How do you stick to a tight budget when you’re cooking for allergies? This was my biggest fear when we entered the world of allergies. We’re on a tight weekly budget so I had to think of a way to cook the same meals without breaking the bank.
My main piece of advice would be to shop around. I initially thought “specialist” stores would be my friend and the best place to shop. Don’t get me wrong, they were great in the early days and I still shop there now for specific items BUT do your research. Certain items are ridiculously overpriced in “specialist” stores and you can get exactly the same in supermarkets for a lot less.
Secondly, where you can buy in bulk. I purchase 99% of our meat products from http://www.musclefood.com. They do great “bundle” deals and you can purchase items separately too. You can even get fish, veg and protein products.
Thirdly. Plan plan plan. I try and meal plan upto 2 weeks in advance. If I’m planning on making a meal that I know is good to freeze I will always bulk out with extra veg, lentils or beans and freeze the left overs in single portion servings. This one is great for saving money AND giving you quick and easy meals for those busy days or days you just can’t be bothered to stand and cook.
And finally you don’t always need free from alternatives to make a nice meal. Think outside the box. Instead of lasagne sheets use courgette sliced lengthways or spiralized instead of spaghetti. Check the ingredients on your normal everyday purchases. You may be surprised to find a lot don’t actually contain allergens any ways. And if you can then make your own. Bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, deserts and ice cream. Probably the most common things people go out to buy and they can all be made at home.