.com and Shop Gluten Free Grocers sell
gluten-free foods in multi-pack cartons, including pastas and flours.
Amazon's Shop Gluten-Free Groceries website offers free shipping on
orders over $25. Bob's Red Mill sells 25 pound bags of several of
their gluten-free products, including tapioca flour and all purpose
gluten-free baking mix. They also sell 4 bag cartons at discounted
prices.

5. Join a local support organization. You'll meet other people, who
like you, are battling the high costs of gluten-free foods- join
forces, buy in bulk and save money.

6. Use coupons

Nancy Lapid, About.com Guide to Celiac Disease recently blogged about
a website that offers printable coupons for gluten-free products.


Tips:

Once a month prepare your favorite gluten free convenience mixes. I
like to make 3 pound bags of all purpose baking mixes. This amount
generally lasts for several weeks. Use it to make homemade breads,
pancakes, waffles, cookies and pizza crust. Making mixes ahead of time
is SO much more convenient than making mixes every time you need a
gluten-free flour blend for a recipe.

Once a week bake your favorite gluten-free breads, wrap them up and
freeze. Remember, making homemade gluten-free bread is like mixing a
cake batter. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat. Pour in a
bread pan, let rise and bake. Homemade gluten-free bread is faster and
easier than making traditional wheat-based yeast breads. So don't
shudder at the thought of making gluten-free bread every week. It
requires less time than you think! The savings, not to mention
superior taste and texture make it worth the minimal effort!

Make gluten-free cookie batter and refrigerate or freeze to use as
needed. There is really no need to buy expensive, ready-made mixes.
Mixing and storing cookie dough, like making bread is faster and
easier than you may think.

Make and freeze gluten-free pizza and pie crusts, which become
economical convenience foods, ready when you need them. Use a food
processor and this task is very fast and again, much easier than you
imagined.

Develop a dependable gluten-free recipe file. This will save you not
only money, but time and disappointment. I have a constantly growing
"favorites" recipe file- my "go to" recipes that I know work and taste
great. This not only saves money, it's healthier.

What You Need

Dependable, favorite gluten-free recipes
Gluten-free raw ingredients- purchased in bulk if possible
Homemade gluten-free flour blend mixes
Motivation
Shop with a grocery list and don't shop when you're hungry!
Consult with an accountant to see if you can deduct a portion of your food costs