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save money on GFCF grocery shoppingYes, you can save money!

Everything is getting more expensive today. From gas to groceries, our hard-earned dollars are challenged to stretch further. Now, we may be able to ride a bicycle around town if we can’t put gas in our cars. But, we have to eat. There’s no getting around that. So, we have to find ways to spend less on groceries while still getting the things that we need to feed ourselves and our families.

6 money-saving tips

  1. Clip coupons. They put those in the newspaper for a reason. If there are new items you want to try, use a coupon to get it at a discount. If you like it, you have saved some money. On the other hand, if you hate it, you didn’t pay full price. For me, coupons save an average of 35-50% per visit! That’s money in my pocket that I can put towards gas for the car. Also, you can visit the websites of many manufacturers and download free coupons. Or, visit the Stockpiling Moms website and learn how to really save lots on gluten-free, dairy-free items!
  1. Buy more staples than prepared foods. It is easier to buy a frozen gluten-free dinner, but is it more economical? A large box of gluten-free pasta and a GFCF marinara sauce will make more servings for your family than one gluten-free frozen dinner. This is especially true for baked goods! The next time you go shopping and pick up a box or bag of an already prepared item, ask yourself if you can make that at home for less. If you can, then put that item back in favor of less expensive staples.
  1. Buy in bulk. Consider the food items that you use most often. Gluten-free snacks, meats, vegetables, condiments, juices, and paper products can be bought in bulk usually at a lower price at food warehouses like Costco, BJ’s, and Wal-Mart. If you have a coupon, you’ll save even more money. Yes – you can find more and more gluten-free, dairy-free items at the warehouse stores. And, don’t be afraid to request certain products through the manager; that’s how they find out what their customers really want!
  1. Don’t shop when you are hungry. This is a definite no-no. Shopping on an empty stomach means that you will pick up more things than you need. You are more likely to pick up that box of gluten-free cookies when the growling gets underway!
  1. Take a grocery list with you. This is another protection against picking up things that are too costly. Check your cabinets and the fridge to see what you need and write them down. Remember, the goal is to stick to the list as much as possible.
  1. Shop at the same stores. This is more of a frustration reliever. In a new store, you spend most of your time looking for things and walking up and down every aisle, which oftentimes leads to forgetting an item or two. Going to the same store each time makes you more familiar with the prices so you can estimate your bill as you write your grocery list. I also find that you get better service if the store employees know your face. (Last weekend, an employee at Trader Joe’s not only helped me find a great watermelon, he cut it open for me to see that it was appropriately ripe; what a great help!)

You can succeed!

Rising prices don’t have to mean a lean dinner table. There are ways to make your food dollar go further and if you take the time to implement the ideas listed above as well as others of your own, you’ll see savings each and every time you shop.

Know any money-saving tips?

If you have some great shopping tips to share, please add them in the comments section below. Thank you!

Pepperonata_Pasta

For some folks, it’s just not possible to eat tomatoes, because these nightshade vegetables can really damage your intestines. But, this makes satisfying a pasta craving pretty tough! Here’s an easy solution – you can “trick” your brain into thinking you are eating a lovely marinara sauce, but make it with bottled red peppers instead. I made this sauce and never mentioned a thing to my son that it wasn’t the usual tomato sauce and he lapped it up happily.  It’s also easy and fairly quick to whip up from inexpensive products.  You can find canned or bottled roasted red peppers at many grocery stores or Trader Joe’s.  It also freezes really well.  The picture above shows the sauce served with Trader Joe’s gluten-free corn fusilli pasta and my easy dinner rolls.

Gluten-Free Pepperonata Pasta (Nick Rating = 8 Thumbs Up)

10 oz roasted red peppers, drained

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 tsp dried oregano

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Puree red peppers in a food processor or blender; set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic (if using) and oregano. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add the pepper puree. Reduce heat and then cook slowly for about 2 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve over hot pasta.

(Can store in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for longer storage.)

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