Health Column: Gluten-free eating doesn’t have to be expensive |

Health Column: Gluten-free eating doesn’t have to be expensive

Angela Wetzel
Free Press Health Columnist

The biggest complaint about going to a gluten-free diet is that everything is so much more expensive. When you go from $2 for spaghetti to $6, that is a huge price increase. What can you do to keep those costs down?

First, plan ahead. I’m very guilty of not doing this except when I was on a detox program. At that time, I had meals to prep and was very good about doing my weekly shopping knowing I saved money by not making last-minuite purchases. I shop by using weekly ads and get the best deals possible. This also takes away my desire to buy the cookies because they aren’t on my list.

Second, cook from scratch. Yes, buying a loaf of bread is convenient, but how much money can you save by making your own? This includes purchasing a head of lettuce and making your own salads instead of buying the pre-made mix (which, by the way, sometimes has flour in it to keep it from sticking, so you’re better off in the long run). You also know the ingredient list when cooking from scratch.

Another way to keep costs down is to purchase items that can be frozen (meats, etc.) when they are on sale so you have them on hand. Keep track of what you have in your freezer and write purchase dates on packages, so they don’t go bad.

You can also just stick to the basics — meats, vegetables, legumes and fruits. In doing this you will keep costs down by not purchasing prepackaged foods. Also, it’s a healthier way of eating so you may save yourself the cost of medical bills down the road.

Last, don’t be afraid to clip coupons from the Sunday paper and online. More gluten-free foods are becoming mainstream, so it’s easier to find coupons for those items.

Gluten free eating doesn’t have to be expensive — work ahead, shop smarter and save money.

GJ Free Press health columnist Angela Wetzel has celiac disease and is president of Gluten Free Grand Valley, a support group for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. Contact her at or visit Gluten Free Grand Valley on Facebook.

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