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MORE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GLUTEN-FREE FOOD BILL:
- Look for deals online on labeled gluten-free grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice. These alternative grain flours also add more nutrition to baked goods.1 Gluten-free grains and flours can be stored in the freezer to extend their life.
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season and at farmers' markets. Eating gluten-free is a great way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Many Americans do not eat the recommended 5-9 servings per day.
- Purchase frozen fruits and vegetables to add to soups and stews.
- When you see something on sale, buy extras only if you can guarantee that you will use it up within a reasonable time to avoid spoilage.
- Call your favorite companies and ask them to send you coupons. As the availability of gluten-free products grows, the competition for customers is also growing.
- Did not like the gluten-free bread you just purchased? Do not throw it away as you may have paid up to $6.00 for the product. Use the bread instead to make bread crumbs for meatballs or meatloaf. The same also works for cookies; just run them through a food processor to make crumbs and use as a crust for pies or cheesecake.
- Shop around to find less expensive products. Many supermarkets are carrying gluten-free items and may advertise them in their sales notices.
- Join friends or support group members on a mail order and save shipping. Small groups of people find that they can order in quantity and divide the items to reduce shipping costs.
- Get into leftovers. If you make a special gluten-free bread or large meal, freeze part of it so there's no waste. 2
- Make your own soup or broth. If you make it in a slow-cooker or crock pot, you can also save energy.
- Use unit prices. This is the price for one "measure" of the item, such as the price per pound or the price per ounce. Look for the best possible deal and check to see if a larger package is cheaper per pound or ounce. The unit price is located on a sticker on the shelf or area near the item. 3
HELPFUL TIPS FOR EVERY HOUSEHOLD:
- Make a shopping list and meal plan for the week and stick to it. Click here for a weekly shopping list and additional cost-cutting tips.
- Do not go shopping on an empty stomach. Treats will end up in your cart faster than they normally would.
- Try to shop around the perimeter of the store. This is where you find food in its natural state, also known as whole food, such as fruit, vegetables, eggs, yogurt, and beans. Whole foods are more nutritious and less expensive than prepared and packaged food.
- Use coupons whenever possible. Many stores and food companies offer them on their websites. See Level 1 for websites that offer coupons, samples, and discounts.
TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR CELIAC DISEASE:
- You may claim the gluten-free diet as a medical expense deduction on your U.S. income tax form if the net amount of the reimbursements exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
- You may also deduct the cost difference of a gluten-free food and that of the gluten-containing food that you have replaced. Please consult your tax preparer when calculating your deductions. Learn more.
TAKE HOME MESSAGES:
- Choose whole foods whenever possible for their nutrition and lower cost. Frozen and/or local in-season fruit and vegetables usually offer better savings than produce shipped from another state or country.
- Consider "LIKING" your favorite, trusted gluten-free companies on Facebook or other social media pages. Companies and stores that cater to the gluten-free customer are particularly good cost-saving resources and many offer coupons.
- Schuppan D, et al. Celiac disease; epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and nutritional management. Nutrition in Clinical Care, 2005,vol 8, no 2:54-69.
- Sandquist D. Cheating? Think Again. In Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten-Free . Eds. Dennis M, Leffler D. AGA Press. Bethesda, MD. 2010.
- Decher N. Tips to Cut Costs on a Gluten Free Diet. University of Virginia Health System, 2012. www.uvahealth.com/celiacsupport. Accessed February 27, 2012.
Revision Date: 8-30-12
Author: Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN with Meg Schrier
Editors: Pam Cureton, RD, LDN and Rupa Mukherjee, MD