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Gluten-free & casein-free – how to save money

Gluten-free & casein-free.

Gluten Free Casein Free Save Money

Is gluten-free or casein-free eating part of your everyday life? Many people are faced with the challenge of living with a gluten-free diet or a casein-free diet, especially the cost of maintaining those dietary needs. What to buy? Where to buy? When to buy?

As someone who loves to save money and is required to purchase these gluten-free foods and casein-free foods for my family, I know that coupons alone won’t cut it.

Living gluten and casein-free are becoming more and more popular, yet little is know about what it is or how to live that way simply and inexpensively. As a weekly grocery shopper of these products, I’ve seen a growing trend of these products being offered by companies.

Members of our family have been living gluten-free and casein-free for over a year now and we’ve been able to continue our money-saving lifestyle with this switch. I’d like to share with you some ways our family keeps the cost down living gluten and casein-free, but first, let’s learn more about this diet.

What is gluten?

Gluten Free

Gluten is a protein composite in foods processed from wheat and grain, including rye and barley. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise, and gives the final product a chewy texture.

Common foods that include gluten are breads, cereals, and pastas.

What is casein?

Casein Free

Casein is the name for a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 20-45% of proteins in human milk.

Common foods that include casein are milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Who benefits from a gluten-free or casein-free diet?

Celiac Disease – Can experience bloating, cramping, or types of skin rashes. People with celiac disease might also become lactose intolerant and have iron deficiency anemia.

Gluten Intolerance or Sensitivity – Can experience headaches, bloating, fatigue or diarrhea after eating foods containing gluten.

Autism – Gluten and casein can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, as well as foggy thinking and inattentiveness for many children with autism.

How to save money on gluten & casein free foods

Create a Master Grocery List. Go through your pantry and fridge, and make a list of all the foods that contain gluten and casein. Be sure to read labels of spices and sauces that your food may come in contact with, too. These are the foods that you will now have to replace. This is your shopping list.

Menu Planning. One of the best ways to save money is with menu planning. There are lots of different ways to menu plan but one of the best ways to start is to make lists of all the meals your family regularly eats. Create your lists around your main ingredient. For example, your “GROUND BEEF” list may include: spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, etc. Use the lists you’ve created when selecting the meals you plan to eat for the week.

Reward Programs. One of my favourite stores to shop at with a larger selection of these products is Real Canadian Superstore. They offer a rewards program called PC Points. There are many ways to use this program to save money. One way is by signing up for a PC Mastercard, which allows you to accumulate PC Points that you can cash in for money off your groceries. You can also fill up at their gas bars for Superbucks, which can also be used for money off your groceries.

Read labels. Gluten and casein tend to be in a lot of foods we eat but you’d be surprised at the gluten free and casein free products available. Avoid the health food section and start reading labels of products in the regular aisles. You can find gluten free and casein free chips, sorbet, lunch meats and fruit snacks there, too – for much less!

Use coupons. Even though coupons for gluten free and casein free products are typically harder to find than other coupons, there are coupons out there. Search online for your favourite brands to see if they offer these coupons. Many companies have links for printable coupons on their website or have Facebook pages you can “LIKE” for exclusive savings and offers.

Tip: The Bulk Barn offers a coupon for $3 off when you spend $10 on anything in store. This coupon is available every few weeks on their website and on

Living gluten-free or casein-free doesn’t have to be expensive. With some planning, you can save yourself time and money. Inquire at your local grocery store if they carry these types of products, and if they don’t, ask them to consider doing so.

By following these tips, you will find that living gluten-free and casein-free is very much possible (and affordable)!

Is someone in your home on a gluten-free or casein-free diet?

Jessica is a mother of 2 children who were diagnosed with asperger syndrome. She writes about various topics such as the gluten free and casein free diet, recipes, autism, saving money and more! Follow Adventures of Aspergirl and Asperboy as they show you being “Aspie” is not a disorder, it’s a difference.


  1. 050937k2

    If you are celiac you do not have a choice of being able to eat gluten – also, while it’s fine to look in the regular aisles, if the product doesn’t contain gluten, but is made on the same line of something that is – you run the risk of cross contamination. Fruits, veggies, plain meats are all fine of course, but watch the processed foods! Lays chips recently started labelling their bags gluten free – approved by the Canadian Celiac Association 🙂
    I buy some products online, watch for sales at the stores and use coupons from the healthy shopper!

