A few months ago, I believe I was tossed into food hyperspace as my daughter’s illness took a step into the wrong direction and she became even more ill. After years of being admitted in and checked out of the hospital without much help, we found a Dr. who has made great strides in making Kaleigh feel so much better. One large change; A Gluten-Free Diet. I have written about this so much before, but now I am really figuring our way through this whole Gluten Free ordeal. We have quickly learned where to shop, what to make homemade, what is easier to buy prepared and which foods have loads of ingredients and calories in them that don’t do a body good. Here is today’s trip and I have found a few great items to share with you .
Where are the best Gluten Free Pizza shells? First we thought it was at Trader Joe’s, but due to the limited number of stores and their locations that are not exactly convenient, we have ruled them off of our shopping list. They do make a great Gluten Free Pizza for under $6, but they lack carrying enough items that we can use making the trip across town not worth it.
Giant Eagle offers over-priced Gluten Free foods, so while the items can be found there the price tag on them is definitely out-of-control. The average consumer can not afford an almost $10 pizza that we have found for at least $3 less in several stores. I guess we are paying for the Fuel Perks while we shop to cover the price of gas. We have found a lot of Schar products there as well, but Whole Foods has better prices and a way bigger selection. Giant Eagle will do in a pinch but the prices are a bit too high for this Pittsburgh Frugal Mom.
Walmart. This store just plain drives me crazy from the parking lot to the check out, but I will say you can find some amazing foods in the Walmart for Gluten Free eating and the prices will keep you coming back even if you can’t stand the lines and parking. We love the rice pasta they sell and that a lot of the food is in ONE section so we don’t have to run all over the store. The frozen Gluten Free foods leave a lot to be desired as the selection is slim pickings, but being able to buy all the other fresh items like cheese, meats, and produce at discounted prices keep up coming back, as it really becomes one stop convenience shopping with a side of thriftiness.
Kuhn’s. This store is useless as far as I am concerned for anything other than basic pick ups. The Barilla Gluten Free pasta is in the store and available, running on average $3 per box. Other than that, don’t plan on finding much here for the Gluten Free shopper unless you are doing meats and fresh produce.
ALDI – There are not a lot of offerings at ALDI yet for the Gluten Free diet, but I did happen to find this baking item which actually helps the budget quite a bit. This was less than $3 a box, and that is a bargain compared to most of what I have found for boxed baking snacks. No pizza shells and no special flour to make those shells, so ALDI does not win my vote for Gluten Free eating other than really great prices on produce and fresh fruits which are also needed, but not the particular items this shopping trip had me seeking.
Whole Foods. I love shopping in here. I can find so much of what we need for the Gluten Free Diet, the Vegetarian lifestyle, the Vegan tendencies I have as well as nut free products. This store is one stop shopping, convenient and I love my brown paper bags that I reuse for so much from recycling magazines to actually toting stuff.
Pizza shells for a 2 pack are under $7, snack bars that are Gluten Free can be found in numerous amounts and you can pick from almost any price level starting at $1 a bar. Nut free products are all over the store, providing variety on snack foods and other foods. Pasta is available as a whole grain, gluten free, and nut free. As for Pizzas and Gluten Free, there were plain shells, whole grain shells, frozen dough and pre-made pizzas. The cost on the pizza shells was so far less than Giant Eagle, and the variety blows anyone else out there selling the Gluten Free items away!
Stay tuned as we begin taking some adventures to Whole Foods and uncovering the Gluten Free Advantage of shopping at Whole Foods.