If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, or your receipts, you can’t help but notice the cost of your weekly shop rising. With the price of many staple ingredients increasing, as well as fuel costs impacting the supply chain, it’s likely that we’ll all feel the squeeze for some time.
While many products can be substituted for basics versions, for those of us with special dietary needs, cheaper alternatives for Free From products may be a little harder to come by. But it’s not impossible.
Here’s a few tips to help protect your purse while you prevent your intolerances.
Follow Free From brands
All the main Free From brands have social media pages and newsletters you can subscribe to. Sign up to get notifications about special deals and offers. And, why not try messaging some of those brands with feedback about their products. Companies will often offer money off vouchers as a thank you.
Find Free From blogs
Whether you’re going gluten free or looking to swerve dairy in your diet, there are hundreds of brilliant blogs, crammed full of tried and tested recipes from people looking to recreate their favourite dishes, minus their trigger foods. Best of all? There are tonnes of specifically budget friendly blogs, providing low-cost inspiration without compromising on flavour.
Pack your snacks
Pre-made snack mixes may be a time saver, but they’re not cheap. From trail mixes to bliss balls, branded on-the-go Free-From treats can set you back a surprisingly high cost. An easy way to save money is to make your own. An added benefit? You know exactly what’s in them!
Heading to the Free From section of the supermarket for food intolerance friendly alternatives may be a no brainer, but have you considered taking a trip to the World Foods aisle? You’ll often find naturally Free From staples at a much lower price, available to buy in bulk.
Go low (cost)
Low-cost supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl have upped their game when it comes to Free From foods in recent years, in order to compete with the bigger chains. Dairy free alternatives, plant-based meals and gluten free products are all easy to get hold off and generally more affordable than the mainstream brands.
Food waste is a huge problem, but there are apps on the market trying to turn the tide. Too Good To Go offers a marketplace where cafes and restaurants can advertise surplus food at a much cheaper price to save it from being thrown away. Keep an eye out for meals from your favourite local spots or encourage them to join the scheme.
Make your own
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own non-dairy milk. Cashew, almond or oat milks are all popular substitutes which can be made easily with just a blender and water. You can also make your own dairy-free cheese or sour cream using cashews and a few store cupboard staples.
If you’re going gluten free, make a batch or two of this gluten-free dairy-free pizza dough dry mix for easy pizza nights.
Batch cook and freeze
When it comes to saving money, meal prepping is a popular option. Buying ingredients in bulk can help you get goods at a lower cost. And, by making meals in larger quantities and freezing them, you always have food ready to go, making you less likely to impulse purchase or give in to ready meals.
Cracking egg-free alternatives
Need an egg replacement for baking. Applesauce is a great low-cost alternative. If you’ve got some overripe bananas, slice them up and freeze them for use later on in some of your favourite recipes.
Looking for a cheap egg alternative for treats like meringue? Don’t throw away your chickpea water. Next time you open a tin, make sure you save the aquafaba (chickpea water) as it’s a perfect egg-free substitute.
Are you sure about those substitutes?
While dairy, gluten and eggs are all common ingredients when it comes to food intolerance, they are by no means the only foods that can cause issues.
It’s estimated that around 45% of the UK population has some kind of food intolerance. Often, they go undetected for years, causing mild, but persistent and frustrating problems that stop you from feeling your best.
We often blame ‘the usual suspects’, but anything in your diet, from tuna to tomatoes, could be behind a host of unwanted symptoms. Knowing the foods that work for, and against you, is an important part of optimising your diet and your wellbeing, so it’s best not to leave it to guesswork.
Get answers faster with Smartblood food intolerances testing
When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company.
At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods.
Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.