"The art of living easily as to money is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means." - Sir Henry Taylor

10 Ways to Save Money on Gluten Free Products

By , October 21st, 2013 | 8 Comments »

save money gluten free

Anyone who is on a gluten free diet because of medical issues such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance knows how expensive grocery shopping for these products can be. Unfortunately, gluten free products are sometimes twice as expensive as products that include gluten. Whether by necessity or you’re simply looking to eat a healthier diet, here are a few different ways to save money:

Buying Online

There are plenty of places online that sell gluten free products, sometimes at a much more inexpensive price than what you would find in a grocery store. There are websites entirely dedicated to grocery items free of gluten, and there are also well-known sites such as Amazon that also have a wide variety of products to choose from.

Deal Sites

Many deal sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial will occasionally have coupons, discounts, or deals for gluten free products. This could range from a discount for baking ingredients or a coupon for a specific website or store. If you are signed up for deals on these sites, make sure that your preferences are set so that you receive notifications when grocery products are listed as deal.


There are coupons for almost everything. A quick internet search for “gluten free coupons” brings up a fairly large list of coupon sites and deals. While some of these coupons may be for specific websites or stores, there’s quite a few that are good for products you’ll find in a local supermarket. It’s worth seeing what coupons you can find for these products if you’re truly interested in saving money on your next grocery trip.

Eat Naturally Gluten Free Products

A lot of people assume that a diet free from gluten means eating next to nothing. However, food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, canned or dry beans, rice, or quinoa naturally are free of any gluten. These are items that are almost always on sale and it’s a great idea to load up on these staples to save yourself a few dollars.

Know Where to Shop

When shopping for gluten free products, it’s also important that you know the stores that carry what you’re looking for. Some grocery stores may only carry a small selection while others may carry a larger selection. Additionally, don’t rule out going to chain stores or small, independent stores. If you’re looking for certain items, you may have to look in places you wouldn’t normally shop.

Shop Around

Knowing where to stop for these products will also help you discover which stores offer the best prices. For instance, the gluten free bread you enjoy may be $2 cheaper at a chain supermarket than it is at a specialty food store. Or a specialty food store may be more willing to take online coupons than a larger supermarket. Shopping around for different prices is definitely a great idea if you’re shopping on a budget.

Avoid Pre-Packaged Gluten Free Items

While it might be tempting to buy premade gluten free pie crusts or desserts or other products, you should avoid them if you’re looking to save money. Many of the pre-packaged mixes, entrees, or meals are severely overpriced. Pre-packaged food is overpriced already, but ones marked as containing no gluten are sometimes twice as expensive. If you have the time, make desserts or food items from scratch instead of relying on a mix. There are plenty of websites that have easy directions on how to make gluten free meals or desserts from scratch.

Read Product Labels

If you’re new to buying these products or in a rush, you might not always read the product label closely. In doing so, you may accidentally buy an item that has gluten in it. While this may not seem like a big deal to some people, anyone on a strict budget knows that sometimes even the smallest extra expense makes a difference. Instead of just grabbing cans or boxes off the shelf, take a second to read the product label to ensure that what you’re buying is truly 100% gluten free.

Buy From Bulk Bins

A lot of stores have bulk bins of grains and beans, many of which are gluten free. These bulk bins are often cheaper than buying pre-packed items. However, if you plan on buying from bulk bins you may run the risk of cross-contamination.

Cheaper Alternatives

A lot of people assume that they have to buy special gluten free products instead of cheaper alternatives. For instance, while there is gluten free pasta available you could also substitute it for rice noodles which are a less expensive alternative. Additionally, rice wraps are an easy substitution to bread or sandwich wraps. Instead of grabbing the first special gluten free package in the supermarket, do some research to see what other products are available for a cheaper price.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Swansen)

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  • ben says:

    I really don’t get this whole “gluten free” trend. I get the feeling that very few people are really gluten intolerant and this has become a huge advertising and marketing ploy for people to pay more for food that has always gluten free, but now that they put the words on the package, they can charge more.

    • AMZM says:

      I’ve been intolerant to gluten my entire life but no one knew what to call it back then. All I knew was that every time I ate bread or had pasta for dinner, etc, I got a really bad stomach ache, headaches, etc. Thank God they figured it out. Doctors used to tell me that MSG sickness was all in my head. Turns out it was all in my gut. Now, I can buy many things I haven’t been able to eat for years. It does cost extra (and these things were not GF before) because it’s really hard to make things like pretzels & breads without the gluten – I’ve tried at home.

    • bRobert says:

      Ben, please do some research, or ask around, you will find out your feeling is very wrong. There is a rapidly increasing number of people who are developing wheat allergies. My wife was incorrectly diagnosed her whole life, but the symptoms were pretty mild until after our second child. She rapidly lost 40+ lbs, and was thin already. She was very close to dying of malnutrition before she was correctly diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. She is mostly better now that she is on a gluten free diet, and thankfully her reactions to cross contamination are relatively mild. But she has ongoing problems as a result of how bad things got. Some people have extremely severe reactions to the slightest bit of gluten.

  • mojavedesert says:

    Ben, what you say can be true but for those of us with actual problems with gluten consumption this is important. Since eliminating wheat and gluten-based products from my diet in the spring of 2011 my previously undiagnosed symptoms disappeared. I do not wish these symptoms upon other people but for me the different was enormous and I cannot overemphasize how important this dietary issue is when I eat at a restaurant or at friends’ homes. For me, this is a health issue, not a trend. And a cautionary word for those eating rice noodles: these are usually made in countries with less rigid manufacturing standards than found in North America and I suspect they may not always be free of wheat products as they have caused my symptoms to recur, which means I no longer purchase these products.

  • Erin says:

    Great list of money-saving suggestions. The only thing I might remove is the suggestion to buy in the bulk bins. I know you point this out, but the risk of cross-contamination is way too high for someone with Celiac Disease.

    Another tip would be to follow gluten-free deal sites that specialize in discounts on gluten-free products and services.

  • Sandi says:

    I would agree with most of these tips, but I would not buy out of a bulk bin. The risk of cross contamination is too high.

  • Minny says:

    What Ben is saying is what a lot of those who neither know anyone with celiac or know nothing about it say. To them it seems just another fad, how wrong they are!

    My breadmaker has a recipe for gluten free bread.

  • AmbeeJ says:

    I have found a few good online options that not only save me money, but more importantly, offer a variety. I enjoy trying out new gluten free foods


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