Three Secrets To Budget Friendly Multiple Food Allergy Diet

It's a new year. 2015. It has been 2015 for about a week and a half. Have you changed anything drastic about your life? I haven't. I'm attempting to go without grains, nightshades and sugar which adds to my already restricted list of food allergies of gluten, corn and dairy. Both grains and nightshades make my stomach feel weird and I get seriously bloated, and sugar I know I'm sensitive to. But the question often asked is: "Are you making your family do the same?"

No, I'm not. My family does follow the gluten-free diet simply because cross contamination for me lands me in the hospital. Eating gluten causes Honey Bunny's brain to swell and have suicidal urges. The link there is about the gluten-brain connectionYeah, that's not a great one with a teen who already has other challenges. For Boo Bear, gluten contamination results in migraines. Not right away, mind you, but about an hour later. She is in severe pain, crying and miserable. And Hubby? Well, he gets the trots. Believe it or not, even our dogs are gluten free! Baby loses her fur when gluten is in her diet and Major? Well, he's never had it so I don't know.

But am I asking my entire family to go corn, dairy, nightshade and grain free? No way! Unless those foods bother them, I see no reason to. They DO bother Boo Bear and she is going to try it with me.
We will see how she does.

So, how does one Momma help their family regulate what is "safe" to eat? Easy. I meal plan. And when I talk about meal planning, I am talking about a month's worth of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It takes me about 2 hours a month to sit down, plan it out, make sure I have the left over recipes used and try to keep my grocery budget about $600-$700 a month. I've been able to do it for $400 but that was when we were eating mostly beans due to unemployment and had assistance from food pantry lines for produce and meats due to a special donor in my old hometown in Connecticut.

The best resource for me is Emeals. I LOVE this site! It is a pay for subscription site. The options it offers are amazing! Every Wednesday, I get an email with 7 nights worth of dinner, recipes and a shopping list!! They offer everything from Paleo, Gluten Free and Vegetarian to Budget Friendly, Kid Friendly and Diabetic! I save thousands every year using this service! They have recently added a lunch and breakfast menu but I am unable to use them because they are not as diverse as their dinner options.

I also use Supercook when I do in-house shopping. What is in-house shopping you ask? It's when I go shopping in my pantry, freezer and fridge. I do this about once a month. I print out a shopping list from a pre-made grocery list and use it as an inventory list. Rather than write everything down I do have, I just check off what's on the list, notate if I have something additional, and from there hop on over to Supercook and put in what I have. From there, Supercook goes out to the net and finds recipes with my ingredients on hand and lets me know what I would need to add! It's like having a personal chef in my kitchen helping me make up my monthly menu. Who wouldn't like that?

I then open up my template for an entire month of meal planning from The Good Old Days Farm and type in my choices.  It works best when printed because typing it is a bit awkward, but I make do. It isn't really made to be typed in. I kinda force it to happen that way. I have girly handwriting and can't make my writing fit in their nice little boxes. Come to think of it, I've never been able to fit inside a box. Goes to figure...

As I'm writing up my monthly menu, I am making a weekly list of what I need to supplement. I get my meat from a local butcher who offers grass fed beef and grub and peck fed chickens for $4.25 a pound. It's a 30 minute drive for me, but worth the savings. I also attempt to visit a large farmers market which is open all year round about 45 minutes away every other week, and when there buy mostly the $1 bags of fruit or veggies about to go over or bruised and use those to make things like apple sauce, sweet potato chips and pickles with smaller cucumbers. To fill in other things, I use Aldi's and buy responsible priced organic produce.

My kids and hubby don't suffer. We have a house full of fruits and veggies, homemade chips and some store bought chips, we have cookies in the house or I use making cookies and a math lesson in fractions or a science class in chemical reactions. We make gluten free bread about once a week. That's usually gone by dinner. We have well balanced meals. We have variety. We have colorful plates of dinner and we even eat the D word...dessert. Can you believe it? All without dairy or gluten or ... corn. And they taste good.

Lesson here is it IS possible to eat a restricted allergy diet on a budget. You just have to be more creative. Feel free to share below what other tips YOU have on how you save money on groceries.

Happy Shopping Everyone!


  1. I am a huge meal planner! If I don't I totally blow the budget! I'm trying to go refined sugar free, and that's a challenge, I admire you for juggling more than one!

    1. Krista,
      Thanks! It can be difficult but our overall health is much more important than my "freedom" in the food world. :) Today, I have baked 2 pounds of bacon, made bacon/egg/cheese for the kids, done up some spaghetti squash and some mushrooms/chicken sausage/shallots to go with the squash for dinner tonight b/c we have ballet and trapeze for Boo Bear and served up left overs for lunch with a fresh side of sweet potato fries and homemade applesauce from the bruised apples in my drawer. And yes, we've done school, had our heater looked at twice, done laundry and dishes...all in a day's work I suppose. :)


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