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Save Money on Gluten-Free Food: 35 Basic Ingredients You Can Make at Home

Stock Your Pantry with these Low-Cost Do-It-Yourself Substitutes


Updated July 26, 2009

If you have celiac disease, you know it's hard to save money on gluten-free food. Gluten-free food –- pastas, breads, cereals, pizza doughs -– is expensive. So, with help from other About.com guides, I’ve come up with 35 easy ways to save money on basic cooking ingredients. If you use these recipes, you’ll spend less – and you can put the savings toward products that are not as simple to make as the ones on the list below. (Don't forget: for more money-saving tips, read How to Limit Your Gluten-Free Food Costs.)

Baking Ingredients

All of these recipes are great money savers. But if you're reluctant to try them, start by making your own vanilla extract. I’ve been doing it for years, with just a couple of vanilla beans and some potato vodka in a jar, and I love the rich, flavorful vanilla extract that results.

Make Your Own Brown Sugar
Make Your Own Almond Meal
Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
Make Your Own Powdered Sugar
Make Your Own Vanilla Sugar
Make Your Own Baking Powder
Make Your Own Lemon Curd (Lemon Filling)
Make Your Own Gluten-Free Flour Blends
Make Your Own Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs

Dairy Products

Because dairy products won’t last long in your refrigerator, it’s good to know how to make money-saving substitutions when you need them.

Make Your Own Buttermilk Substitute
Make Your Own Heavy Cream Substitute
Make Your Own Homemade Yogurt (without a Yogurt Maker)
Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

Fruits & Vegetables

You don’t need any special dehydrators for these recipes.

Make Your Own Sundried Tomatoes
Make Your Own Tomato Paste


I was truly surprised to discover how easy it is to make garlic powder, onion powder, and the like. I won’t be buying those expensive little jars of seasoning anymore.

Make Your Own Garlic Powder
Make Your Own Onion Powder
Make Your Own Italian Seasonings
Make Your Own Old Bay Seasoning Mix
Make Your Own Seasoned Salt
Make Your Own Taco Seasonings
Make Your Own Seasoned Rice Mix
Make Your Own Salt-Free Seasoning Mix

Oils and Condiments

In addition to saving grocery money, the recipes for herb-infused oils can be used to make holiday gifts for friends.

Make Your Own Herb-Infused Oils
Make Your Own Mayonnaise I
Make Your Own Mayonnaise II

Salad Dressings

Once you get used to homemade salad dressings, you'll wonder why you ever bought commercial ones. These salad dressings make good marinades, also.

Make Your Own Italian Salad Dressing Mix
Make Your Own Ranch Dressing
Make Your Own Russian Dressing
Make Your Own Thousand Island Dressing

Sauces & Dips

Of course, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of recipes for dips ad sauces to satisfy every palate. The ones I've listed here are particularly economical.

Make Your Own Salsa Party Dip
Make Your Own Homemade Steak Sauce
Make Your Own Cocktail Sauce


Teach your kids that dessert doesn't have to be expensive to be good -- and entertain them with these do-it-yourself recipes at the same time!

Make Your Own Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding
Make Your Own Rock Candy
Make Your Own Applesauce Popsicles
Make Your Own Cold Bubble Tea

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
  4. Gluten-Free Food Shopping
  5. Save Money on a Gluten Free Diet - How to Save Money on a Gluten Free Diet

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