Let’s start off by saying if you are Gluten Free for fun or because you want to get skinny, I am hardcore judging you. What I would give to eat a cake doughnut from Doughnut Dollies if I didn’t have to take a Benadryl right after! Since having to eliminate so many foods from my diet about a year and a half ago, I’ve had to learn how to shop at the fancy places while on a got-to-make-it-to-graduation-without-being-broke budget. I’d like to say my many trips to Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare, Kroger, Aldi, and Target have taught me what to buy where so I can eat a freaking clean meal for less than the price of an 8 count grilled nugget entree at my beloved Chick-Fil-A.
#1: Sign Up for Earth Fare Newsletters & Healthy Rewards: These weekly emails are pure gold! Not only does the online newsletter have an easy and crispy layout to follow, but they will let you know exactly what is on sale that week so you can either meal prep or jump in the car and make sure you get your 5oz piece of wild caught salmon for $3 before it’s all gone. Plus, collect points with your Healthy Rewards every time you shop so eventually you’ll get $ off your next purchase and add digital coupons to your account through their app. Overall, do I think Earth Fare is often overpriced? Yes, they have a lot of the same products as Kroger but marked up more for various reasons. BUT if you shop smart, you can buy a rotisserie chicken for $5 on Monday’s (ya know, antibiotic free, blah blah blah) and have it last you (if your a 5’4 runner like myself) at least 4 meals. AND the quality of meat, fish, and vegetables is much better. There is an element of you get what you pay for! Check out their digital coupons if
#2: Use the Target App: Though it’s not my favorite interface to work with, I’m able to see which groceries they carry, where they are in the Athens location store, and even get emailed coupons for them. Fun fact- Almond Breeze (my favorite is Almond Cashew Blend) is the cheapest here! Even compared to Kroger. Also, if you tend to spend $5 on a Chai Latte with Almond Milk at Starbucks, you can buy the Tazo mix at Target for $3.29, heat it up with your choice of milk at home, and that price will serve you at least 4 latte’s.
#3: Be Strategic at TJ’s: I get really fired up when people say they can’t afford to shop at Trader Joe’s because the first time I shopped there, I think I bought 30 items (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little) for $13. Pro tip– their frozen brussels sprouts are $0.99 and taste just as good as the $3.50 fresh ones once you roast them in the oven. If you want to buy all organic fruit and meat, you’re probably going to break the bank. BUT Trader Joe’s has their own brand of so many items (like toilet paper and Tea Tree Oil Body Wash) in addition to non-organic fruits and vegetables, you just have to pay attention when grabbing an item from the shelf! They also have a ton of frozen meals for one or two (the perfect portion for a college kid) that don’t have all the nasty additives that will make you feel as horrible as when you eat a Tombstone Pizza or Stouffer’s Lasagna. Oh, and for all my fellow GF pals out there, be sure to throw an Everything But the Bagel Seasoning into that cart because it is like eating an Everything Bagel without the bread and tastes delicious on literally everything!
P.S. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. The best and only chocolate worth $4.99 for the tub. You’re welcome.
Love, the Gluten Free Guru