  2. CMB

    The pediatrician recommended that for the next few months, I follow a casein-free diet, as my infant daughter that I’m nursing seems to have a sensitivity. I’m new to this dietary restriction, so I’m just starting to read all the labels and learning what I can and cannot buy/consume. I’ve found almond milk coupons, but not much else so far (I just started looking). Still trying to get the hang of it and shopping for it.

  3. Amanda

    Buy things that are naturally gluten free, garden, buy in bulk if you are able. There is a local health food store that will buy me 5 – 10 kg bags of GF flours at a much lower cost than packaged GF flours and without the risk of cross contact from bulk bins. You can buy a number of GF options at Costco now – it has by far the best price on quinoa and coconut oil. Look for online retailers and share the cost of shipping with others around you. Bake from scratch. If you are simply dealing with an intolerance and not a full blown celiac, you might be able to use some flours from the Asian food stores(white rice, sweet rice, tapioca starch)or international food aisles such as those at some Superstores (besan flour in ours is labelled GF). Look at non-dairy “milk” options if you want – many are the same price as cow’s milk. Know your products – buckwheat is GF, but mixes containing buckwheat often are not, non-dairy whipped topping contains casein so don’t get tricked into buying things you cannot use. Watch for sales and build a pantry. I recently bought GF rice crackers at a BOGO sale (2 for $2.78) – they went up to $3.19 the following week. This article touches only on very few strategies, but it is helpful to beginners. We are a family of seven with many food intolerances so have a lot of experience in this.

  4. aLaNa

    My son has an intolerance to cheese which I figured out after numerous trips to the Dr.’s and leaving with prescrip’s for expensive medication. I figured out it’s the CASEIN that was making him incredibly bloated, gassy and constipated. My husband found a casein/gluten free vegan cheese and contacted the company via their website. They responded with a letter and coupons for their product. It is DAIYA and my son is soooooo happy to be able to eat grilled “cheese” sandwiches and pizza again! Great article!It is found at health food stores and Safeway.

  5. Eve

    For the past 5 months I have been on FODMAP diet to determine what foods I can eat and what I react to. It is a long and tiresome process but I have discovered I have many sensitivities. I am gluten intolerant but also intolerant to certain carbohydrates.So I can no longer use a lot of coupons. More and more grocery stores are providing GF. I have to be careful of cross contamination so I no longer buy prepared foods. Cook alot from scratch.I too buy flours from Asian market. Save on Foods here is my best place to buy GF.They give lists of regular foods that are GF and sometimes give out coupons and sales. My dietician says it will take me about a year to determine what I can eat and not.I have to cook separate meals for my husband! What a pain.We have given away a lot of food to our adult children.Prepared hamburger patties can have a wheat product in them.There are GF luncheon meats Sobeys has lists of their GF meats but unfortunately does not have hardly any GF products.Walmart is starting to get more.Good luck to all that have intolerances. I find by watching sales and using coupons I can use, my grocery bill is about the same. I was worried about that.

  6. Jennifer

    My step daughter is gf due to health reasons. We have found that making everything from scratch is the cheapest way to go!!! We just substitute a rice flour, tapioca , potato startch and xanthagum blend for regular flour!
    We make pancakes , muffins everything….
    We make granola bars at home with wheat free oats and a Rachel ray no bake granola bar receipe!

    We bought the cuisenart convection bread maker that has a gf option!! This was a god send!!! It tastes like bread. We add cheese to make cheese bread.
    We add a mashed banana and nuts to make banana loaf.
    Options are endless …. Real cost saver!!!

  7. Denise

    We are a mostly gf household (some celiac, some intolerant), and half are casein free. It is definietly a genetic thing as half my extended family have symptoms. We LUV Daiya cheese! And tofutti spreads, Becel Vegan & Fleishmanns lactose free margarines. Prepared gf food is way too pricey so we scratch bake. Mix the various flours and follow recipes closely for best results! We regularly shop the Ethnic aisle at Superstore, watch for our favourite gf noodles in all the sale flyers, stock up basics on sale day at the health food stores (20% off everything!).. SaveOn Foods (Overwaitea) has good sales and sends emails with GF promos. Costco rocks for df milks and ancient grain noodle prices. Quality Foods lets you scan your QCard & choose one item to put on sale, just for you! I’m sure lots of stores do things like this.
    Letting go of the convenience junk food that society believes they need is awesome for our bodies and the sooner we learn of all the options before us the sooner we realize we’ve lost nothing by eating gf and df. How amazing is it to become skilled in the kitchen and the envy of the neighbourhood?! Besides, eating out all the time is way more expensive than eating gf.

  8. Lucia

    Some great tips and ideas to get started, but I was hoping to find links for coupons etc…

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