How to Stock Up on Gluten Free Foods On a Budget
The actually useful gluten-free pantry staples to always have in your kitchen
Learn how to stock a gluten-free pantry on a budget. Have all the essential gluten-free foods you need for gluten-free baking and basic meals without the overwhelm ( + free practical shopping list to download).
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Making the switch to gluten-free food can feel like going through a corn maze in the dark.
Have you gone through a corn maze in the dark before?
And to be honest, I walked one row of a corn maze in the dark before running back out the entrance, looking frantically for a brown paper bag to breathe into.
I don’t like being lost.
When I first switched to eating gluten-free foods, that’s often how I felt. Lost. And trapped.
I felt trapped by so many questions. Questions like:
What food can I eat?
Have I tasted the last of cake?
Should I even bother eating anymore?
It’s dramatic for some (namely, me).
There are three types of pantries
When stocking a gluten free pantry, you can go many routes, because here’s the truth:
There are a lot of foods you can eat.
These are the three types of gluten-free pantries I see most often:
- The complicated gluten-free pantry with every single kind of gluten-free flour there is known to man (fun for those who like to experiment).
- The loaded pantry with processed and pre-packaged foods (that you’ll pay an arm and a leg for).
- The simple, functional, gluten-free pantry that will streamline your life.
I might have made the last one sound like the best on purpose. In reailty, none of these pantries are necessarily wrong!
If you want more flours to play with, do it!
If you want more pre-packaged foods because you might lose your ever-loving mind if you have to make one. more. thing…please, buy the thing!
For me, I don’t want a complicated kitchen. I want a simple, functional, gluten-free kitchen pantry.
And I want to save money.
And I want to live healthier.
Are you in the same camp? Read on…
These are the gluten-free items you need for a well-stocked, money-saving pantry
These items are perfect to stock up on for national health emergencies, weather emergencies, etc.
*In times of national emergencies, only stock up on what your family will need for 2-4 weeks–please do not hoard
Gluten-free pantry staples list
- Almond flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Brown rice flour
- Coconut flour
- Corn meal: great for homemade cornbread, or to dust the bottom of gluten-free pizza crust to make it taste more “legit”
- Potato starch
- Tapioca starch
Gluten-free baking items:
- Baking soda
- Chocolate chips: dairy-free if needed
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut sugar: Low-glycemic index that won’t spike your blood sugar
- Cream of tartar: Used in baking powder when needed
- Salt: Himalayan pink salt is my preference because it contains trace minerals (great for your teeth). Sea salt is my second favorite.
- Sugar, organic cane: I use this to activate yeast for breads
- Spices: purchase individual spices, not mixes. Many pre-made seasoning packets add wheat as a filler or thickener.
- Xanthan gum: This is essential to have separate from gluten-free flour, because you often will need extra when making bread, pizza crust, and rolls for better texture
Gluten free pantry items:
- Beans, dried or canned: Black, pinto, red kidney, garbanzo, and lentils
- Coconut cream: this is the best 100% coconut cream you can buy
- Corn tortillas
- Chia seeds
- Dried fruit: Raisins, dates, apricots
- Flaxseeds: Grind them yourself for best flavor and effectiveness
- Oil: Grapeseed or avocado, olive, and refined coconut–I keep all of these on hand
- Popcorn kernals
- Pasta, brown rice: Buy locally for best price
- Raw honey: Best bought locally, as raw honey from your region increases it’s benefit to you!
- Raw nuts/seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, dry-roasted peanuts, sunflower seeds
- Rice: My favorite rice is jasmine. Read this article about the difference between white and brown rice
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Vegetables, canned: Diced tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, sweet corn, water chestnuts, green chilies
Tips to keeping an awesome-sauce gluten-free pantry
Buy these items in bulk to save money on gluten free foods.
Find a store that carries bulk gluten-free flours. I use a local Winco, but many Krogers also have a well-priced bulk section.
If you don’t have a local bulk section or you have celiac and aren’t able to safely purchase in bulk locally, here are some online places to try:
Keep a jar or reused protein powder container of each item in your kitchen, and store the rest of each item in your pantry or a sealed storage bin in your garage.
We keep extra pantry items on some shelves in our garage.
Keep your ingredients minimal. Simplifying which ingredients you have in your home will relieve the feelings of overwhelm.
There are many gluten-free flours:
Cassava flour, millet flour, sorgum flour…
Keep the items you like (hang on to that cassava if it’s your thing!), but get rid of the excess.
Kick out processed and pre-packaged foods to reduce your overall cost. Learn to make things from scratch.
Pre-packaged gluten-free cookies, chips, bagels, bread, etc, cost at least double what regular versions cost.
Say goodbye to pre-made flours and baking mixes. They just want to take up your grocery budget.
Learn to make your own pancake blend or biscuit mix with all your flours from the printable shopping list! It’s much easier than you
Here’s how to make your own pancake mix:
- 4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
To make pancakes, combine:
- 1 cup pancake mix
- 1 cup milk of choice (cashew is my favorite)
- 1 egg or flax egg
- 1 tablespoon oil or melted butter
*recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on your family’s size
Stuck in a corn maze?
Not anymore! Or at least I hope not. If you’re still feeling lost, reach out! I’m happy to help you get out of the corn maze and get you feeling more confident in your gluten-free lifestyle.
Quick breakfast ideas
- Soaked oatmeal
- Baked oatmeal
- Chia seed pudding
Healthy gluten-free snack ideas
Since we’re skipping many processed foods, here are some snack ideas to make using pantry items: