Gluten Free Products might be hiding near you!

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Do you ever feel like the picture above? Do you feel like finding a bag of Gluten Free Flour under $10 is impossible? You do? Well, I have one more question for you: Do you live in a city with diverse shopping options such as Ethnic Markets? If so, there are probably Gluten Free Deals hiding in places you’ve NEVER thought to look!

If you have an Ethnic Market in your town, (Asian or Middle Eastern are your best bets) . . . then there is a VERY high likelihood that you’re driving by savings on a regular basis.

You see, most of these markets stock rice flour, tapioca starch, and glutinous rice flour (Don’t be scared by the name, there’s no gluten. It’s actually sweet rice flour, which is also called glutinous rice flour because it has the elastic properties of gluten without the . . . gluten.) Additionally, some Middle Eastern Markets may have Sorghum Flour, though I have yet to stop in at my local market and check.

Here’s what we found last time we were at our local Asian Market:

IMG_3173I’ll post close ups in just a second, but from left to right there’s Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour, Glutinous Rice Flour (Sweet Rice Flour), and another brand of Rice Flour, because why not try two? 😉

Now, let’s talk about pricing. What are the savings in shopping at a store that’s not Kroger, Walmart, or even Amazon? Well, let me show you!

First off we have Tapioca Starch:

IMG_3174I got a pound of it at my local Asian Market for around $2.50. You can also find it on Amazon for $8.99 PLUS $1.98 shipping! If you buy it at a market near you, you’d save about $8.50.

But, there’s one more calculation I’m going to throw out for y’all. If you bought the same amount (16 oz) of Tapioca Starch on Amazon from Bob’s Red Mill it would be $6.40, and I paid $2.50 for what I bought. That’s a total savings of $3.90, minus the shipping — only free with a $35 purchase.)

Next up we’ve got . . . Rice Flour #1!

IMG_3175

One pound was $2 locally. It’s available on Amazon in a six pack for $9.16 PLUS $7.50 shipping, which totals out to around $2.75 per bag. By purchasing it locally, I saved $0.75!

If you bought the same amount (16 oz.) of White Rice Flour from Bob’s Red Mill on Amazon instead, it would end up around $5.50. I would have saved $3.50 (not including shipping)

The Glutinous Rice Flour is up next. Here’s the close up:

IMG_3176It was around $2.50 for a pound, and it is $5.51 (not including shipping) on Amazon. I saved $3.01.

Had I bought the same amount (16 oz) of Bob’s Red Mill Sweet Rice Flour, it would have been about $6.00. I would have saved $3.50 (not including shipping)

Last up, we’ve got Rice Flour #2!

IMG_3177This one was more expensive than the first, at $2.50 for a pound. On Amazon it’s currently $5.49 (with free shipping on orders over $35). I saved $2.99, not including shipping.

In comparison, if you buy White Rice Flour from Bob’s Red Mill it’d be about $5.50 (not including shipping). You’d save at least $3.00 by shopping locally. Pretty great deals, if you ask me.

So, how much did I save overall?

Well, assuming I had other items and got the last two items with free shipping on Amazon, I saved $15.25 by purchasing these products at my local Asian Market!

Had I bought the same products from Bob’s Red Mill (assuming they had one pound packages, and I had other things to buy and got free shipping through Amazon) I’d have saved $10.43 by going to my local Asian Market instead.

Regardless of what I would have purchased on Amazon, I saved between $10 and $15 by purchasing products locally. I’m going to count that as a win in my book!

What are some ways y’all save money while eating Gluten Free? Do you have any stores you frequent to get better deals? If so, please share!! You can comment below, or jot me a note on the contact tab below the title of this blog!

Hope you’ve had a Marvelous Monday, y’all!

Love,

Olivia

My Take on LiveGfree Gluten Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Okay, so in recent news, the LiveGfree Sandwich Cookies were a solid 3.5 out of 5. The cookie part was yummy, I dare say it tasted more chocolatey than regular Oreos. So, why only a 3.5, you ask? Well, it’s the creme’s fault. Flavor-wise, it was fine. Not identical to regular Oreos, but fine. The texture was sandy, which didn’t totally ruin the overall experience, but definitely made it less enjoyable. Oreos are supposed to be fun to eat–not like eating something that fell out of your beach bag and into the sand.

Overall, I would eat them again. But I’d probably leave off the creme, which is usually my favorite part. They’re not fantastic, but they’re not horrible. They’re just, eh. I was terribly disappointed as I’d had high hopes for these cookies, and these kind of dashed those. 😦 Though maybe I’ll use them in a chocolate cream pie as the crust . . . hmm . . . that’s a great idea! Off to get some of the ingredients as soon as I finish this little post!

By the way, if you eat them the wrong way (whole, as opposed to twisting the top off, then eating the creme and second cookie together) 
they taste FAR better, and it assists in canceling out the sandy texture. 

Well, ya win some and ya lose some.

What have y’all’s most disappointing Gluten Free product tests been?
Let me know in the comments, and have a fabulous day!
Love,
Olivia

Blank vs. Blank (Part 1)

Hey y’all!

What are you up to today?

I’m getting some work done and doing some recipe testing. Wanna guess what the next food tutorial will be? Let me know in the comments! 😉

Anyways, onto the title of this post, I know y’all are thinking “Blank vs. Blank!? Has she lost her ever-loving mind? Aren’t there supposed to be brands or products there?” Well, let me explain.

This is the very first part of a series I’m starting comparing two Gluten Free products at a time based upon three criteria: Taste, Quantity and Price. After that, I’ll give each product an overall rating on a scale of 1 to 5.  At the end, we’ll compare them overall and declare a winner!
Sound good?
Good.
Here we go!

So, what products are dueling this week, you ask?
Well . . .

