Why is gluten-free so expensive?
settle down xanthan gum…
you’re not that special.
Have you ever tried a gluten-free diet on for size only to last a week, mostly because of the cost?
I mean, we’ve all seen the prices: $8 for a loaf of bread that is the size of an old gameboy and like, literally dry toast.
Why are the prices for items labelled gluten free so high?
There are a few reasons, and I’m going to lay them out for you to nod along with me here in just a hot sec, but one of the most obvious is because it takes about twice the amount of ingredients to make our gluten-free stuff taste as good of the wheat-laden food of our (maybe not too distant) memories.
To get the right texture of flour alone usually requires three or four different types mixed together as a blend. These alternative flours are sold at about the same price point as regular wheat flour, but the packaging is itty bitty bags. Probably to prevent the sticker shock from sending you into starvation mode.
A big cause of stress when transitioning to gluten free is dedicating the time it takes to source safe supplies and read ingredient labels.
But this is way more stressful to our suppliers. Food producers have to ensure they have access to clean and tested ingredients over a long period of time. I’m sure in the wheat world, it’s much easier to accommodate supply switcheros when they pop up, for a gfree business? It could me anything from pulling products and loosing potential sale to closing down shop for good if nothing can be sourced.
The suppliers that do prevail get to display trusted gluten-free symbols on their products which totally help us as consumers out when going through the isles quickly, right? Here in Canada, those certifications come with a pretty price tag of $10K for the first symbol, on ONE product. Let’s say you have a line of skincare or pre-packaged treats in multiple flavours? Those are all going to cost extra to get the stamp of approval. The fees are paid yearly and can come with re-inspection fees too.
So you can see how that expense is hard to absorb with out taking them from somewhere, right?
Once our favourite products are created and passed testing, then they have to get to us, right?! And as most gluten free products are preservative free as well, to keep them from spoiling before we get our grubby hands on them, they get popped into a freezer. For suppliers to ship and store their goods in freezers along the whole way is yet another pretty pricey little journey. Think of it as the First Class of the food transportation industry.
Gluten Free, you’re Bougie AF.
All these costs get passed down to us as consumers and you can either have a heart attack about it every time you, like, EAT; or accept that this is how much your lifestyle costs and figure it out.
Sound harsh? Wait wait wait...because this is what I hear…
“My health is not worth the investment.”
how does that sit with you?
I really struggled with the price of our gluten free lifestyle for the first couple years.
Even with a few diagnoses between us that allow our food to be a medical expense, the amount we spent yearly was close to buying a decent mini-van over and over every.single.year.
Good news though!
You can do a few things to help bring the cost down of your new lifestyle, without sacrificing quality, or your sanity.
First thing, meal plan the shit outta your week.
If you are not a planner, let’s have a little wee pow wow saying goodbye to your former self.
Because lets be real:
If you are gluten free for any kind of medical reason, you’re going to need to travel with food, phone ahead to restaurants and bring your own cupcake to birthday parties.
Oh, I’m sorry, is that just me?
No, didn’t think so.
I got your back on the meal plans, babe.
Check out the ones I’ve got featured on the site here. Each free plan comes with 21 recipes, covering you throughout the entire day for a whole week.
Next, you’re going to want to start purchasing your gluten free products in bulk from trusted brands.
Instead of reading the back of every damn label, trust brands that are entirely gluten-free and buy all your products there. Some local business offer discounts on items like flour if you purchase the entire box, usually four bags/box.
Many retailers have online shops now to make it even easier for you to get the good you’re after. With drop shipping and 24/7 access, this is the magical unicorn where educated shopping meets speedy delivery.
Moving on, my last piece of advice, is simple really:
make more money.
I know that sounds ignorant, and like, “duh” but that is the route I went.
I knew my lifestyle was never going to change.
My family would always have their autoimmune disorders and we would continue to manage their symptoms through our food. So I decided to teach other people (like you, Boo!) about healthier lifestyles and easier access to safe products by shopping from their own online store with a trusted, European Heritage brand.
Hold the phone.
how da fuck exactly do I make money shopping from my own store?
I wear lipstick, people compliment it.
I walk around with energy drinks all day, people ask whats in it?
I have great hair and when I tell people I don’t own a blow dryer or flat iron they DEMAND TO KNOW MY SECRETS.
We all recommend things all day, everyday. I just get paid to recommend the stuff I love and BONUS! Get to work with people ready to change their own lives for the better.
We hit goals of all kinds: health, beauty, financial, time freedom, whatever. You get the deal.
I can help you enter the world of e-commerce with your own health and wellness business, sharing some awesie products with you from my online store (did I mention 45 day returns on ANYTHING!?) and how you can earn off your healthy lifestyle too. Here’s a little more to it in a YouTube made just for you, or you can slide in to my schedule and book in a one-on-one chat attack with yours truly.
Maybe you want to start your own cafe to increase the revenue stream and monetize your gluten-free knowledge; maybe you’ll take a couple extra shifts at work or go back to school to upgrade your skills to get a better job.
Whatever you decide on, stick to your guns. Don’t let money deter you.
Commit to making small steps every day towards living your best gluten free life and you WILL get there.
Just stop looking at the sticker price honey, it’s a way more civilized way to do this whole dance ;)
HOT TIP Fraser Valley locals: Hofsted’s honours a 20% off discount on boxed flours!