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  • FIRST POST
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 2nd Apr 17, 8:30 AM
    • 440Posts
    • 438Thanks
    Cyclamen
    0 WOW
    Free from food on a budget
    • #1
    • 2nd Apr 17, 8:30 AM
    0 WOW
    Free from food on a budget 2nd Apr 17 at 8:30 AM
    Hello Folks

    I have been lactose intolerant/milk free for a long time and I am confident with how to shop for it. Yes it increases the shopping bill a bit but it's been affordable.

    After my GP's advice I have tried going wheat free. Two weeks in and I feel a huge amount better but I'm finding the whole shopping process very expensive and very hit and miss.

    Genius bread may be free from but it tasted like mashed potato.. not for me. I realise there will be a fair amount of trial and error as i find things that work for me but its working out very expensive. I am amazed by the price of 'wraps' which i use for lunch and even bread.

    I'm at a loss with a nice noodle option tried amoy rice noodles a while back and they fell apart in stirfry. A good wheat free pasta and flour are also top of my list.

    I have chronic ill health/disability and no one to shop for me so I use tesco's online. (With the occasional Iceland shop for fish and veggies).
    I am limited to what I can cook for myself. My carers make tea and when I can I join in.

    diet restrictions: wheat and dairy free, no alcohol, no beef/lamb/onion/garlic/hot spices so this has ruled out most ready meals. Nuts are a problem too not allergy But I can't snack on them.

    So please can anyone share any tips, ideas or products that will make this all a bit more affordable without tasting hideous?

    Official MoneySavingExpert insert Tue 06 Nov:

    If you're gluten-free, wheat-free or have coeliac disease, the cost of free-from food adds up, but if you know where to look in the same supermarket, you could make big savings without compromising on ingredients. See MSE Rhiannon's Don't overpay in the free-from aisle blog for help on spotting hidden bargains. The blog is from 23 May 2017, so some of the figures may not be current, but the principle still stands.

    Big thanks to Cyclamen for starting this thread!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Hannah; 06-11-2018 at 4:13 PM.
Page 1
    • happy35
    • By happy35 2nd Apr 17, 9:01 AM
    • 1,427 Posts
    • 2,892 Thanks
    happy35
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 17, 9:01 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 17, 9:01 AM
    I eat rice cakes and ryvita instead of bread, hummus, Linda McCartney sausages, alpro almond milk, alpro yoghurt and tin chickpeas. Dove flour is good, I don't really like gf pasta so eat a lot of rice or make gf gnocchi.
    My main staples are salads or soups for lunch that I make myself.
    Evening meals I make from scratch but are veg based.
    • happy35
    • By happy35 2nd Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    • 1,427 Posts
    • 2,892 Thanks
    happy35
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    Sorry, just read you can only cook limited meals, in that case you used to be able to get diet lists from tesco, they may be of help.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 2nd Apr 17, 3:37 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 17, 3:37 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 17, 3:37 PM
    Thank you Happy

    I have discovered rice cakes by 'nature valley' or similar name but the orange chocolate ones taste how i remember jaffa cakes and are lovely.. hadn't thought of plain ones instead of bread.

    I have added dove flour to the shop.. i have been told elsewhere you have to add xanthum gum for air bubbles is this true? or can we just bake. My husband likes to make bread and we bake together when i can.

    I'll have a rummage round tescos website.

    tried one of the ready meals at lunch.. despite being really expensive it wasn't that thrilling.. and very pricey. My husband is on about batch cooking some meals for me but with work, caring tasks for me its hard to have time together. Still we must be able to conjure something up to freeze.

    I used to eat pasta quite a lot ..noodles and fusili so nothing grand and am finding i'm missing that .. i havent tried the GF stuff yet but did cook some years ago for cousin an dit was horrible.

    Huge thanks for reply.
    • alanq
    • By alanq 2nd Apr 17, 4:07 PM
    • 4,072 Posts
    • 2,663 Thanks
    alanq
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 17, 4:07 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 17, 4:07 PM
    Do you live in an area served by Ocado? It isn't cheap even for general groceries but it does offer an extensive range of free-from products of various categories. However, even there I fear you will have a struggle given the combination of your dietary restrictions.

    https://www.ocado.com/webshop/getCategories.do?tags=%7C20000%7C30489&Asidebar=1
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 2nd Apr 17, 4:37 PM
    • 26,780 Posts
    • 57,017 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 17, 4:37 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 17, 4:37 PM
    diet restrictions: wheat and dairy free, no alcohol, no beef/lamb/onion/garlic/hot spices so this has ruled out most ready meals. Nuts are a problem too not allergy But I can't snack on them.
    Originally posted by Cyclamen
    This is extreme limiting! I normally advocate avoiding processed foods, but in your case the free foods are protein, fruit and veg, which makes me wonder where you will get your energy from. It sounds to me as though potato, rice, oats and beans will have to be your staple carbohydrates. If you find a dairy free milk that suits you, you can at least eat cereal.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • Bananas123
    • By Bananas123 2nd Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    Bananas123
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    hello,

    i have IBD, many intolerance, the best food related purchase i made was a pressure cooker.

    (chicken veg stew, ALOT).

    -------------------------------------------------

    my carbs and bulk items > peeled potatoes, white rice, carrots (~50p p/kg (asda))

    butternut squash (up to 1 / kg)

    then random more expensive veg, lot of mushrooms etc

    -------------------

    asda do a nice crispy rice cake (gluten free), that tastes nicer then kallo imo for 65p for 13.

    ------------------

    i can't eat lactose, but do OK with the odd bit of mold ripened cheese (make sure "sugars" read 0 or <0.5 per 100g though... if want to try (obviously 0 is better))

    also, i am fine with hot chilli peppers (fresh), but not fat, alot of the time people eat chilli / fat and blame the chilli peppers.

    i would be angry without my chillies
    • juliesname
    • By juliesname 2nd Apr 17, 10:34 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    juliesname
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 17, 10:34 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 17, 10:34 PM
    Hi,

    Can you eat oats? Oat gluten is similar to wheat gluten but not quite the same - some people can, some can't. Rice and potatoes for other carbs.

    Would recommend pasta twists as they don't collapse to mush - Tesco's, at least, tastes of sweetcorn as they are made with rice and maize. Bread - Newburn Bakehouse thins and Schar ciabatta rolls aren't too bad - have just checked my packets and neither lists milk.

    You can't make normal bread with gluten-free flour, even using Xanthan Gum, but the back of the packet of Doves Farm bread flour has a recipe - I have made the brown bread version. Tips - base-line the tins as it sticks, and don't let it rise above the edge of the tin as it grows outwards not upwards. The recipe looks odd and the texture before cooking is more like a spongecake consistency, but it does come out OK.

    Julie.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 3rd Apr 17, 9:38 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #9
    • 3rd Apr 17, 9:38 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Apr 17, 9:38 AM
    Thanks everyone

    firstly i just wanted to say that my diet restrictions are not of my choosing. I know I am now a hugey 'fussy' eater and hate how many issues it causes.. eating out is challenging but when my mum wants to make a family dinner I cause all sorts of complications.

    I can't tolerate any lactose.. the intolerance there is so severe even lactose in tablets is an issue.. sigh... but i do have calcium tablets and rice milk with calcium/soya milk although not keen on oya i need something.

    alan - I will look at ocado thank you.. you are not the first person to suggest them, but i haven't looked yet as i know from pre illness they were pricey and a special occasion shop when i could work. Time to look i think.

    vfm4 - thanks.. sigh beans are also a no go.. they mess with me too. We are eating a lot of potato as i work this out. I try to avoid ready meals normally but now i've gained an 'exclusion' they seemed the best option for lunches without causing extra work.. I haven't eaten cereal in ears.. i shall see 'what is out there now' and try and find something.. thank you.

    bananans - i dont know where to start with pressure cooker but do like our slow cooker. We use it for tea's on 'non carer' nights. I'll have a look in asda we have one in town and should be there next week. I guess i need to look at all the shops again. We decided against signing up for asda for this years delivery as they didn't have much in the lactofree range.. but that isn't suitable for me now..sigh.

    Julies.. i have no idea about oats.. i dont know if its wheat or gluten thats the problem.. gp just suggested cutting out wheat and its made a huge difference.. once i get the hang of this i shall have some porridge .. one of my favourite breakfasts and see what happens.
    I have the tesco pasta twists coming in todays delivery.
    Thank you for checking packets.. i have tried newburn bread and like it.. will keep an eye out for the thins.

    bread making.. ahh i didnt know doves did a bread flour.. it didnt come up on tesco search (but that can be useless). My husband really enjoys making bread so i'll look out for that.

