How to Gluten-Free Grocery Shop
Gluten-free grocery shopping may sound like a challenge, but it’s getting easier every day. The key to shopping for gluten-free goods is: knowing where to go and what to look for once you get there.
Compose a list of safe and forbidden ingredients (try the Safe Gluten-Free Foods List/Unsafe Foods and Ingredients at celiac.com) and bring it with you to the store.
Knowing what gluten-free goods want before you go to the grocery
Planning ahead and making lists makes shopping so much easier when you’re enjoying a gluten-free lifestyle. Lists keep you from impulse buying and remind you of the ingredients needed for your planned meals. They also save you time because the items you want are definitely gluten-free — you don’t have to worry about checking out the ingredients of random goods you stumble across when shopping without direction.
Deciding what to buy at the market
Keep in mind the two kinds of gluten-free foods: those that companies make as specialty items and those that are naturally gluten-free. You obviously want to buy foods that you enjoy, but make sure you know what specialty products are good before you buy them — you don’t want to waste money on something horrible! (You can ask around for opinions.)
Deciding where to gluten-free shop
You can do most of your shopping at regular grocery stores. Natural food stores, farmer’s markets and ethnic markets are also great places to shop — especially since natural food stores are becoming more aware of the interest in gluten-free foods.
The Internet is another useful source because you can find sites that sell several different brands of gluten-free foods, saving you money on shipping from 12 different sites. A good site to start with is www.glutenfreemall.com.
Knowing where to look when you’re in the store
One of the better ways to avoid some of those glaring gluten temptations at the store is to shop the perimeter. If your store has a good health food aisle, you may be able to find gluten-free pastas, mixes, cereals, bars, and other items. Your best bet in general, though, is to stick to fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items — most of which are around the outsides.