On the right side of our ring, coming in at a whopping 4.5 ounces are Crunchmaster’s Rosemary & Olive Oil Multi- Seed Crackers!

Taste:  These are alright. Nothing to write home about, but if you want a vessel for specialty meats and cheeses, these will get the job done. Flavor is good, but could use more oomph in my opinion. Also, they have a funny aftertaste to me. Also a slightly styrofoamy texture. (Yes, I did just create the word styrofoamy) 😉

Quantity: The serving size states there is about four servings per bag, and a serving is 14 crackers. So, you get about 56 crackers in a bag. Not bad. I just wish more of those were whole crackers. They seem to break easily, and you end up with quite a few broken crackers.

Price: I think we get them for between $3 and $4 at Kroger. Per cracker, that rounds out to about $0.06 each.

Results: Overall, these are mediocre crackers. There’s just something strange I can’t quite put my finger on. Yet if they were the only crackers I had available, I’d probably deal with it and eat these.

Score: A solid 2.5 out of 5

On the left side of our ring, weighing in at 4.25 ounces is our competitor: the LiveGfree Gluten Free Rosemary & Olive Oil Multiseed Snack Crackers.

Taste: These have a far bolder flavor than the Crunchmaster version. I don’t NEED specialty cheeses and meat to eat these. I like them all by themselves. Flavor is great and texture is far better.

Quantity:  The bag says about 4 servings of 11 crackers. So, you get around 44 crackers in a bag. I wish more were whole crackers. They break easily, and you do get quite a few broken crackers in this bag as well.

Price: $1.49 at Aldi! $1.49!! Yippee! Which totals out to about $0.03 per cracker (half of the other brand’s cost per cracker!)

Results: These are far better crackers, in my opinion. They have far more flavor, far better texture, and they are cheaper.

Score: 4 out of 5. If fewer crackers were broken, they’d have earned a 5; no questions about it!

And, the winner is . . .

Aldi LiveGfree Rosemary and Olive Oil Multiseed Snack Crackers!

Here’s why: 

  • Better Texture
  • Bolder Flavor
  • More Cost Effective Overall

Tune back in soon for more posts! 
You never know what you’ll find. 😉

One last thing. What are y’all’s favorite Gluten Free Crackers? Let me know in the comments! 😉

Have a fabulous Friday!!
Love, 
Olivia

Aldi (Part 2): What’s a “Special Buy”? + New LiveGfree items

Ah . . . Special Buys. I have a love/hate relationship with these. There’s nothing worse than finding a product you adore and having it go away after a week. At the same time, if it weren’t for Special Buys, Aldi wouldn’t have the LiveGfree line of products.  (Originally introduced in May as a Special Buy, this line has been brought back by consumer demand and is now permanently available in all Aldi stores as of today.) 

Aldi is does a fantastic job in communicating with their consumers, and I wholeheartedly recommend following them on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with them and show some love they richly deserve.

So, what is a special buy anyways? 

Well, let me explain. Every week Aldi releases a limited line of products, from quinoa to chain saws. The product is available at their stores until it sells out and more new stuff is brought in the next week. So you need to get there when the Special Buy starts, or you may miss it altogether.

So, why in the world are we talking about Special Buys at Aldi
Well . . . 

This week Aldi’s Special Buys include some fun products in the LiveGfree line!
Let’s look into those, shall we? 

1) Gluten Free Cracklebread
It’s a cracker! It’s a flatbread! It’s CRACKLEBREAD! Haha. So many puns possible for this. Anyways, it will available in Original or Sun Dried Tomato, and should be a fun snack addition! Maybe with Havarti you can find at Aldi too?  $2.99 for a 3.5 ounce package.

2) Gluten Free Soup
So, I’m not a huge fan of noodle soups, but I’ll try this for y’all, ’cause I love you and want to be able to do an honest review. Anyways, they’ll have it available in Veggie Noodle and Chicken Noodle. $1.69 for a 15-ounce can.
3) Gluten Free Sandwich Cookies
Please taste like Oreos. Please taste like Oreos. PLEASE TASTE LIKE OREOS! That’s all I have to say about these. Flavors available are: Chocolate or Vanilla Creme. $3.29 for a 10.5 ounce package.
What are you most excited about in the LiveGfree Special Buy Line?
You should be able to get these products at your local Aldi today!

Happy Tasting!

Love,
Olivia

Gluten Free on a Budget

Okay y’all. If you’ve been gluten free for more than a week, you’ve probably recognized that it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to eat. Bread alone can cost $4+ a loaf for half the amount you’d get of glutenous bread. And, I know there are some of y’all out there saying “She only pays $4 for her gluten free bread!?! How is this possible!?” Add in flours, xanthan gum, and potato starch if you care to bake on your own ever again, and your food budget goes kaput.

So, I’m sure that at this point, y’all are like, “Okay, Olivia, what magic tricks can you teach me to fix this? I have to eat, but I can’t afford $6 for a box of baking mix.”

Well, I have a few general tips and tricks for y’all today.

1) Amazon sells Bob’s Red Mill Flours as well as various other Gluten Free products. You can buy stuff far cheaper in larger quantities. The upfront cost is more overall, but in the long run, if you are committed to eating this way your stuff turns out cheaper.

2) Watch your grocery store for new gluten free products. This is the best way to find new gluten free deals. Now, I’m not saying every new product will be cheaper, but it is how I went from paying $6 a loaf for bread to $4 a loaf for bread. Be willing to try new brands on occasion. It might save you a couple bucks.

3) Aldi.
Now, I realize that not all of y’all have Aldi in your area. If you do though, you should go. I’ll tell you why in my next post, but trust me. . . it will be worth your time and your wait. 😉

That’s all for today!
Be looking for the Aldi post soon!
Olivia