When we tell people we keep a gluten free home the response is either, "Oh, wow, that must be expensive" or "Oh my, that must be hard to do." It is really neither of these things, so long as you understand and read labels, and stock up on non-perishable items when they are on sale. I usually do not even go into detail that we are High Fructose Corn Syrup and artificial dye free too, because that would cause most folks to think we are freaks.
I have been shopping Big Lots for years. I get shipping and packing supplies for my business and I find discontinued items there all the time. When a name brand introduces a new packaging or formula the discontinued stock ends up at places like Big Lots. This is where I stock piled the old version of Propel fitness water when the makers went to a slimmer bottle and added High Fructose Corn Syrup. I cruise through the aisles and sometimes stumble on a gem at Big Lots.
Today, the Big Lots haul was a plethora of natural, gluten-free and dye free products.Whoever thinks you can't find deals on these kinds of items, does not know where to shop.
Take a look at all this pasta.
This is the Sam Mills spaghetti and rigatoni in a one pound bag. This is a corn pasta that contains no GMO's, No Gluten, No Dairy or Eggs- it is an all natural corn pasta that is even Vegan and it made in a dedicated GF facility. Big Lots price: $1.20 a package!
These Mayacamas pesto sauce packets come in really handy on nights when we have a babysitter or when I run out of my homemade pesto cubes in the freezer. This dry pesto is made with all natural, gluten free ingredients and is mixed with water and butter or olive oil to prepare. Big Lots price: $.50 each.
My kids munch snack food all afternoon. These roasted and salted Edamame and Wasabi rice crackersare a hit. They are made by a US company, Roland, and are gluen free as well as MSG free. These bags were $1.50 at Big Lots.
The Silver Palate Cookbook has a line of fancy gourmet mustards.
The Dijon Mustard, Peppercorn Mustard and Wasabi Sauce are all labeled GLUTEN FREE. These are great for dips and dressings and they are affordable at Big Lots. These retail for more than $5 each at Dean & Deluca, but the Big Lots price: $2 a jar.
Honest Earth creamy mash potatoes are ideal for breading my homemade gluten free chicken nuggets. I use these powdered potato flakes as a substitute for bread crumbs on chicken and fish.These are all natural and have no chemical additives, no preservatives and only two ingredients, potatoes and butter. We do not usually eat them as directed because I am a mashed potato snob. This box contains 3 pouches and the Big Lots price: $1.80.
The Garden of Eatin snack chips are gluten free and organic.They are all natural and are dusted with sea salt. The 9 ounce bag at Big Lots: $1.50
Popcorn is naturally gluten free but this jar of American's Best is grown without chemical pesticides and is a high yield hybrid corn.I prefer to pop my own so that I can control the seasoning and exclude fats and MSG. That microwave popcorn is full of all kinds of crap. This 30 ounce jar earned the Good Housekeeping seal as if that matters. The Big Lots price: $2.
I am pretty picky about the drinks my children are allowed to have. Ideally they drink water, watered down 100% whole fruit juice or milks. I prefer that they do not drink any products with nutrasweet or high fructose corn syrup. This leaves good old cane sugar and or naturally sweetened sodas. Since we are gluten free and dye free our sodas must be all natural or colorless and this is where it gets tricky.
I found the Hansen's natural cans of sparkling water with flavor from pure fruit.
Since my kids do not get Coca Cola type products they do not realize that these are not as sweet and syrupy. Big Lots has the four can packs for $2 which is a great price.
The Steaz Organic sparkling green tea sodas meet my criteria and at Big Lots they have the four pack of 12 ounce glass bottles for $2.50 each.
These tall 25 ounce bottles of Santa Cruz Sparkling Organic Lemonade are great.This is a size that accomodates our group at dinner. Everyone gets a dixie cup size serving and at $1.50 a piece at Big Lots, they are affordable.
I am now an official Big Lots Fan. Gluten free, dye free, all natural, dye free, MSG free can be done on a dime. You just have to know where to look.
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