What’s in a Frugal Gluten Free Pantry?

This is the fifth part in a series “Gluten Free Grocery Shopping on a Budget” in which Heather shares how she feeds a family of 6 a gluten free diet  for $350 – $400 a month. In this last post, Heather gives us a peak into her pantry.

**If you have any questions for Heather, please leave them in the comments. I’ll compile them into one email and see if she has time to answer them for us **

My biggest grocery savings has probably been in avoiding convenience foods, and developing a repertoire of menus we like that don’t use expensive ingredients.

Some of our recent meals:

Cappucino Chocolate Chip Muffins w/ Fruit, Pancakes w/ Fruit Syrup, Hot Gluten-Free Cereal, Granola (for rest of family and Clif Bar for me)

Lunch: PBJ sandwiches for rest of family, 5-bean casserole, baked beans, macaroni salad (with Tinkyada pasta), leftovers

Dinners: Spaghetti, Mashed Potato & Sausage Casserole, Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs, Bean Burritos, Smoked Sausage and Rice Casserole, Steak and Baked Potato, BBQ Ribs and Homemade French Fries, Beans with Diced Tomatoes and Seasoning

Following is a list of my standard ingredients on hand:

Baking Ingredients
 Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Cornmeal, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Cornstarch, Xanthan Gum
 Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cream of Tartar, Salt
 Sugar, Brown Sugar, Honey, Molasses, Powdered Sugar
 Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice, Vanilla, Almond Extract
 Instant Coffee (for baking only)
 Canned Pumpkin, Unsweetened Applesauce
 Cocoa, Chocolate Chips
 Oats (regular oats to make granola as a quick meal for rest of family)
 Almonds
 Oil, Shortening
 Rice Milk or Almond Milk

Condiments and Seasonings
 Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasonings, Basil, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Caraway Seed, Powdered Chicken Buillion
 Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Mayonnaise, Tartar Sauce, Taco Sauce, Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce
 Peanut Butter, Jam, Real Maple Syrup

Other Staples
 Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta for me, Whole Wheat Pasta for Family
 Brown Rice
 Dried Pinto and Great Northern Beans
 Spaghetti Sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Crushed tomatoes
 Potatoes
 Tortillas (Some wheat for rest of family, corn for me)
 Bob’s Red Mill Hot Gluten-Free Cereal
 WW Bread (starting to buy 2 loaves a week for family, so that leftovers only have to feed me at lunch)

Snack Items
 Peanuts, Raisins (both bought in large quantity)
 Tortilla Chips, Salsa (have about 2x a month as a treat)

Fridge Items
 Dairy-Free Margarine
 Eggs
 Cow’s milk (for rest of family)
 Cheese (for rest of family)- bars and shredded
 Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream (for rest of family)
 Cabbage, Carrots

Freezer Items
 Boneless Skinless Chicken (some pre-diced)
 Catfish Nuggets
 Beef Steaks and Roast (less than $2.29/lb)
 Pork Ribs (less than $1.50/lb)
 Ground Beef (less than $1.59/lb)
 Pork Sausage (less than $1.59/lb)
 Polish Sausage ($2/lb)
 100% frozen juice concentrate
 Frozen Broccoli, Peas, Corn
 Other items from garden or local orchard (strawberries, apples, peaches, etc)

Occasional Convenience Treats
 Instant Unseasoned Potato Flakes (use about 2x a month)
 Canned Tuna (use about 2 cans 1x/month)
 Canned Beans for 5-bean casserole (use 4 cans about once a month)
 Canned Baked Beans (use about 1 can per week)
 Clif Bars (use 1 a week on average)
 Marshmallows (about 1 bag every few months)
 Nondairy creamer (use about 1 cup a month to make pudding or hot chocolate for myself)
 Tea Bags (about 4 bags a month, usually reuse at least once)


  1. Any suggestions for quick snacks for someone who is diabetic AND gluten intolerant? My husband is insulin-dependent and found out only a couple of months ago that he is gluten-intolerant. He is working with his diabetic nurse making adjustments but his blood sugars drop quickly once he gets to work. He is limited on foods of course, because he can’t eat gluten, and limited on space to take things with him on the road (he does deliveries). Oranges, 100% juices, gluten-free trail mix and granola bars help some. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. 1 Annie,
    can your DH (dear husband) have splenda?
    baking with splenda is easy, replace any sugar with the same amount of splenda.
    also many of the “Budding” & store brand’s, of those small meat packages are gluten-free. they are affordable at 59cent or 2 for a buck.
    my DH takes them fishing along with chucks of cheese.

  3. This is great information! Thanks so much!

  4. Thanks Cheryl. Can DEFINITELY use as snack and will, but still need to find a ‘carb’ snack he can eat; he’s not getting enough carbs during the day to keep his blood sugars up. Thanks!

  5. Wow, these standard ingredients sound a lot like mine except I have sorghum flour, bean flour, and nuts of all kinds in my pantry, and I don’t know what a “Clif bar” is. :~) The biggest money saver for my family is that we purchase very few convenience foods, we raise a garden every year and we raise our own beef. I know not everyone is able to do this, but even a small garden helps and allows for wonderful fresh veggies!