The new year is in full swing, bringing with it the natural inclination to make and carry out resolutions. Always made with good intentions, major lifestyle changes can be difficult to implement and often fall by the wayside. If I could make good on just two resolutions this year, it would be to save money on gluten-free products and eat better. If you have similar aspirations for 2019, check out these five tips to turn these two gluten-free resolutions into a reality.
1. Comparison shop
Driving to multiple stores to shop for groceries takes up too much time. I comparison shop—just like my mom used to do—before leaving the house. Now that gluten-free products are available at all major grocery stores, check out the sale ads to determine which ones are offering the best deals. Then create a list—Stick. To. The. List.
2 . Print coupons
The Sunday paper is full of coupons, but not many for gluten-free products. Instead, head to the web and print them off before heading out. Many manufacturers offer coupons that you can print multiple times.
3 Save on pantry staples
Head to Trader Joe’s and Aldi to stock up on pantry staples that sell for dollars less than at traditional grocery stores.
Trader Joe’s treats consumers to a brand-less shopping experience by repackaging and rebranding other manufacturers’ products. This strategy keeps prices low, giving customers more bang for their buck on a wide selection of gluten-free items. And new products are continually being added. Though original manufacturers are not allowed to confirm whether their product is gracing a shelf at Trader Joe’s, we have our suspicions:
- A bag of marshmallows we believe are made by Dandies costs $2.99 for a 10-ounce bag verses $3.99+ elsewhere.
- Do you love Tate’s Bake Shop’s thin crispy cookies? Pick up a bag of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or ginger chunk for $3.99, saving at least a dollar per bag.
- Believed to be made by Udi’s Gluten Free, the hamburger and hot dog buns, sliced breads and bagels go for $3.49 (buns) and $4.49 (bread and bagels) versus an average cost of $5.79+ per bag at traditional grocery stores.
- The 3 Seed Beet and Sweet Potato Crackers are probably made by RW Garcia and go for only $1.99 per box compared to $5.99–$6.49.
- An 8-ounce bag of pretzel twists that are probably made by Glutino costs $2.99 versus $4.50–$5.39 elsewhere.
- A 9-ounce container of fresh fettuccine pasta believed to be made by Taste Republic is $3.99 while retailing elsewhere for $4.99–$5.99.
Aldi offers some of the best prices around on gluten-free products. Their LiveGfree product selection includes large wraps we believe are made by Toufayan ($3.99 vs. $4.99), an array of mixes ($1.99 each), brown rice pasta ($1.89), macaroni and cheese kits ($1.99), and canned and frozen veggies for a under a dollar per bag or can. They also carry pizza, chicken nuggets and so much more, with expanded offerings during the holidays and in May to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month.
4. Order online
No time to shop? Let your fingers do the shopping on Brandless.com. The website aims to make better-for-you products more accessible and affordable for everyone. It offers a carefully curated selection of gluten-free products, including baking mixes, chips, candy, grains, sauces, almond butter, supplements and healthy, cruelty-free beauty products. More than half of the gluten-free products are certified, and everything on the site is $3 or less, including kitchen utensils, linens, toilet paper and so much more. Oh, and there is usually a free shipping offer, too.
5. Order prepared meals
With a goal of taking the excuses—and the guesswork—out of healthy eating, Model Meals fit the bill for those resolving to start a fresh, gluten-free year in 2019. Danika Brysha’s range of meals was created for anyone who doesn’t like to cook, doesn’t know how to cook or is looking for meal inspiration. And the company does all the shopping and prep work, making the meals a real timesaver.
Meals arrive in eco-friendly packaging ready to serve after heating. Everything can be ordered al la carte with no subscription required. Meals are not only gluten free but also dairy free, sugar free, Whole30-approved and Paleo-compliant. Based in a commercial kitchen in Santa Ana, California, the company currently serves the Southern California area from Santa Barbara to San Diego, the San Francisco Bay area and Phoenix, Arizona, with plans to expand soon.
Here’s to a year full of fantastic food and gluten-free savings!
News Editor Jennifer Harris is a gluten-free consultant and blogs at gfgotoguide.com.