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Food Allergies And The Grocery Budget

This is one of those keeping it real, very honest type posts. And whether or not you have food allergies, I am guessing you can relate.

Food prices are going up. Good deals on healthy foods are often hard to find. And we are all so busy, that taking the time to focus on cooking, shopping, and budgeting is often difficult. Add in food allergies and issues and it becomes even more challenging.

This year is really the year that I want to get control of my grocery budget. I used to be great about what I spent on groceries. We were always well under the average amount that the typical family our size spends and we did not eat just beans and rice. We ate good and healthy food, but over the last two years it has become a challenge.

The first issue is that grocery prices are on the rise. Basic foods that we use everyday like butter, milk, cheese, potatoes, meat, and fruits and vegetables are more expensive than they were two years ago. In some cases they are much more expensive. And these are not special gluten free or allergy friendly foods, these are everyday foods that most American families eat.

When I add in the special flours that gluten free baking requires and the added cost of thing like SunButter, I can quickly see why my grocery budget has increased over the last few years.

And I cannot forget all the gluten free baking disasters I have had over the last few years. Those are part of gluten free baking, but wow do they do a number on your grocery budget if you have very many of them.

Now, I am also going to add in another challenge into my kitchen this year and that is eating healthier, especially when it comes to gluten free baking and cooking. This added goal is going to make working on my grocery budget even more challenging, but I am determined to give it a try.

And I hope to share some about this journey of cutting my grocery budget over the next year, especially in my allergy section, because the added allergies in our family is what makes this especially challenging.

Now I am guessing that I am not the only one that struggles with the grocery budget, so I would love you to share some of your challenges and struggles and what you are doing to work on it.

Joining me on this journey of setting goals and a New Year, New You is:

So be sure to follow all of us over the next few weeks as we share ideas and challenges for starting the New Year!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I have to watch everything we buy as my husband has high blood pressure (which is taking medication for) but we want to slowly take him off of it. So it is twofold-healthy and low sodium meals.
    EVERYTHING has salt in it and it amazes me how much is in it even with the healthy stuff.
    I hate the fact that staple items are going up. So I have to be diligent in what we buy. I am in the mind set if it is on sale, I will stock up.
    This is especially true of meats and fish.
    I have to take it one step and one meal at a time.
    Good luck!

    • I agree, salt is in everything and makes it hard. And yes one step and one meal at a time, and since we have to eat a certain way there is only so much we can do. We just have to do the best we can with what we can.

    • You might try cutting out wheat. For more info read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis or check out, but many people who cut out wheat have stabilized blood pressure (along with a whole lot of other health improvements).


  2. Robin Helm says

    I am the only one in my family who has to eat gluten free my fiance is diabetic and I have 3 children two of which are extremely picky eaters.
    I try to use coupons and watch for sales and stock up when I find a really good price on basics like sugar and meats. Buying the gf flours,pastas and breads are tough though as I am limited where I can buy them and of course the cost of gluten free items is always so much more.

  3. My 3rd son has a long list of severe food allergies. Wheat, dairy, soy, rye, egg, peanut, tree nut, sesame, garlic and cinnamon. whew! He’s anaphylactic to all of them, so this is not a matter of “intolerance.”

    One thing that I do to try to ease the grocery budget is NOT to try to replace the foods we eat with “allergy free” substitutions”. This is easy to do as my son is now almost 4 and he’s known no other way, so this might not be an option for others. Another thing I do is focus on foods that we ALL can eat which makes things easier for me. ie–potato dishes instead of a bread, fruits for dessert instead of trying to bake something.

    My overall food budget has increased since the birth of our 3rd child-but some of that is due to the fact that we no longer eat junk AND my oldest is a teen boy (need I say more?!) BUT—I now garden more, I can, I freeze, I shop local, etc. I think quality of food is worth more.

    • I agree with what you say, Dorothy. I try to do the same things, i.e., focus on foods that we can all eat and do as much from scratch as I can. My oldest teenager does just need some junk food, he thinks, so I allow some in the budget but not much.

  4. I do not have any allergies in my family but I really want to reduce my grocery spending as well. I coupon, make from scratch, watch the sales, etc but still we are spending more and more on food. So right now I am doing a freezer/pantry challenge to help me kick off the month by saving money.

  5. I’m in the same boat as Dorothy. While my son’s allergies are not anaphylactic, he was diagnosed at 9 months and he’s 4 now, so he’s not tasted most of the real things to know he needs them! We do some replacement foods, but I make most of those from scratch and I can freeze them in individual servings for when we go somewhere and have to take his food with us.

