My Gluten Free Pantry

my gluten free pantry

First of all, let me say that I believe strongly in the importance of food storage. I believe food storage is important for times when money is short, life happens, and in the event of a natural/other disaster.

My initial goal for food storage was to have at least 2 weeks of foods on hand. According to Storehousefoods.com, the average grocery store is empty within 72 hours of a natural disaster and takes 14 days to resume normal shipment. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I feel blessed to know I do not have to worry about that. There is a huge peace of mind that goes alongside having 2 weeks of food in storage.

My primary reason for food storage, however, is not natural disaster. It's just life. Things like morning sickness, unexpected job loss, death in the family, needs of another family, and more. It is also cost effective. By having food on hand I am able to only buy things when they are on sale (like the 4 bags of frozen chicken I bought on Friday for less than $20). On an average week, I only grocery shop for milk, eggs, fresh produce, and sale items. I have tried the couponing thing, but I find that simply paying attention and shopping sales saves me just as much money and far more time than couponing ever did.

My pantry has grown exponentially this way. My grocery budget stretches so much farther and I am able to spend less now to feed a family of five than I used to feed a family of three, with putting food away. Our pantry and freezer foods would now feed us for at least a month, probably closer to two.

When we switched to primarily gluten free living, however my pantry took a fairly substantial hit. I didn't know what to put in there since most convenience foods are not gluten free and they are all very expensive and go on sale rarely.

I have stocked my gluten free pantry three ways:
  1. Amazon Grocery. This is the biggest one. I purchase all of my pasta, and some of my cereal and crackers by the case. Each case tends to last 2-3 months and I repurchase when I get down to 2-3 of each item. Amazon does offer a subscription service on their grocery items. Subscription is free and usually offers a discount above and beyond the already cheaper prices! Shipping on order over $25 from certain sellers is also free.
  2. Bulk flours. Finding a good source of bulk gluten free flours is a must. The tall plastic containers and plastic bags in the picture above are all different varieties of g-f flour. I keep at least one month's worth of flour on hand at all times. (Most gluten free flours do not have the shelf life of wheat and need to be rotated more frequently. Storage in the freezer can also expand shelf life.)
  3. Sale items at the local co-op and grocery store. This is the least efficient way, but I have found some good deals. All of the Mi-del and Gluten Free Pantry products shown above came from a going out of business sale at a grocery store. I was also able to get 2-3 years worth of xanthan gum for 50% off. That was a huge find! Let your friends and family know what gluten free products are worth keeping on hand. It was on the tip of a non gluten free friend that I was able to hit the going out of business sale!
What is shown in the above photo is only part of the my food storage, but hopefully this will give you some ideas of where to start if your pantry needs to go gluten free so that all members of your family can continue eating well if the need arises!

Submitted to Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven.

6 comments :

alessandra said...

I never thought about food storage, and buying large quantities on sale, mostly due to lack of space, but I find it's an interesting point of view about saving money.
Thank you for sharing.

Rachel said...

Have you tried vitacost.com for gluten free stuff? I've not looked, but I get a fair amount of stuff from them and shipping is only 4.99 regardless of order size.

Brenda said...

Thank You for posting this! We just found out that our son is probably allergic to wheat. We will find out for sure on the 24th.
I am scared of how much this is going to change every aspect of our lives but at the same time, encouraged because I know it can be done.

Thanks for the tips on planning ahead and food storage. I will be looking for any help I can find soon! :)

Jes said...

I've never bought groceries from amazon but that would be a big savings if they also would include the free shipping on items selected!

Great storage advice!

Jes

My Boys' Teacher said...

I love pictures of the insides of pantries as much as I love pictures inside of closets (and you know I love those!). We encounter similar problems. We have no gluten issues, but follow a "Weston Price"-type of diet (organic, local, grass-fed, pastured, sustainable farming practices, soaked or fermented grains, yada yada...) I donated most of the contents of my old pantry last Spring and haven't really replaced much. I think I have six jars of organic applesauce and five canisters of organic raisins in there. Sad.

I agree with you on the sale vs. coupon thing. I suppose if I combined sales and coupons I would really be raking it in. However, I find that coupons are always for packaged foods and we don't eat packaged foods. I bet you find that most coupons are for gluten-containing items anyway.

I use a CSA seven months out of the year and a meat CSA all year. That totals $50/week. I find all I am buying each week is milk, bananas, and maybe some bulk oats or something. I haven't set foot in a normal grocery store in maybe three months. If I switched to picking up our dairy at a farm and we gave up bananas I think I would be done with grocery stores altogether.

I froze about half of our CSA share each week to use during the winter so I still should only have to buy fruit and milk this winter. However, your post made me realize almost everything is frozen and if it were truly a natural disaster we would be in big trouble.

I hadn't thought about Amazon at all, thanks for the tip.

Have you considered doing your own canning? I bet you'd be good at that. I'm scared :)

Heidi said...

I do some canning, the shelves in this picture only have a few things, but I have a year's supply of jams, salsa, spaghetti sauce, and homemade coffee syrup from our own herbs.

Rachel- I have not even heard of vitacost! I will have to check them out! Thanks for the tip.

Brenda- good luck, there are some great resources available for living without wheat/gluten.