Now that speaking out about food allergies, sensitivities and restrictions has become more ‘mainstream’, there’s a lot more choice for those of us who have them. On the one hand, that’s a good thing because, well, more choice. But on the other hand, there are increasingly many expensive AF options out there.
I’ve been living dairy free for almost a year now, and I’ve learned quite a few things about how to manage this lifestyle. So, today, I wanted to share some more dairy free eating tips with you, specifically how to eat dairy free without breaking the bank.
Related: 5 tips for healthy food shopping on a budget
1. Make it at home
Cooking at home is a great general money saving tip. But it’s especially important when you have food restrictions. Although most food places have dairy free options now, they’re almost always more expensive. For things that I wouldn’t make at home anyway, dairy free or not, I don’t mind spending the extra. But the markup for even basic things can be a bit obscene so making my dairy free goodies at home is probably my biggest tip.
Related: 5 foods you should always try to make at home
2. Go easy on the ‘cheese’
Since cheese is one of the things I missed most from my dairy eating days, I went a little crazy with the cheese alternatives in the beginning. But, not only are those cheese substitutes highly processed, they can also put a huge dent in your grocery bill. And considering that most dairy free cheeses don’t actually taste or behave anything like actual cheese, it usually isn’t worth it in my opinion. So, although I still buy ‘cheese’ on occasion, it’s definitely not a regular thing.
Related: 5 substitutions for tasty dairy free eating
3. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is actually one of my money saving tips for grocery shopping in general. But it definitely applies here as well. Many ingredients used in dairy free cooking and baking can be quite expensive, especially when compared with their dairy filled counterparts. So stocking up when there’s a sale is generally a good idea.
Some things I buy in bulk include almond milk, coconut milk, coconut oil and dairy free chocolate chips.
Related: 10 Foods you should always buy in bulk
4. Buy Generic
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there are a lot of options now when it comes to finding dairy free alternatives. Unfortunately, most of them are hella expensive because you often end up paying for the brand name. When you’re first starting out in your dairy free lifestyle, it may be tempting to shell out a lot of money for ‘the best’. But for many things, generic or store brands can be just as good.
Related: 10 grocery shopping mistakes almost everyone makes
What about you?
- Are you dairy free or have any other food restrictions?
- What tips and tricks do you have for eating dairy free on a budget? (or any other food restrictions)
What more Dairy Free Eating tips? Get the Guide!
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GiGi Eats says
I can’t eat dairy, and I just don’t. Coconut milk is the best thing on the face of the planet. And if you’ve never tried Flax milk, you must!
GiGi Eats recently posted…WTF DO YOU WANT?!
Giselle Rochford says
I’ve actually never had flax milk! I’ll pick some up the next time I’m at the store 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I’m super happy that there’s so much more allergy awareness out there these days. I have a serious peanut allergy, and I still remember going to school and having kids bring in peanut butter cookies or sandwiches to share with the class. Sometimes I wonder how I survived my early years 😆
Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…currently – december 2015
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says
Great post. I’m all about saving money when it comes to food. I’m definitely keeping these in mind!
Chrissa – Physical Kitchness recently posted…Soft and Chewy Paleo Gingerbread Cookies
Emilie @ Emilie Eats says
Love these!! Everyone always tell me, oh you must spend a fortune on eating healthy! But really I’m spending waaaay less because I’m eating in season and cooking at home. Still have yet to try any cheese substitutes because I don’t feel like forking over $6 LOL
Emilie @ Emilie Eats recently posted…Homemade Gingerbread Almond Butter
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says
Great post! I am not allergic to dairy but goodness gracious I would miss yogurt and cheese like cray. I think I could live without cheese for the most part, but yogurt. Man. But I also don’t hate the dairy-free alternatives. I like to switch it up!
Margaret Molteni says
You are spot on! I’ve been nearly dairy free for a year and it is SO expensive and so are my calcium supplements! My biggest way of saving is buying in bulk at Costco!
Margaret Molteni recently posted…Warm Winter Salad
yash dongre says
Those 5 diary substitutes are really helpful