With inflation rising and weekly food budgets being squeezed, many worry about being able to put good food on the table. Given that a gluten-free diet can also add a premium to your bill, you are going to want to save at every opportunity. So, we’ve gathered all the ways to save big or shave dollars off your food basket.
Some tips apply regardless of whether you’re on a gluten-free diet–they work for everyone. Some recommendations are specifically for those on a gluten-free diet.
Our main motto is the more you plan, the less you throw away, the more you save.
Meal planning is even more important if some of the family eat gluten-free and some don’t. One meal is hard enough every night, two, without planning is a recipe for stress.
In general, we throw away so much food in N America; so there are many instant ways to save money that will not only increase your awareness and help save the planet, these habits could lead to better planning which makes for more scrumptious, safe gluten-free meals at lower cost.
Here’s a list of top tips from Kinnikinnick staff.
There’s so much to say and save, we’ve split the info. into two parts. The first is on meal planning, Part 2 is on shopping.
Gluten-free Meal Planning
- The more gluten-free meals you make from scratch the cheaper your bill is likely to be.
- Plan your meals for the week, make a shopping list to match and stick to it. Account for leftovers in the meal plan, especially if you have school or office lunches to take care of.
- Start meal planning slowly. Two to three nights a week until you get in the hang of it; learn slowly, make mistakes. Build up.
- Find out what’s on sale the coming week and plan around it.
- Keep track of your grocery spend and food waste for at least six months. You’ll learn a lot about where and when to save on shopping and how many dollars you throw away in garbage.
- Freeze prepped meals to save time on busy days when you don’t feel like cooking. A ready-to-heat stash also makes it less likely you’ll pick up take-out on your way home.
- Make ingredient substitutions if the planned product is overpriced or there’s a great deal on an equivalent. Seasonal local produce is usually cheaper than a flown-in harvest from half a world away.
- Beans are a much cheaper source of protein than animals, and are also naturally gluten-free, so add plenty to your diet.
- If you love pasta, learn how to make your own using a gluten-free All Purpose Flour Blend. Gluten-free pastas can be pricey.
- Save Your Cookbooks. There are few family favourite dishes you cannot make gluten-free if you find the right flour. Just sub 1:1, give or take a little extra or less water in most recipes, and you’ll not miss a dish ever again.
- Leftovers work great for lunches or freeze well for quick portions later and when you’re in a pinch.
- Have a good supply of quality leftover containers that allow you to portion meal sizes.
- A good supply of varied frozen vegetables can help you stretch out leftover protein into many lunches.
- Not a fan of leftovers? Rework them into sauces, casseroles, stir-fries or soups.
- Favourite dishes. If you created recipes yourself, get a scale so you can quantify ingredient weights when meal planning.
Once you've taken all this in, it'll be time to go shopping. Get the re-usable bags ready or trigger those online fingers and read Gluten-free budget tips. Part 2. Shopping to save even more.