When I first started my wheat free diet, I spent quite a bit of money on groceries. For one, because I wanted to try lots of new foods. But also because many alternatives available 2 years ago, were only sold by organic supermarkets and that is a lot more expensive than the regular one. By now, I have found some wheat free alternatives at my bogstandard supermarket that do not break the bank.
Some of these items are still organic, but I no longer go to a specialist store to buy them. Others were hiding in plain sight. However, for a while, my intolerance to grains and starches was so profound that I needed the specialist organic products, because even a food as simple as whole grain rice would upset my stomach. These past few months, my wheat intolerance has been faring much better, which is why I find I can eat foods such as rice and potatoes again, be it sparingly.
The first cheap option are potatoes slices or wedges. Of course you can buy fresh potatoes, but I find that potatoes are a tough product to buy if your household only consists of one person. I also don’t eat it that much (maybe once a month) which again makes buying fresh potatoes a bit of a hassle for me. My next best option are these budget friendly potato slices. They only cost 70 cents or so and work great in combination with some vegetables for a quick and easy meal.
Coconut flour used to be very expensive. The first bag I bought cost me nearly 10 euros and that is why I only used it sparingly. I limited my coconut flour intake to only baked goods. I really like this as an alternative to plain flour as it is highly absorbent and thus works as well as conventional flour. This bag of coconut flour cost half the amount of my very first bag and to top it off, it comes in a paper bag, rather than plastic too.
A staple food of mine are rice cakes. They are quick and easy and I love having them as a snack in combination with some peanut butter. Very cheap rice cakes I don’t like: they don’t have the same crunch to them. But then I found this organic brand at my supermarket and decided to try them. They are as good as the ones I used to buy from the organice supermarket. They cost a little more than the super cheap 18 cents version that my supermarket also sells, but at roughly 80 cents a pack, I feel these add some much needed carbs into my system.
My most significant discovery of the past year have been Quaker oats. For weeks I used this instant version, but I have now skipped to the regular version. The only difference is that this has soy lechitine, which prevents the milk from overcooking when you microwave it. Plus it comes in a nifty little bag that has just the right amount of oats for a single serving. You can use that same bag and fill it up with milk for the perfect measure of milk. I have found that foregoing this convenience and measuring the quantities myself is just as easy and delicious.
Last but not least, the find I am most chuffed about are these wheat free crisp breads. I used to have chestnut meal crackers, but those are very expensive. Around 4 euros a pack, whereas these cost just over 1 euro. The ingredients are very straight forward: rye, salt, water and yeast. Just 4 ingredients and they pack the same amount of crunch as a regular crisp bread without the added wheat. Well done WASA!
If you are curious about my other wheat free staple foods, then check out this blog post. If you care to know more about my wheat free experience: I blogged about it extensively when I first started changing my diet 2.5 years ago. You can find those blog posts by typing ‘wheat free’ in the search bar.
What foods do you like to substitute?