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Food Allergies on a Budget

Food allergies can be difficult to navigate. Not only can they be the cause for great stress and anxiety, but they also require a great deal of planning ahead and responsibility. Additionally, many people find that food allergies can require expensive groceries and specially made items that can really rack up that grocery bill. However, there are some ways to keep your food expenses modest – even with food allergies.

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Keep it Simple

With so many food alternative options out there these days, it may be tempting to jump right into making that gluten free, dairy free, mac and cheese. However, most of these fancy alternatives are needlessly expensive. Instead, try and focus on all the delicious foods that you can still eat safely, and save those fancy imitations for special occasions. While it may take some getting used to and could require some restriction, your bank account will ultimately thank you.

Not all Substitutes are Created Equal

Finding out you – or someone you love – has food allergies, comes along with a whole host of emotions. And while giving up your favorite foods may pale in the fear of going into anaphylactic shock, anyone who has dealt with food allergies long term, knows how difficult that can be. This is where food substitutes and imitations come in handy. However, while these substitutes may seem like the easy fix, many of them are not so great and ridiculously overpriced. It is important to really do your research when it comes to food substitutes. While a really good fake cheese may be worth the investment, there are too many not so great options charging that same high price.

Stock Up

This may seem obvious, but for families who have never dealt with food allergies before, it may be an entirely new concept. When it comes to allergy safe food, all too often the prices are sky high, however, there are occasional incidents where the products go on sale. During these times, it is always smart to stock up. Buy 12 bags of cookies instead of 4 and let that one shopping trip last longer. Additionally, there are certain allergy safe companies that will allow you to purchase bulk orders from them directly. While this may not be fit for everybody, those looking to feed entire families may find this to be the safest and cheapest option.

Make it From Scratch

Fancy mixes and pre-made ingredients can be ridiculously expensive, and while they may help you save some time, they can really rack up that shopping bill. Given this, for those looking to cut back on the expenses, cooking from scratch can be a cheaper option. It is obviously not an option equipped for everyone, as gluten free baking from scratch can become quite the hassle, but for those with the ability to invest a little more time, it can be a great way to cut back on expenses and still enjoy your favorite foods.

Mix it Up

It’s easy to fall into a pattern of eating the same foods every day but having food allergies doesn’t mean you have to replace your old favorites with allergy free imitations. Instead, perhaps it is time to take a look at all the wonderful options you never even noticed before. Instead of trying to copy what you have lost with expensive substitutes, try to find new favorites that won’t make you feel guilty every time you swipe your card.

Meal Plan

If you are trying to stay on a budget, it is important to always have a meal plan. If you know exactly what you are looking for before even walking into the supermarket, then you are less likely to spend money on expensive ingredients that you don’t really need. Many people reject this idea because of how time consuming it can be, but the truth is that this is something that can be done in just one sitting a week and can really help you keep your grocery bill lower.

Do Not Double Up

Unless something is on sale, then do not double up on your products. One of the biggest issues with food products is that they expire. In order to ensure that you use up your entire pantry and don’t get stuck with 2 half-full bottles of ketchup that are both about to go bad, make sure that your pantry is empty before buying a replacement. Additionally, plan your meals according to the food that you already have. If your pantry is stuffed with gluten free pizza crusts that expire in a week, then move up pizza night in order to ensure that those perfectly good crusts don’t go to waste.

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Conclusion

All too often, we are the reason behind out sky-high grocery bills. Allergy safe food is clearly more expensive than regular options, but the correct planning and organization can help ensure that our bills don’t get out of hand. While these tips may require a little more effort on our part and most definitely require better time management, following them can help keep out grocery bills low and our bank accounts happy.

 

Sources

Talking to Your Child About Food Allergies
Keeping an Allergy Safe Home
 

What Our Clients Say

Meticulous in their preparations

During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.

 After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.

 Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.

 We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.

T.M., Chicago, USA

Comfortable, calm, and at ease

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!

We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.

My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!

It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)

We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!! 

CO, Canada
April 2016

Very Helpful

Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.

Yasher Koach!
L.R., NY, NY

Delicious and Safe

Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel.  We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!

All the best,

S.C., New Jersey

Thank You

We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.

T.G., Philadelphia, PA

The Allergy Card was Extremely Helpful

"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew.  The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”

G.A. Illinois USA

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