Nobody told me that eating gluten-free would require selling a kidney.

A family member has been put on a gluten-free diet, most likely for the rest of her life.  She’s an older woman and on a retiree income and so I started doing a little looking around this weekend thinking I could coupon gluten-free items for her and help save some money.

I, up to this point in my life have been happily ignorant of the gluten-free diet.  I tested Hallee for gluten intolerance when she was a little kid to see if we needed to cut if from her diet..but it wasn’t an issue for her and I let it fade into obscurity.  So while in the stores this weekend, I took note of what’s available.  OHMYGAH, $5 for a tiny bag of wheat free crackers?  $4 for a box of gluten-free cake mix?  $6 for a box of frigging breakfast cereal?  Are you even kidding me?  And don’t get me started on the frozen “bread”.  I’ve never seen bread that had to remain frozen and then toasted immediately to even resemble it’s namesake.  That’s not bread, that’s playdough, and from the reviews I’ve read, the taste is about the same.

So how do you get any kind of quality, gluten-free food items using coupons that won’t cost an arm and a leg?  We’re going to find out.  I think it’s baloney that seniors and others that have to have a GF diet are so limited in their dietary choices because of availability and finances.  It breaks my heart and makes me furious that our seniors are going without medicines they need in order to have food and visa versa.  So, for one lovely woman, I am taking on GF couponing as well as some other great deals that will help pad the larder a little bit for her and folks like her.

From what I understand so far, the GF diet is a bit like Mark’s high protein, low carb diet.  Meat, fresh veggies and fruit, eggs, nuts & seeds that are unprocessed and most dairy products are OK.  The hard part is going to be finding tasty, lower cost replacement items for things like crackers, cereals, flour-based mixes and pastas.  I also have a lot to learn as far as what to avoid when reading labels, apparently wheat goes by a lot of names and weeding it out can be tricky.

Couponing not so healthy foods is easy.  I’ve got canned soup and pasta up the wazoo, crackers, cookies, baking mixes, cereal..oh my God, the cereal.  All of it, unfortunately, all of it is loaded with gluten.  So feel free to share with me any tips, secrets and recipes that you’ve got to make a GF lifestyle half-way decent and hopefully not selling any organs to afford it.  My organs wouldn’t be worth anything, anyway.  My liver was shot sometime in the early 90′s and my lungs are probably little, wrinkled, black raisins from smoking.

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Here’s my backyard at sunset last night, because I don’t have any pictures of blackened lungs or alcohol pickled livers to show you.  You’re welcome.

Allyson Sorenson

About Allyson Sorenson

Bangor mom. BDN blogger. Volvo lover. Coffee drinker.