Two Tips For Gluten-Free Cost Cutting

Those of you who are new to gluten-free cooking probably have had to pick your jaw up off the floor a time or two when you saw how much money is going into every cookie, or slice of bread. I know I did. 

Eventually, the incredulous jaw dropping turns into a weary sigh as you add over-priced items to your cart. But what other option is there? 

A few weeks ago I stated that grinding your own grain was one of the biggest - if not the biggest - way to save money on gluten-free food. 

Here are two more ways to drastically reduce that cost:

  • Use guar gum. I know, I know, xanthan gum almost every recipe calls for xanthan gum, but I get the same results with both fo them, and guar gum   is about one third the price of xanthan. You can do a straight 1:1 swap. You’ll never know the difference. Well… your pocket book will. 

I also harp on leaving the gum out of your flour mix entirely. Why add your most expensive ingredient (gum) if you don’t have to? So many recipes don’t really need gum. I accidentally left the gum out of a batch of biscuits a few days ago and couldn’t tell the difference (I do not recommend trying that with cut-out biscuits!).  Admittedly though, when I make pancakes or waffles, I tend to make a batch and a half of the recipe, and use the amount of eggs for a double recipe to make up the difference.

  • Don’t get fancy. Rice and cornstarch are cheap, so use them. I do keep some millet or sorghum on hand for the occasional splurge, but for the most part, we use a flour mix composed entirely of rice and cornstarch. 

I know it’s tempting to get caught up in wanting variety either for health reasons, or just for the fun of it - and if you’ve got a generous budget, then by all means go for it! But it’s not really necessary, and your pocket book will thank you.

What are your tips for cutting the cost of gluten-free food?  I’d love it if you’d leave a comment letting me know!

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jalene | Jul 9, 2012, 10:24 PM

Thanks so much for the info! We are thinking of switching over to Guar Gum for health reasons actually.

Xanthan Gum is made from Corn (which 95% of corn on the market is Genetically Modified- which is how everyone started getting allergic to wheat because it has been Genetically Modified!)

Anyways, I appreciate the info and I’ll add it to my website at donteatwheat.com. Love your blog!

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Annie Kate | May 18, 2012, 10:04 AM

Yes, we use guar gum too. 

And as for sorghum, we bought a huge bag wholesale and grind it as we need it. 

Our other trick is to minimize grains. 

From personal experience, eating well (i.e. using a healthier flour mix) is a whole lot cheaper, in the long run, than getting sick….

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Elise New | May 16, 2012, 1:17 PM

@Jamie, I bought a 1/2 pound of gelatin a while back to try, but I’ve only used 1 teaspoon out of it so far. Guess I need to do better!
As far as potato flakes go, occasionally I find them cheaply, but for the most part, rice is much, much cheaper for me.

@Reamz, Yes! Grinding your own rice is way cheaper than buying he flour. In fact, I just wrote an article not long ago on how much money our grinder has saved us. It’s well worth the price! http://t.co/ZoonJSzQ

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Jamie @afamilieslove | May 16, 2012, 12:55 PM

A super cheap way to replace guar gum or xanthum gum is to use an envelope of plain unflavored gelatin, it helps with elasticity and the stretch factor in breads. 
Also I use potato flakes in place of some of the flours, works well in old fashioned doughnut recipes, or in biscuits, just use in place of sorghum, on biscuits replace 1/3 cup of rice flour with potato flakes, which are much cheaper and naturally GF.

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reamz | May 16, 2012, 11:59 AM

organic rice flour can be expensive around here,so I sometimes work out the equivalent amount in whole rice, and soak/grind it myself (only for recipes with liquid like cakes etc). I might get a grain mill if I can cheaply, to grind proper flour!