How to live gluten and dairy free – on a budget

July 31, 2017 Lifestyle
Budget Cooking Gluten Free FreeFrom

The standing joke amongst students is leaving home and realising how expensive cheese is. Well, imagine leaving home and also finding that bread, pasta, oats, milk and butter were also going to be breaking your budget every week.



Living free-from for choice, health or necessity comes with a price tag. When thinking of budget meals, pasta, oats, beans on toast all flood to mind. But now imagine that your loaf of bread costs £3 and is also half the size of a conventional loaf. Your pasta will never be cheaper than £1.50 and your oats will be premium too. Suddenly a lot of the budget meal ideas don’t seem quite so budget. But what can be done about it?

  1. Be inventive 
    The cheapest way to avoid spending £3 on a loaf of bread is to not eat bread. Instead of beans and toast, have a jacket potato instead. Although abstinence is not what you probably wanted to hear it is one of the best ways to keep costs down. Use it as an opportunity to try something new. Also, try using rice more in your cooking, naturally gluten free and super cheap, it’s a staple for me. One of my favourite budget recipes is sweet potato chilli – learn how to make it here.
  2. When the price is right, buy in bulk
    When almond milk is on sale for a £1 I stock up. This goes for any free-from items. One of the best deals is when they are offering 3 for 2 on all free-from products at Tesco. Be savvy and ensure that the product you’re getting free is the same price as the ones you’re buying. I use this deal to stock up on pasta and oats, as essentially it’s something  I would have bought anyway and I’m getting a packet free.
  3. Shop around
    Keep an eye on your favourite supermarkets to catch when they are offering the best deals, I’ve found that Sainsbury and Tesco seem to run their promotions at alternating times, which means I rarely have to pay full price for a product. Equally, try to never impulse buy, my local shop Budgens may stock a lot of the things I need but they rarely do deals and the products are more expensive than they are in Tesco or Sainsburys.
  4. Make full use of your loyalty card
    The more free-from products that you buy and use your Clubcard or Nectar card with the transaction the clever little computer remembers that you buy them. So next time you’re at the checkout a voucher for money off Alpro appears. The more you shop the more tailored your vouchers become.
  5. Go online
    For staples, the alternative to supermarkets is to go online. Sites such as Naturally Good Food offer many brands that aren’t stocked in store, as well as great offers on multi packs and bulk options. You might need to do some maths to make sure you’re getting the best deal, but especially if you prefer organic then online can be a great place to start.

For budget series recipes – all gluten and dairy free, check out the Recipe section of my site. 



  1. Kirsty says:

    This was a very useful blog post 🙂 I wish I had read it when I was still at uni lol


  2. Bianca says:

    Good tip on buying in bulk. I once found coconut water on sale for a dollar a carton and refused to miss out on that opportunity.

  3. Corinne says:

    I completely agree with buying in bulk! My husband honks I’m crazy when I come home with ten packs of butter, but you can totally freeze it! Lol

  4. As someone who has a dairy and gluten intolerance, this was super helpful! I’ve been looking for more ways to help lower cost. Thanks!

  5. Helene says:

    Shopping online is a good solution when on a budget generally. I can find online offers that i could find in stores. Sometimes also searching different stores can help find super deals.

  6. Melinda says:

    These are such great tips!
    This is why we are trying to have profitable blog, to pay for food haha
    Although, admittedly, food is one thing I don’t mind spending money on.

  7. Christine says:

    These are great ideas! I have to remember to buy in bulk. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Great tips. These tips can be applied to any items really, not just gluten/dairy free products.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Very good advice! Buying bulk is one of the best things you can do. We do it twice a year and then forget about it for months. It saves us a lot of money!

  10. Mika says:

    Buying in bulk is definitely a game changer! Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Ana says:

    Good to read! I like your recipe section. 🙂

  12. Great tips, I would also recommend looking around the shops in the evening, I managed to buy a few loaves of bread for 19p – 29p reduced from £1.25, ideal for the freezer. I eat the regular bread – does gluten free bread freeze well?

    • Sophia says:

      Great tip! I used to do this when at uni! I used to call it my reduced food round, I’d go to about 6 different shops to look at their reductions x

  13. Cheyanne says:

    Buying in bulk has saved my wallet! It’s crazy how much money you can save just by doing that. Great post 🙂

  14. Claire says:

    I think buying in bulk is the best way to save money, and also as you mentioned, using the membership card. Sometimes these do make a difference in a long run.

  15. Nice post!

    I think I have to do more shopping around to find the best deals. That should help me to save more.

    Buying in bulk when items are at a good price is an awesome tip too!

  16. Tammy says:

    Really good post. My niece has a rather restrictive diet and it’s tough finding food she can eat at a reasonable price. I’ll definitely have to pass on some of these tips!

  17. Loved the idea! Bulk purchase can make you save a lot. To be honest I do that a lot, specially when I find great offers in store. But I learnt something new from this post, thanks for sharing with us.

  18. Definitely, a helpful article as there are so many people out there experiencing gluten and dairy intolerances.
    Thank you for sharing and helping others with the same lifestyle as you!!!

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As said by Sophia

I'm Sophia Whitham, a Classics graduate from Kings College London embarking on a journey into marketing with Kafoodle. A keen writer, foodie and traveller I have combined my interests into this little corner of the internet 🥂

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