How to save money on a dairy and gluten free diet
1. Plan, plan, plan
One of the main reasons I was spending so much money on groceries was because I was always buying on impulse. Problem with this is, you tend to buy things you do not need or things you already have at home. Now I know it is easier to make those quick trips to Tesco or Sainsbury’s on your way home, I mean they are everywhere but trust me, it does not serve you well in the long run.
Writing up a weekly meal plan and shopping list is not exciting but it is effective.
Knowing exactly what you’re going to eat can mean fewer shopping trips and impulse buys.
2. Don’t be afraid to try a different aisle
I shared a tip on my Insta about this. If you’re one of those people who head straight for the free-from aisle, think again. You’ll find that there are many brands that cater to us but just don’t highlight it on the front of the packet. Walk around and have a look at the ingredients. You never know what you’ll find and for cheaper too! I have personally been fortunate to find items that are gluten and dairy free friendly and cheaper than the brands that are exclusively for us. Of course, there will be items, for example, bread or cereal that you will only find in specific areas that are “safe” for us.
3. Do it yourself
One of my vegan friends Lauren helped me with this one and it is so useful. A big misconception with veganism for example, is that it is very expensive. Lauren explained to me that going vegan isn’t expensive, using the substitutes is expensive. In other words, eating prepared foods, mock meats and cheeses are expensive. If you eat whole foods and seasonal fruit and veg, you will find that it is much cheaper. The same principle can be applied to a dairy and gluten free lifestyle. If you are buying ready meals that are dairy and gluten free, you are spending much more money than necessary. Try making your meals at home.
4.Switch your supermarket
For a long time, I believed that it was only the major supermarkets that catered to us – I was wrong! Have a look online or speak to others about where they shop.
5. Find events that cater to us
If you haven’t heard about The Allergy and Free From Show or Veganfest then you need to get in the know or subscribe here and I will do the hard work and keep you in the know. These events are not only great for discovering what’s new on the market, but also gives you the opportunity to buy in bulk. Last year I stocked up on my favourite Free From Italy pasta and saved myself a few pounds and trips to the supermarket!
6. Don’t get done by discounts
Not all bargains are what they seem. Check that the promotion is a good deal by doing some maths. Also, do you have space to store the extras – if not, don’t do it because you could end up wasting it.
7. Never shop when you are hungry
As much as I love doing my food shopping on a Sunday afternoon, I noticed not too long ago that I was buying snacks that I wouldn’t usually buy if I had gone first thing in the morning just after eating breakfast. It makes a difference. The idea that you cannot find tasty gluten and dairy free snacks is not true – try Tesco’s free-from cookies (if you haven’t done so already) so do not tempt yourself or your pocket.
So here are my tips for saving and still maintaining a dairy and gluten free lifestyle. If you have any tips that you think others need to know about, please share.
Eat well, live and laugh