    I can’t wait to hear what you have for us, Lynn!

  6. My husband is allergic to dairy. It’s always been hard to find items that don’t have any little bits of dairy. Soy milk has always been expensive in our area but is now a bit cheaper than regular milk. My greatest frustration is finding a dairy free margarine that isn’t so expensive. A local WI company had been my source for a very budget friendly product even with driving to another city to buy it. Of course it’s not sold there anymore! My budget can’t afford the $5/4 sticks of vegan margarine but luckily found another product for $3. That should work until they change the recipe or until the store stops sellling it…one or the other always happens.

    What’s helped us is trying to keep to the sale items and creating menus from that. Stocking up when basics are cheap explains why I have a huge picnic cooler full of bagged flour. Bulk stores are also a good source for us. We found a Mennonite run store that I now get all my different flours and such at.

    • Dairy has been one of them dd’s allergies also. I’m not sure what margarine you are referring to, but we use Fleishman’s unsalted margarine. It does tend to disappear from the shelves for a few months after the holidays and then get restocked again. I buy a bunch of boxes when it goes on sale and freeze it to last through the dry spell. I hope that you will find your margarine back on the shelves soon.

      • Cheri A,
        We have used that margarine in the past but have problems with the grocery store that sells it. It does tend to disappear and I didn’t know that you could freeze it since the package says otherwise. You don’t have any problems when you freeze it? Anyway, the store tend to stock incorrectly and when I do find it the date is too close to stock up. The price jumped way up the last time it was stocked…double of the original F’s margarine! We are now using Canoleo which we find in the health food/organic section. It comes in a tub but can be used for baking. It does have natural butter flavor in it which husband missed due to mislabeling by company. No ill effects though so we’ll keep on buying…plus it’s delicious!

  7. Kori Ireland says

    I don’t know where you live but something I have found very helpful is Azure Standard. They are a family owned organic and healthy food co-op. They do deliveries in many many states. They are in the northwest and I am in Arkansas and they do come to this area. Don’t think they go much further east than Tennessee though. Anyway, they have better prices on many items that I look for – whole grains, coconut oil, more natural cleaning products and so on. I know they also carry a lot of the products that friends use for gluten free cooking. May be worth checking out!

    • I love AzureStandard for many things. Especially produce and frozen stuff. I can get some gluten free items from them also. They have had a drop in my are for about 2 yrs and I love them and order often. I am going to mention them in an upcoming post. I am glad you enjoy them also.

  8. Grocery budgeting is on my goal list too. My sons only drink soy milk due to my oldest’s dairy allergy. That fact alone increases our grocery budget. Thankfully dairy is now our only food allergy. I have to be more creative, but I think it’s lead to healthier eating. I’m going to try and at a special budget each month for dairy free extras for G like dairy free chocolate chips and dairy free lunch box snacks. I’m hoping that helps. Good luck everyone!

  9. Denise Fedor says

    BUDGET? For Food? Try our forced food budget of $12/day (food stamps since my dh’s severe stroke). He is diabetic,high bp, high cholest. Me gluten free, Crohns. Live in dd’s house . DD /gf, soy,nuts, corn, and most fresh fruits and veg Free. 2 or 3 meals to be made at a time. Talk about stress!

  10. I’ll be following you on this road. We’ve pretty much given up on a budget for food. My grocery bill exceeds my mortgage, and we are even back on gluten after successfully trialling wheat. Add in my uber picky allergic child and her sister and I often make something they will eat then do take out for the huz and I so I’m not making two different meals. 🙁

  11. This couldn’t have come at a better time! I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis so I have found an all natural medical diet to help me overcome the problems associated with these diseases and have started it 4 days ago. I am now having to go free of these – Gluten Free, Grain Free (incl corn, etc.) UNLESS it is sprouted, Legume Free UNLESS it is sprouted, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, and Soy Free. I am pricing things now and making a LOT of changes but I will definitely need to work on a budget. I was wondering if anyone would have product recomendations. I am on Pinterest and have found a LOT of resources for recipes but it calls for this or that and I don’t know what x brand of this tastes like compared to y brand of same thing. I have tried coconut milk and almond coconut milk and they are very good. I have also tried a soy free dairy free “butter” spread which is really good too – I would mention product names but I don’t know if it is allowed.

    Lynn-I love your site and appreciate what you have to offer! If anyone wants to email me w/tips and tidbits please do so at jesusforme_45504 @ yahoo dot com

    Thanks in advance for any help you have to offer 🙂

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