Saving Money Eating Gluten and Dairy Free with Kids
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Have you looked at the price of a loaf of gluten free bread? A carton of almond milk? Or a pack of vegan cheese? It generally costs at least double what the conventional counterpart would cost.
Yep; I’ve looked, I’ve researched, I’ve hunted. Gluten or dairy free substitutes are definitely more expensive. However, there are still ways to save money while buying what you need. You can utilize the same tactics you would use to save money on any food. You just need to know where to find the gluten free/dairy free options.
- Plan Ahead
Yes, I’m saying to make a meal plan. It can save you tons. This could be a whole blog post and how to on its own. If you don’t believe me or you want more guidance, visit https://www.penniesintopearls.com and https://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com. Start by looking in your kitchen to see what you already have to use up.
2. Buy what’s on sale
Glance through the ad and virtual coupons to identify items your family enjoys that are on sale and continue to build your meal plan around those items. Now is a good time to also jot down anything on sale that you frequently use or need to get.
3. Be flexible
If a different brand than what your family typically gets is less expensive, get that one. It’s worth trying at least once.
4. Use grocery pick up
This keeps you from getting all of those last minute items you or your kids just can’t resist and helps you keep a running total as you order so you can stay under budget.
5. Glance in the clearance section
If you do go into the store, take a look in the clearance section. Our Kroger Marketplace nearly always has this stocked. It is a great place to find kid snacks and cereal.
6. Enjoy potatoes and other versatile root veggies
They are good for you, naturally gluten and dairy free, last a long time, are the most “kid friendly” veggies, are the least expensive, and the most versatile. Take advantage.
7. Get the store brand
We love Kroger’s “Simple Truth” brand for a lot of economical natural, gluten free, and dairy free choices. They have everything from vegan cheese to bars the kids love to snack on.
8. Buy in bulk and freeze
Get meat, fruit, and veggies when the family pack is on sale or when you find it on clearance, separate it into freezer ziploc bags and keep it in the freezer until you need it.
9. Make homemade
Muffins, waffles, pancakes, breakfast cookies, and desserts are all items that are relatively simple to make at home and can save you a lot of money that way. Save your money for the things that are not so easy to make well on your own like crackers and yeast breads.
10. Lean into naturally gf/df foods rather than using subs
Foods like oats, nut butters, coconut oil, and corn tortillas are less expensive than gluten free flour or bread, vegan butter, and gluten free tortillas or wraps.
11. Cut back where you can in other areas of spending
A little can go a long way. If you need more wiggle room in the food budget, spend $5 less on personal care items and $5 less in home supplies or determine if there is another category you could cut a larger chunk from like coffee out, TV, or the phone bill.
12. Eat out less or not at all
Along the lines of what I said above, cut back on eating out so you can spend the money on foods to eat in. It is more challenging to find places to eat out at while eating gluten and dairy free anyway.
That’s it! There are of course countless ways to save, but I think that covers the main ways I use. If you have questions or would like to share something I didn’t mention, please feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear your input!