Reader Question: How to Shop Gluten Free & Save!

This reader question comes from Courtney! Her question is regarding how to shop gluten free and continue to save her family money!


Recently I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and will be on gluten free diet. I have noticed how expensive all of the gluten free products are, and I am not seeing a lot of coupons.Can you or any of your readers tell me how I can continue to save my family money while adjusting to this new way of eating and shopping?

For those of you couponing with family members or yourself on a restricted diet, please help Courtney with any ideas or suggestions that help you continue to save.

Also, you might like to check out some the Organic Coupons and Deals Post as a great reference and I just posted a $1/1 Udi’s Gluten Free Coupon.  Plus it puts you on their mailing list so you can receive future coupons.

If you have a questions you would like to ask the LRWC readers, you can send it to  Put, “Reader Questions” in the subject line.

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  • Theresa

    I recieved a few Free Coupons from Udi’s Gluten Free products. Whole Foods has alot of products along those lines. I would be glad to send them to you..Email me your

  • Be sure to check for coupons on natural and organic foods to find gluten free items. Of course many regular brands are offering gluten free foods – Rice Chex, certain cake mixes, and more. If you have a Whole Foods closeby – they have a list of gluten free items:

    Also great free resources like one on WebMD:

  • Erin

    My mom is celiac, so when she visits, we all eat gluten free (I refuse to cook different meals!) I would focus on things naturally gluten free first, rice, potatoes etc. lots of sales/coupons for rice out there! Spagetti squash is a great pasta replacement, veggie markets help keep produce prices down, and stick to plain rices, not mixes – so that it stays gluten free. Then as coupons come out use them for gluten free products such as breads, flour mixes etc – or use your catalina’s for them. And if there is a sale, stock up where you can! Good luck – it can be frustrating to start on a gluten free diet, but once you focus on what you can have… it will get easier! if you keep saving money on non foods (razors, shampoo, toothpaste) you won’t notice the higher prices as much

    • heather

      I agree. My son has gluten issues so we just focus on foods that are naturally gluten free (e.g. rice, potatoes, oats, quinoa, etc.). We did not eat processed foods to begin with so making this transition has not been much of an issue.

  • Mark

    My girlfriend recently found out that she is gluten intolerant and I’ve been trying to help her out by buying gluten free products. When there is a sale, I try to stock up. Last week I bought 10 bags of Riceworks since they were on sale and there was a coupon with that sale. Basically, I recommend you look for a sale, and stock up as much as you can. General Mills is very gluten free friendly, they clearly mark their products and are always on sale. (Chex Cereal is something that comes to mind)

  • Dawn Fritz

    i had to go gluten free for a few months to see if it was gluten that was bothering me or something else and i thought that i had to exclusively shop in the specialty section which was EXPENSIVE! but i did some research and found some very good recipes online that used normal everyday ingredients. for instance lets start with breakfast, Chex, rice krispies and corn flakes are all gluten free and if you go with the generic they are cheap! you do not need to spend $5 or more on “gluten free” cereal.
    you can still have all the veggies and meat (not processed meat such as hot dogs or deli meat unless it states gluten free on the label!) that you want as well as rice. i found gluten free versions of my favorite ingredient that i use in lots of dishes which is Campbell’s “creme of” soups! i found that just by doing a google search!
    so really the only “gluten free” thing i bought was the pasta for the occasions when i really wanted pasta. i don’t recommend the brown rice pasta- i thought it was pretty gross and hard to choke down! i did find one made with corn and is the same color and texture that was MUCH better! i found it right in my grocery store in the gluten free section for about $2 for a small bag.
    if you make your own food at home you can still save money!
    we ate a lot of tacos, potatoes, beans which are very filling! i wish you luck and don’t get discouraged! with a little creativity you can still keep to your budget! don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to buy special items labeled gluten free!

