Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post: Frugal Allergen-Free Shopping: Part 2

Jenelle from Frugal Family Feasts shared some great tips with us last week for dealing with food allergies from a frugal perspective.  If you missed it, read Part 1 of the article here.

Shopping & Living with Allergies: Part 2
  • Coupon Swaps. You are the best buddy in the world to trade coupons with when you shop allergen-free. There are plenty of great coupons you can’t use and your friends can print lots for you and pull out newspaper ones you can use. My friends keep me more than stocked in almond milk coupons when they become available.
  • Start with a Limited Diet.  After over-reacting, I started over with a slow rotation of a few things I knew we could eat and repeated often until we could spread it out with more options. This gives you time to research, find, and not spend a fortune like I did.
  • Grill. It’s an easy way to prepare food without needing to add much in the way of flavors or sauces. Simple seasoning and herbs along with some citrus juice and oil is really all you need. I stock up on the meat clearance section and we grill all year long. Yes, we are the crazy ones in negative 15-degree weather with our grill, cooking in the garage.
  • Use Alternative Food Sources: Try a Garden, Shop the Farmer's Market, join a CSA.  Stock up on fruits and veggies in season from your own garden or someone else’s. Most veggies and fruits can be frozen (usable for most cooked forms) and save you a ton of money out of season.
  • Rethink food. Think of quality foods as medicine. It does the body good to eat healthy and natural. If removing allergen foods from your diet makes you feel better, then the payoff comes in productivity or decreased medical costs. Think of food as hospitality.  Food is a gift to your family and those that you share it with. Open your home and heart to others. A starving college student, elderly friend, another family you’d like to get to know better, and your extended family will be blessed by your gift.  Think of food as a process. You are on a journey for the long haul. Saving money and eating well isn’t about being perfect, it’s about health and happiness.
Thanks so much Jenelle for sharing your insight in this area to encourage others.  Be sure to check out her recipes and other ideas over at Frugal Family Feasts.  If you have additional ideas or advice for others, please leave a comment!

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