It’s very easy to get into a rut when you go grocery shopping. Once you know how to make certain foods, it’s sometimes easier to pick up the same staple ingredients and move on. This is an even bigger trap when you’re following a gluten-free diet because the options you have to choose from are slimmer. Or are they? Below are six shopping tips you can utilize the next time you visit the market.
1. Keep Track of Who Carries What
In a perfect world, everything you needed for your gluten-free diet would be in one spot. So why isn’t it? Though many stores carry gluten-free brands, not all stores carry the same ones. By keeping a list of these items and where they’re found, you’ll begin to see a pattern on paper. That will save you gas in the long run if you buy these items in bulk.
2. Make a List of Gluten-Free Foods
It’s sad that Italian food gets a bad rap, but truth be told, a lot of it has wheat flour as its base. It may take some time, but do your research and keep track of what foods tend to be gluten-free, naturally. Sometimes you can eliminate entire aisles at the grocery store, just by doing this.
3. Make a List of Gluten-Free Ingredients
Sometimes you can make a really great gluten-free meal if you just know what items are safe to include. Make a list of gluten-free seasonings and sauces that you can buy individually at the store. Then once your home, you can look up recipes online and experiment with what you have on hand.
4. Read Some Labels
While you’re at the store, take some time to really look around. Pick an aisle and walk down it slowly, making a mental note (or an actual note) of what items actually say gluten-free on the label. If it’s something you’ve never heard of, think about buying it just to see what kind of recipes you can locate, just as a reason to use it. You might be surprised at what you can come up with.
5. Know Before You Go
There are a lot of brands out there who sell gluten-free items. That doesn’t mean that all of them taste good. Go to a company’s website, or a public forum, and see what people are saying about them before you buy.
6. Reward Yourself
It’s tough going to the store and seeing foods you’re not supposed to eat. Many gluten-free experts will tell you that when it comes to gluten, it’s all or nothing. It takes gluten such a long time to leave your body, once it’s there, that even just an occasional piece of bread can throw your system out of order. But no one is perfect and if you’re struggling, you should reward yourself in order to get through the checkout line. Just try to make it a magazine or clothing item instead of a food not on your list.