After talking to my friend, I realized that not only do I have to recommit to cutting out wheat and gluten but that I had to return to blogging because I've recently figured out how to do gluten free frugally. How did I do that? In addition to avoiding most prepared GF products, I discovered the grocery section of my local 99Cent store....yes, really. They have a good selection of produce and dry goods like beans and rice. They also have canned soups, veggies, and condiments that are brand name but might be dented or mis-labled. I have been making menus for the last 3 weeks almost exclusively with 99cent Store groceries for most parts of the meal except for a limited amount of things from the grocery store and farmers markets.
Here's one meal we had last week that was so good I wish I had made a double batch!
From the 99cent Store:
- Wolfgang Puck spaghetti sauce (labeled Gluten Free)
- Hot Italian sausage
- Veggies - mushrooms, garlic, cilantro , lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, celery
- Sea salt
- Sourdough bread (for the wheat eaters in my house)
- Italian dressing
In my 1-quart Le Crueset I diced up the sausage, mushrooms, and 2 cloves of garlic, tossed them in olive oil and added sea salt and crushed pepper and dumped in the jar of sauce. I covered it and put it in the oven at 325 for 30 mins.
I made the pasta following the directions on the package and drained and rinsed it when it was al dente. The drained pasta got tossed with the sauce mix and I sprinkled chopped cilantro on top as it was plated.
We added side salads (also made with dressing, lettuce, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and tomatoes from the the 99cent Store) and the bread eater in my house made a few slices of garlic bread from a loaf of sour dough (also from the 99cent store).
Bottom line, we figured out this entire meal came out to about $6 for 3 people. The most expensive item was the rice pasta from Trader Joes. The food got rave reviews from the family and everyone was looking for leftovers the next day...but it was so good we ate the entire thing for dinner. Next time, I'm making a double batch.