Gluten-Free Frugally, Is That Possible? Part 2

This is a guest post by Mary Blackburn of It’s packed with valuable information about living well while eating a gluten-free diet. Please read and be sure to pass along to anyone you know who is struggling with this same issue. Thank you!

Well I’m back today with some more ideas on how to be frugal, while living a gluten-free lifestyle. You can read yesterday’s post by clicking this link: Gluten-Free Frugally, Is That Possible? Part 1

One of the easiest things to do, is buy as much main stream food products that are also gluten-free as possible.  I wrote an article here on HBHW called Is There Life After Gluten-Free? in that article I talk about the foods that you can buy that are either naturally gluten-free or made gluten-free.

If you are reading labels to find gluten-free on the shelf food, just remember this:  If you are in the United States all labels of foods sold in the U.S. has to list on the label if it includes any of the eight known allergens.  Which are:  milk, wheat, soy, egg , tree nut, peanut, fish and shellfish.

However, just because it says wheat free, does not mean gluten-freeBarley has gluten, but they do not have to list that as an allergen, so just be aware of that and check the ingredient list carefully.  I had to educate my husband on that.  He picked up a package of something, I can’t remember exactly what, but in huge letters it declared, “Wheat Free”.  He put it in the cart and said I got this for you.  I said “That’s not gluten-free”.  “Really”?  “Really” I replied.  So again, just be careful.

Get creative with substitutes.  Instead of couscous, use quinoa.  It’s naturally gluten-free, with no worries of cross-contamination, because it is grown high in the Andes mountains above the freeze line, and is actually better for you because it has phyto-nutrients, is a complete protein and supplies all nine essential amino acids.  It is high in lysine and is an excellent source of a complete protein.  Which means you could pretty much live off of nothing but quinoa and be quite healthy.

You can find a recipe for a quinoa and turkey recipe here that I posted here on HBHW a while back.

I make a fantastic lasagne using zucchini for the noodles, and if you slice it thin enough, the kids may not even realize there are extra vege’s in there. 😉

You will need to watch out for condiments, seasonings, and sauces, but if I stick to straight dried herbs and spices I’m usually okay.  If you’re in doubt, ask the manufacturer.

I have found that LaChoy Soy Sauce is gluten-free, but it is the only one that is.  Heinz ketchup, French’s Yellow mustard, and Grey Poupon mustard, just about all Kraft salad dressings, and Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.

I have a lot of recipes over on my website, Easy Gluten Free and more in my cookbook Gluten-Free Get-Togethers.

One of the biggies for me was corn flake crumbs.  Before I was diagnosed I made my own corn flake crumbs by smashing up Kellogg Corn Flakes cereal, but after my diagnosis I couldn’t do that.

I don’t know about you but I use a lot of corn flake crumbs for everything from chicken nuggets to crunch topping on casseroles.  A cheaper substitute for more expensive gluten-free corn flake crumbs is Corn Chex. 

Just throw a bunch into the blender, or food processor and crunch them to the size crumbs you want.  Don’t have a food processor?  No problem just put them into a sealed ziplock bag, with all the air pushed out and use your rolling pin to smash them.  So much cheaper than buying a small container of g-free corn flake crumbs.

I hope this gave you some frugal alternatives and helps you all to live a little more Gluten-Free Frugally.


Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.


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