One of the first things you notice when you go gluten-free is that everything seems to cost double. It’s ridiculous how much more even a loaf of gluten-free bread is compared to a regular loaf of whole wheat bread. One of the ways to beat the budget issue is to eat more whole, naturally gluten-free foods. Today I’m going to give you a little tip on getting your fruits and veggies a little cheaper as well.

As your gut is healing from the exposure to gluten, you want to eat as healthy and as clean as possible. So you want to eat more fruits and vegetables. It can be quite expensive when buying fresh fruits and vegetables, specially when they are out of season and having enough for the whole family. It may not be much of an issue when you have one or two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but when you’re trying to eat clean, and adding fruits and veggies at every meal, that’s another story.

Leave the Cans on the Shelf

I realize that canned fruit and vegetables are cheaper and convenient, but, first of all, there may be hidden gluten in there, and second they have other additives added to them. Like salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, just to name a few. If you are a budget person, like me, you know that the produce section is where things can get a bit hairy and now you are looking at an increased fruit budget and an increased vegetable budget.

Think Frozen!

No I’m not talking about Anna and Elsa, I mean frozen vegetables and fruits. Instead of buying fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle, get them from the frozen foods section.

There are two big benefits here….

First, obviously the cost is the biggest benefit. Shopping in the freezer section is generally no more expensive than the produce section, and in many cases it is actually cheaper. Best of all, the work is done for you. I recently had a recipe that called for quite a few peaches. Not only was it more expensive for me to buy the fresh peaches in the produce section, out of season, but the frozen peaches were already cut for me – that my friends is a major score for busy moms.

Second, and this could be huge, is that frozen fruits and vegetables last longer than fresh ones. Yes, some will argue about the taste, but personally, I think that if you buy good quality frozen and pay attention to the use by dates, there just isn’t that much of a difference to notice it. Even though there are times when I love escaping to the grocery store, I generally hate shopping for groceries. Mainly because it is a 30 minute trip, one way, from my house to the grocery store. Then there’s the putting everything in it’s place. Ugh! So the least amount of time I have to spend going to and from the grocery store, the happier I am. Plus, it’s nice to know that you have things in the freezer to make a quick meal with, since ordering in a pizza is no longer an option for those of us on a gluten-free diet.

Thankfully, when I buy most of my fruits and vegetables from the freezer aisle, I don’t have to worry about them going bad as quickly, I get to buy enough for two weeks and then stay as far away from the store as humanly possible.

Tip: The night before you eat your frozen fruits and vegetables, measure what you need and move them to the fridge. That way they are thawed out and ready to use.