    • Lisa

      Oouuh, watch out for those Corn Flakes, I’m pretty sure they have malt, which is gluten. There ARE some gluten free corn flakes to buy, but I don’t know the brand. The only safe Rice Crispies are the boxes that are labled ‘gluten free’. So many cereals have malt in them! I get sick and tired of most processed and ready made GF products after only a few weeks generally, but Rice Chex Cereal is going strong after a couple of years now!! That’s my staple for sure. : )

      • Dawn Fritz

        my box of store brand corn flakes states that it IS gluten free as well as the real rice krispies box that i have. but Lisa is right- check the labels to be sure first. and you don’t have to stick to cereal for breakfast. eggs and cottage cheese, gluten free yogurt etc are also great! and Bisquick has now come out with gluten free pancake mix! i thought it tasted the same as regular mix…and if you put in some berries you def won’t taste a difference! we weren’t eating much of the “boxed” dinners before anyway so switching to GF wasn’t hard for us. the biggest issue will be changing your eating habits to healthy, whole foods (if you aren’t already doing this). if you stick to that you won’t have to worry so much about reading labels or tricky “hidden” sources of Gluten!

      • nikki

        I agree. I love cereal but I can only eat gluten free cereals. Chex is great and they have a cinnamon flavor that is kind of like cinnamon toast crunch. NOT ALL rice crispies and corn flakes are gluten free. I tried regular rice crispies and I got very sick! I thought I could have it because they say “rice” but they are not purely made from rice. In my opinion the gf kellogs rice crispies are not that good, the taste and texture is not the same as the regular. This goes to show you that there is something different in the ingredients and the way they are processed.

    • Lindsey

      Rice Krispies can contain wheat flour as a non binding agent, be sure to read the label!

  • Sonja

    Honestly, when I went gluten free, I gave up ALL breads and pastas!! Don’t forget the BOXED rices too!! Saying that, you should save by making your own food from scratch! Its more work, but you KNOW what is in it! I now buy my GF bread from a small local grocery store that stocks A LOT of GF items and puts them on clearance often! I pay 1.99 for a loaf usually. Many of the “regular” brands are advertising that their products a GF now, this makes it easier (and cheaper since its not a “specialty” item). Lettuce wraps are a good substitute for sandwiches. Bobs Red Mill brand baking mixes and flours can be used in place of flour to thicken and “bread” food. They are more expensive than flour, but mine last quite awhile and I cook a lot! I have also come across coupons for GF Bisquick. In short, it’s a process of changing the way you eat all together! But in the long run, you will be very happy to leave that gluten filled YUCK on the shelf in exchange for feeling GOOD again!
    Good luck!

  • Nicole

    Try buying spelt and rice flour in bulk to make bread, pasta, and pie shells. I use my pasta makers instructions and just substitute the flours and it comes out great every time. The spelt pie shells are also a great money saver, I make 2-4 at a time, then when I’m ready to use them I pull it out of the freezer for quick pot pies, Sheppard’s pie, quiches, and fruit dessert pies.

    • Erin

      Spelt has gluten! Wheat, rye, barley and spelt all contain gluten. Someone with celiac would not be able to tolerate it, however someone with an intolerance may be able to tolerate spelt to a certain degree.

    • Lisa

      I make pie crust with just rice flour, crisco, and icewater — super easy and tastes very good; a little crumbly, but nice flavor. Rice flour is a product that I’ve used a lot in both baking and cooking. Corn starch is another great product in both baking and cooking. Any coupons for that stuff is great!

  • DANA B.

    there are many items i have purchased with coupons that i never realized were gluten free…it is a good thing too my sister who is a celiac is coming to visit soon! some items i have off the top of my head are…chex cereal, jones dairy farm sausage, zatarans (the few i purchased anyhow), blue diamond nut chips, pop chips, rice works chips, fruity pebbles, international delight coffee creamer, welch’s fruit snack (which i don’t mind giving my son over some other plastic fruit snacks), and a few other things i know i am forgetting. also at there is a 10 dollar credit for signing up and they have a ton of gluten free items which i purchased and just paid 4.99 shipping, so 10 dollars worth of stuff for 4.99 is not bad imo! oh and if you are a new member to udi’s site you get a $1/1 udi product coupon! good luck! i am still learning how to find deals for my sister!

  • Hi – my youngest son is gluten free and it can be expensive. The #1 biggest way to save is to make things from scratch and freeze. You can make gf waffles, pancakes and french toast sticks ahead and freeze, gf bread, gf cookies, muffins, pizza crust…You’ll see a savings of around 50% by making it yourself.

