Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Managing a Budget while living Gluten Free

Tonight I will address Kimberlie's second question.   Kimberlie said :"The other advice I would like is how can it be affordable for a family of 6. All the products are 2-3 times more expensive than regular. It's not that we have to all be GF but it's easier for me to just make one meal as opposed to two."  
I personally do not buy a lot of "gluten free" products.  I realize that you do have younger children and you may want to buy pre-packaged products to make things easier for yourself.  Unfortunately as you have said gluten free products are a lot more expensive than the regular products. When my children were younger I used rice cakes for bread.  This may or may not appeal to your crew.  If you want to make pancakes or waffles, you can buy gluten free flour mixes and make your own.  They are a bit more expensive than regular flour but not as expensive as prepackaged items.  Make sure to buy one that has xanthan gum.  Just substitute the gluten free flour mix for regular wheat flour, and it should work in most cases.  Be sure that the batter is very well combined. Unlike regular flour you can't "overmix" the pancake and waffle batter. It needs to be well combined for good results.  Gluten free muffins work well for breakfast too!  If your kids like chocolate cupcakes, just google "gluten free vegan cupcakes".  You will find a great recipe!  Also, remember that plain potato chips, tortilla chips and corn chips are a good substitute for pretzels.  Be sure to check labels though. Some flavored potato chips have wheat in them.  I learned that the hard way. 
     Let's move on to dinner. Most nights I cook a meat, rice or potato and a vegetable.  That way everyone can eat the same food.  I bake or broil most meats and they are not only gluten free, but healthier too.  You can always use gluten free corn flakes to make "fried chicken" in the oven.  If you want to make regular fried chicken I found that rice flour is a great substitute for wheat flour.  It comes out really crispy and delicious!   If your crew cannot do without bread, I wish I had a suggestion for you, but right now I don't.  I have not come across any that I care for.  When making soup, use rice and everyone in the family can eat it.  If they like noodles, you can always use rice noodles.  The cellophane type Chinese noodles would work well. 
     Thanks for reading my blog !  I hope I have helped you with your family meal plans Kimberlie!  Let me know if I can make any further suggestions. 
Until next time, Joan Marie. 


  1. Joan Marie,
    Thank you! These are great ideas. I had forgotten about rice cakes. My little ones actually like them with peanut butter or pb&j. They aren't super big sandwich eaters anyway, that's more hubby and me.

    Now that I see your suggestions I realize that this is how my mother used to cook. She used to make a protein, a veggie or two, and a starch. Being that all of my children are Chinese, we are super fond of rice noodles already but I have never thought about using them in a "non-Chinese" dish. I need to try that out.

    One other thing I was just thinking about. Thanksgiving is coming up and I would like to make a pumpkin pie and an apple pie but with gluten-free crusts. Which flours work best for pastry dough? Do you need a combination of flours or will just rice or almond flour do? I have made GF pancakes using a mix that is basically just rice flour, and the rising agents (probably Xanthem gum too) and my family loved them. In fact, Friday nights are "breakfast for dinner" and we now have GF pancakes.

    I feel encouraged by your post and I'm going to try to make more foods from scratch. Thank you and God bless you!

  2. Kimberlie, I have never made gluten free pie crust. I usually make apple crisp with gluten free oatmeal instead of flour. I will post a recipe next week. Pumpkin custard gets made instead of pie. It's really tasty! I will post that also. I am so glad you feel encouraged Kimberlie, God Bless you too!