    THANK YOU everyone
    • Cisco001
    • By Cisco001 3rd Apr 17, 3:40 PM
    • 2,867 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    Cisco001
    regarding amoy rice noddles, they are a bit expensive.
    You could go to chinese supermarket or "world" section of big superstore, they should have cheaper dry rice noddles which is easier for stir fry.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 3rd Apr 17, 8:04 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Thanks Cisco.. i absolutely agree that they are pricey.. i looked at the dry rice noodles but didn't know how much work they'd be for carers. Some of my team are amazing cooks and not phased by anything others really struggle with cooking.

    I'll bite the bullet and add them back to my shopping list.
    • curl girl
    • By curl girl 4th Apr 17, 8:01 AM
    • 3,507 Posts
    • 36,109 Thanks
    curl girl
    Tesco free from ready meals are on offer for 2.50 each there is a voucher in March magazine for 1 off.
    So 1.50 each but the vouchers end today! Good selection available.
    Pay separately if you want more than 1 as some sa only accept 1 coupon per transaction.
    Hth.
    curl girl with a space - even though there is no space in my cupboard!!!
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 4th Apr 17, 9:26 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Thanks Curl

    I've now tried the two tesco ready meals that fit my needs.. they seem to have quite a spicy selection.. or add onions.. or meat i can't manage..sigh.
    I hadnt thought to look for vouchers as 1.50 a meal is a good deal.

    Last night i tried free from pasta (tesco brand) and it was really nice, my husband is happy eating it too which is a bonus to save cooking separately although harder on the budget.
    • nyermen
    • By nyermen 4th Apr 17, 10:26 AM
    • 209 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    nyermen
    Re rice noodles, apologies I don't use Tescos, but sainsburys equivalents that my ex (who was allergic to almost everything including gluten) could eat are these:
    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/sainsburys-rice-noodles-375g

    They're the dry variety, the wet variety she couldn't eat due to nut allergy but you may be fine...
    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/gb/groceries/sainsburys-rice-noodles-300g

    Hopefully tescos have an equivalent?

    Btw, be aware that gluten is in lots of things I didn't realise previously, eg. she had issues with Worcester sauce, malt vinegar (barley gluten...), and some other things.
    Also, don't know about tescos free from pasta, but I wasn't impressed with the sainsburys one. Dove's farm was much better, and she made lots of bread using their flour (and she couldn't eat eggs or nuts either).
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off 20k + Interest.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 4th Apr 17, 4:49 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    nyermen.. thank you

    both those sainsburys products look like some in tescos... i'll try the dry ones.

    as for hidden allergens..yes its hard i am used to checking for lactose and doing so regularly as some brands change ingredients without labelling packets 'new recipe'.. its just a case of starting again an dreading everything.

    my next trick is going to be eating out options.. but most places seem to understand wheat and gluten free better than lactose. I am often offered GF cake when i ask for dairy free.

    My favorite reply in a cafe was.. Excuse me please do you have soya milk.. no love its semi ... giggle.. but the price of a coffee is vital to get clean and usable disabled loo's.

    Thank you everyone
    • RHemmings
    • By RHemmings 4th Apr 17, 9:52 PM
    • 2,087 Posts
    • 1,316 Thanks
    RHemmings
    With your dietary restrictions, I wonder if you'd be better off making more of your own food. You can make batches and freeze it.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 5th Apr 17, 6:42 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Thanks Rhemmings

    we do tend to cook from ingredients rather than ready meals.. but need alternatives for the staples such as bread, pasta, noodles.

    I think we will look into making some of our own 'ready meals' for me.. I am hoping this is short lived but it does appear to be making a huge difference.
    • happy35
    • By happy35 5th Apr 17, 7:13 PM
    • 1,427 Posts
    • 2,892 Thanks
    happy35
    I use the Dove flour without adding anything to it, other brands have needed me to use xanthum gum.
    • Emuchops
    • By Emuchops 6th Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    • 791 Posts
    • 2,105 Thanks
    Emuchops
    This website is just what you need-Google 'How not to Die'-Dr Michael Gregor. The HNTD FB page has loads of recipes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/874450206005170/
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 6th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    happy .. thanks.. will have a go at baking soon. :-) didnt like the idea of xanthum gum as wasnt reallys ure what to do.

    Emuchops.. thanks its not so much recipes i need as recomendations of alternative wheat products and which ones taste ok or are best value.

    We do ok here for veggies and varied diet its just I'm a bit stuck with 'back-up' meals that i used to use ready meals for and bread that is affordable.
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