Hey there all! I started Zevy Joy with the intentions of sharing our life as we lived on a budget and more. While some has changed since then, we still try our very best to budget our grocery supplies each month. Now having a kiddo with real dietary needs, we are attempting to shop and cook gluten and dairy free on a budget. And today I wanted to share just how we do it!
I wanted to make this post as simple as possible and not too overwhelming as dietary needs can be VERY overwhelming… Do what you can, start small and don’t stress on what you can’t make happen overnight. Of course with any of these types of subjects, nutritionists and professional doctors can be of great importance.
So here we go…!
I recently went to the store this last weekend and was entranced by all the beautiful fall produce. I picked up the necessities and found so much joy in these sweet simple pleasures. I laid them out to share with you here and they are a very important piece to the gluten/dairy free puzzle!
Gluten and diary free is easiest with the basics and most cost effective as well. I am talking about meats, fruits and vegetables. Meals centered and focused around these food groups are perfect for those needing to be gluten/dairy free. Even though it may seem that buying fresh is most expensive I find this to be the opposite. Especially when you can buy great options (including organic) at Costco these days.
I love filling up our baskets and finding new options for the kids to sample and sometimes I am surprised by what they find as a favorite new variety of produce!
And of course I can’t leave out the occasional bunch of fresh greenery or flowers. This can get pricey too, but in truth, I have found that you can’ find more affordable options that what is available at Trader Joes. Next…
COOK AND BAKE FROM SCRATCH…
I am slowly building up my stash of flours, nuts, oats and more so that I can make my muffins, granolas, etc… I even have our smoothie fixings out in bulk and ready to make fresh breakfasts in the morning. Speaking of have you heard of this PBfit Powdered Peanut Powder?! We use it in our smoothies or yogurt and just love it!
When you can make things from scratch it saves a bundle. I have learned to make macaroni and cheese (sauce included) and it costs a fraction of the small $5.00 boxes I can buy otherwise. I hope to share that recipe soon using corn pasta and a nutty cheese sauce!
I will say though, that this is just starting to be a possibility for our family after nearly 9 months of trying out this new nutritional change. At first we spent more because I was trying everything, finding our favorites and just making it work! I had grace for myself that this was a challenge and we weren’t going to get it all “right” from the start.
BUY IN BULK…
Believe it or not, you can find quite a few gluten/dairy free staples in bulk. Like the cereal up above… I find big bags of these Panda Puffs at Whole foods. We mix them in with our Cheerios for a little treat on the weekends and it is worth every penny.
SHOPE ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH…
This is a tough one as it takes practice, but it is something we have done for a couple years now (read about it here) and I can’t go back. It saves money, time and lots of energy. I have accumulated a list of what we use each month and I buy ahead (minus the fresh produce). As seen above, this is a glimpse of our once a month “dairy” purchases and some of our favorite products (which I will share below).
- Forager Cashewgurt, perfect for sauces and soups.
- Silk Almond Milk
- Kite Hill Yogurt Tubes
- Trader Joes’ Mozzarella Shreds (although these seem to have a small percentage of milk)
- Trader Joes’ Coconut Milk – wonderful for smoothies
- So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt
PACKAGE SNACKS AND INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS YOURSELF…
With packing school lunches or providing snacks to my growing kiddos, I have found this tip a bit challenging at times. Yet, it is one of the most important. Prepping bags of air popped popcorn, or potato chips, nuts and so much more is one of the most budget friendly things you can do. Buying all of those things individually packaged costs so much more.
And when you can’t make it, don’t feel bad when you have to buy it (at least until you can figure out how to do it yourself ;), haha). Here is a list of some of our very favorite products that we still have yet to make on our own…
- Trader Joes’ GF pumpkin bread and muffin baking mix, Cinnamon Apple Sticks, Pretzel Twists, Frozen Pizza Crusts, Toaster Waffles.
- Kinnikinnick’s K-Toos (I love this brand for graham crackers too!) Especially helpful when making recipes that call for these sweet treats.
- So Delicious Cashew Milk Ice-cream and Coco-Whip
- Free Sandwich Loaf
I really hope that helps any of you who may be needing to be or choosing to go gluten and dairy free! Like I said, this has taken nearly 9 months to get comfortable with how to shop gluten/dairy free on a budget. It takes practice and it takes time, so don’t give up!
Thanks so much for stopping by all!