    We also save in the usual ways, by stocking up when things are on sale and by taking advantage of a 10% discount available at Whole Foods when you buy by the case. A case = 12 items, so we go once every 4-6 weeks and buy a dozen pkgs of gf chicken nuggets, etc. 10% isn’t huge, but when chicken nuggets are $8 per box, I’m happy to get them for $7.20 if I can. We also watch the daily deal sites for 50% off vouchers to places like Abes Market or discounts at Vitacost.

  • Deb S

    This may not help in the immediate time, but my sister in law found out that gluten free food and the special ingredients required to prepare them are tax deductible. In the mean time, use whole foods that have no grains. Lean meat, legumes, fruit, vegetables , rice and wild rice are all naturally gluten free. There are online recipes to help you as well. A Few , a blog I follow has a bunch of economical recipes. Best Wishes!

  • PK

    My best advice is find products that are naturally gluten free instead of buying gluten free brands. If you go to the “Gluten Free” aisle, everything is overpriced and coupons are rare. However, there are many products that you eat everyday that are gluten free. The hardest is pastas and baked goods. I did find a great .pdf file that lists all the gluten free products…….. I have found this a great resource when shopping.

  • Lisa

    There are a lot of GF pastas, but so far I’ve only had a couple brands that I like. I recommend Tinkyada, which is around $3 a pack, tastes good, has a good texture, and is easy to cook (boil a minute or two then let it sit for 20 minutes — how easy is that!). I make regular pasta for my husband; not a problem having two pots. Gluten free soy sauce is a must! I’ve bought San-J Tamari for a long time, which is good (perhaps a little saltier than regular soy sauce, though) and you can always seem to find a coupon for it. There is now also a GF Kikkoman soy sauce out in stores. I have a bottle, but not tried it yet. My latest passion is Sesame Noodles using Tinkyada spagetti and Tamari (and a list of other ingredients) for the ‘sauce/dressing’ — Yum! Someone mentioned spagetti squash as a substitute for spagetti in recipes and I totally agree — great dinner with tomato sauce and mushrooms, all baked in the oven with some cheese. It’s SO easy to make wonderful gluten free dinners. However, it’s the snacking foods that I struggle with. I crave the salty and crunchy and don’t always feel like eating fruit and vegetables. I treat myself to the gluten free pretzels now and then.

  • Anonymous

    If you live near an Ocean Stae Job Lot, they sell Bob’s Red Mill products at a fraction of the retail prices. As far as pasta and taste goes, Schar pasta is the best. It’s not chewy or “grainy”. My whole family eats this and can not tell the difference. You do have to stir the spaghetti frequently though or it will clump together…the ziti, penne and others cook just fine. Ancient Harvest Quinoia is a close second…

  • liana

    Food for Life has gluten free muffins now and if you go to their website and leave a comment requesting coupons they will send you some. They allow you to repeat a coupon request once per month. Trader Joe’s had brown rice pasta at 1.99/lb which is half the price of Tinkyada where I live. I also order GF flour and Tinkyada (2.88/lb) from Swanson since they have a flat rate shipping of $4.99 so for ordering a few bags of Bob’s Red Mill GF flour and NOW Xanthan it is a very good value. I have been getting large bags of GF cereal (Mesa Sunrise by Nature’s Path). The bags are 26.4 ounces (they call it an ECO Pac). I found them at my local WalMart SuperCenter for $5.72 cents. My Mom pays $10 a bag for this cereal and she lives in Vancouver where its made!

    I also use a great GF food site called for recipes and tips. I also try to stick to whole foods that naturally do not have gluten in them which means alot of processed packaged foods are out..I still save alot on other items with couponing which really does help offset the price of having to buy gluten free. Good luck!

  • Nicole

    Sorry everyone, I did not state that in my previous post hat I was gluten sensitive and not gluten intolerant (that’s why the spelt works in my case) I was more focused on what you could make from home to save money. But I like to follow: for ideas.

  • Angela

    Google Stephanie o’deas blog for totally together- all of her recipes from the slow cooker challenge are gf and cheap

  • Cortney

    You guys are great! Thank you for all your help! 🙂

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  • Kelly

    a great website for Glutin free recipes is She blogs recipes that she does daily and many are glutin free and no bake. Brandy was on Doctor Oz recently when he did a show on celiacs disease and gluten sensitive.