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How to Eat Gluten-Free on a Budget

  • Editorial Staff
  • February 2014
  • 5 min read

Starting a gluten-free diet can be overwhelming and expensive. But it doesn’t have to break one’s budget. Many of the same nutritious foods are recommended for people following a gluten-free diet as are for the general population: fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, eggs, beans and legumes, nuts and lean protein. Here are some simple tips to keep a gluten-free shopping trip within budget:

  • Plan your meals ahead of time, and stick to your list. Consult your grocery store’s weekly circular to see what coupons are available or what items are on sale.
  • Find creative ways to use all of the ingredients you purchase to avoid waste.
  • Purchase a combination of fresh seasonal produce, frozen and no sugar added/low sodium canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Use plant-based proteins as an alternative to meat, which can be more costly. Items such as beans and lentils are packed with nutrition and budget-friendly.
  • Eggs are another low-cost, high-quality protein.
  • When purchasing fresh chicken, meat or fish, look for products that have not been pre-marinated or prepared in any way. This can cut back on cost and the likelihood of gluten appearing in other ingredients.
  • Buy and cook in bulk. Saving and freezing leftovers for future meals can save time and money.
  • Experiment with other whole grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat and wild rice. When you find some that you like, buy these in bulk too. Some “ancient grains” can be more costly when purchased in smaller quantities.
  • Encourage everyone in your family to try gluten-free. Purchasing “regular” and gluten-free versions of foods and cooking separate meals can add up.
  • When selecting your favorite gluten-free packaged goods, consider your meal plan. These packaged foods could serve as snacks or provide just one meal per day.
  • Individuals with diagnosed celiac disease may be eligible to receive tax deductions for gluten-free food purchases. Speak with an accountant to learn more about this opportunity.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | | National Foundation for Celiac Awareness