Meal planning is hard. Throw in the fact that you need a gluten free meal plan and it becomes seemingly impossible.
When my daughter had to eliminate wheat from her diet for health reasons it was SO difficult.
We already eliminated dairy, egg, and nuts for her food allergies. But I have to say out of all the foods we’ve avoided GLUTEN has been the hardest thing.
Eating out is difficult and until you find your groove, meal planning is difficult as well!
Add in the additional problem that gluten free alternatives are so expensive and you really get a nice storm of stress brewing.
I’m here to tell you that it is completely possible to eat gluten free without spending an arm and a leg at the grocery store.
As a family of four we spend about $400 a month on food. We rarely have meals with gluten. It’s become our way of life and we are OK with that.
In this post I’m going to provide you with a FREE gluten free one week meal plan along with tips on how to manage your gluten free life on a budget!
Buckle up I’m going to be dumping years of knowledge on you all.
Save this post for later!
Money saving tips for creating a gluten free meal plan:
- You don’t have to buy alternatives. Yep, so what I mean by this is you absolutely do not have to buy gluten free bread, pretzels, noodles, etc. You can just choose not to have those things at all in your diet.
Alternatives are usually quite a bit more expensive than the normal thing.
That being said there are some truly excellent gluten free brands out there that I love that are absolutely worth the money! We love Enjoy Life and Live G Free!
- Only substitute the amount you have to instead of everyone’s meal. If you have one person in your life who is gluten free only substitute out their food instead of everyone’s.
I am NOT saying make them a completely different meal. I am saying pick out the one thing that has to be changed and swap it to a gluten free substitute.
For example for Spaghetti, just boil two sets of noodles, one normal, one gluten free then save them separately.
- If you have an Aldi take advantage of it! Aldi has general staples for a gluten free diet that are usually half the price of normal grocery stores. PLUS several of their items are also dairy, nut, and egg free as well!
- Make things from scratch. I know this may not be everyone’s jam but making a bunch of things from scratch at once is one way we keep our grocery bill down. I’ll regularly make a big batches of pancakes and mini muffins that I separate out into single meals and put them in the freezer.
Do you want to learn how to make your own meal plans that meet your dietary needs AND your budget? (This is how we cut our food budget in HALF saving us thousands and others are saving just as much!)
So now that you have a good idea of what you can do to save some money now it’s time to jump right into our gluten free meal plan!
In one week I’ll usually plan about 5 meals, I usually try to only buy one meat. It’s just another way we cut costs!
Important note: When you are making a meal plan for the week make sure you are utilizing several ingredients that are the same in the recipes so that you are using everything you buy and not wasting things.
Gluten free one week meal plan
Cost: $8.48/ $1.41 per meal
This recipe is straight up yummy and it is super budget friendly. To keep costs super low you can just buy green peppers instead of yellow and red since they are more expensive, and you could cut the chicken from this recipe.
We literally JUST at this and loved it and my meat loving husband said he’d eat it without the chicken and be totally happy. This recipe was a major win for us!
Another note, you can swap out the rice for gluten free pasta if you enjoy that more!
Last thing about this recipe is that it is literally perfect for freezing ahead of time. You could go ahead and cook everything and freeze or leave it uncooked and freeze in a big bag.
Cost: $7.50/ $1.07 per meal
Who doesn’t love a yummy soup? This one is straight up EXCELLENT and really good for your budget.
A few tips.
- Cook the chicken breasts whole then shred them with a mixer (yup it works like a charm).
- IF you can’t do dairy just leave out the last step!
- If you want to feed more people with this just buy an extra can or two of broth and add other veggies like corn and tomatoes. Adding extra canned food to soups is a great way to stretch it to feed more people for VERY cheap!
3. BURRITO BOWLS WITH BLACK BEAN CILANTRO LIME RICE
Cost: $5.53/ $0.92 per meal
This is very much a make it what you want dinner. Grab all your favorite Burrito fixings and chow down.
Things you could to the bowl:
- Anything else your heart desires (or that your budget can handle)
We’ll be excluding chicken from ours since there are black beans in the rice, so the cost does not reflect that here.
4. BRINNER: EGGS, BACON, AND FRIED POTATOES
Cost: $3.03/ $1.01 per meal
This is a night that I know we will not have any left overs, but it is cheap and delicious.
You also don’t really need a recipe here, make the eggs and bacon to your liking. Here is a recipe for fried potatoes just in case you haven’t experienced their gloriousness (I don’t usually use a bell pepper but you can if you like). Also, I use russet potatoes because they are cheaper.
5. Smothered Veggie Enchiladas
Cost: $12.06 / $1.51 per meal
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sub out the tortillas for corn tortillas and DO NOT use cream of chicken in the second recipe (unless you can find a gluten free kind). I’ve made it without and it is still delicious.
The total cost on this is hefty but you get A LOT of meals out of it. Usually we just have one as a whole meal so this could be anywhere from 2-4 meals for your whole family.
For this recipe I use the filling of the butternut squash enchilada recipe and the smothered cheesy sour cream goodness from the second recipe.
So the TOTAL cost of this one week gluten free meal plan is just $36.60!
Obviously this is only for dinners, but it’s EXCELLENT for 5 gluten free meals that will feed a family (with leftovers some days).