Monday, March 6, 2017
Gluten Free grocery shopping on a budget
So I titled this blog my gluten free family for a reason - celiac disease affects the entire family - in many ways. Such as, how we grocery shop, how we cook, how we eat and, of course, how we dine out.
You or someone in your family is now eating gluten free and you need to go to the grocery store - so now what? Where do you start? Grocery shopping has become much easier now that wheat needs to be clearly listed as an ingredient. This happened back in 2006 according to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). For more information go to https://www.foodallergy.org/laws-and-regulations/falcpa. In addition more and more manufactures are adding "Gluten Free" to the package, which is a huge advantage. I do occasionally stumble upon a packaged product that does not have wheat listed at the bottom - so you still need to be careful and check ingredients if not familiar. If you do find such products, I recommend writing to USFDA so that gets addressed.
Gluten free foods often contain more costly ingredients so some of the products are more expensive. However, you can find great gluten free products on a budget. Store brands are the best! Two of my favorite places to shop - Aldi and Wegmans both have great labeling. Aldi has its own gluten free line of products called liveGfree and most of the items are fantastic! If you have never shopped at Aldi you should check it out - it is no frills, but they have a great tasting gf line of products that are very affordable. Wegmans store brand products are labeled with an orange "G" so it makes it very easy to know that product is safe. They also have their own line of delicious Gluten Free products.
Of course there are many naturally free gluten free products - the perimeter of the store is loaded with them. Fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, seafood and dairy; naturally gluten free and healthy!
Some stores have a separate gluten free section, while some stores have the gluten free products within the regular sections of the store. I think both have benefits. Having a separate section makes shopping easier and I do not need to search the entire store. It also gives the opportunity to see additional gf foods that I would not necessarily be shopping for. When they are in the same section I only have to go to one aisle to buy gf pasta and gluten containing pasta. I am not sure what I like better - what are your thoughts on this?