When our daughter was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, I went to the library and checked out every book on gluten-free eating. The advice was mostly that removing gluten from your life was easy. Just replace your flour with gluten-free flour! Just buy gluten-free bread! And cereal! And pizza crusts!
But. Here's the thing. GF foods? Meh. Not so extra yummy. And also expensive. So expensive. Here's a run-down of some common items:
- GF bread - $4.89 for teeny tiny loaf
- GF cereal - $4.99 for small box
- GF frozen waffles - $1.98/6 (at Wal-Mart, at least $1 more anywhere else)
- GF single-serve pizza crusts - $7.00 for 5
- GF pasta - $5.00/box
Okay. So, we could do some of that. And we do. But to eat like we used to, only replace our glutenous products with non-glutenous products? No way. There is NO WAY we could afford that. Also, meh, again with the bluck, so I would end up making two meals, regular and GF.
BUT. But. Did you know? There are lots of foods out there, lots and lots, that are naturally gluten free. And yummy? Like:
- Quinoa (okay, I haven't tried this because $$$$)
- Meat (People should be careful with this though, if you are EXTREMELY sensitive, you may react to what the animal ate. If that isn't enough to make you a vegetarian, well, I'll never be a vegetarian.)
Not a bad place to start, right?
Additionally, most budget cooking relies heavily on breads, pastas, etc., especially to fill in the edges. Want a cheap breakfast? Make your own pancakes! Cheap lunches? Peanut butter sandwiches! Nope, not in our house.
So, here I am, publically challenging myself to cook gluten-free for a family of four on a budget of $400 a month. A budget that, by the way, includes everything that isn't gas, gifts, or books.
I'm open to all ideas and suggestions, as long as it isn't advice on how to add up a bowling score, because DUDE, I will never figure that out, no matter how many times you explain it.