17 April 2015

Low FODMAP diet on a budget

Low FODMAP diet on a budget

By Dr Jane Varney - Research Dietitian

Finding your low FODMAP diet a bit pricey? Well you’re not alone - buying specialty products adds considerable expense to your weekly food bill. A quick price comparison of lowest unit prices (AU$ per 100g) at one of Australia’s leading supermarkets shows:

  • Low lactose milk cost over twice that of regular cow’s milk
  • Gluten free bread is 7 times more expensive than regular wheat bread
  • low FODMAP breakfast cereal (quinoa flakes) costs almost 8 times more than the cheapest high FODMAP breakfast cereal (home brand weetbix).

So how can you save a few dollars while sticking to your low FODMAP diet? Here are 10 TIPS to get you started!

1. PLAN YOUR MEAL & COOK IN BULK

It is a far more effective use of your time to get three meals out of a cooking episode than one and much cheaper. Leftovers can be eaten for lunch the next day or frozen in snap-lock bags. Snap-lock bags keep food fresh and save freezer space compared to tupperware. 


2. EAT LEFTOVERS & CARRY WATER BOTTLE

Bring leftovers to work for lunch and carry a water bottle with you. Buying lunch and drinks on the run is expensive, whereas bringing both from home can save bucket loads.

3. WRITE A LIST & SHOP AFTER A MEAL

We’ve all done it, but shopping on an empty stomach is ASKING for a basket full of unnecessary, unhealthy purchases. Writing a list also gives you the opportunity to check the cupboards to see what you REALLY need. 

4. MAKE SHOPPING FUN

Make a morning of it - meet a friend and grab a coffee at your local farmers market. Shopping for fruit, veggies and meat at fresh food markets can be considerably cheaper AND if you visit at the end of the day, food is often heavily discounted. Fresh food markets also avoid the temptation of supermarket aisles laden with tempting, but expensive and unhealthy processed foods…win win! 

5. USE FROZEN VEGGIES & BERRIES 

They’re generally much cheaper than fresh varieties and just as nutritious! They also reduce waste if you don’t get a chance to eat them that week.

6. SAVE MONEY ON MEAT

Lean minced meat and tinned fish such as salmon and tuna are cheap, very nutritious and versatile. Meat-based meals can be bulked up with veggies, stretching them out further and cooking one vegetarian meal per week can save a few dollars. Choose a low FODMAP protein source such as quinoa, egg, tofu, canned lentils or canned chickpeas instead of meat!

7. ENJOY EGGS

They’re quick and easy to turn into a meal; naturally low FODMAP; nutritious, and very cheap (even the cage-free, happy chicken variety!)

Choose naturally low FODMAP foods such as rice and potatoes. Unwashed potatoes are generally cheaper, while buying in bulk can save, save, save! 

9. DIY

Try making your own low FODMAP muesli and/or low lactose milk. 

There’s a fantastic muesli recipe in OUR APP and low lactose milk is easy to make and half the cost of pre-prepared low lactose milks. Simply add drops containing an lactase (an enzyme that digests the lactose) to regular cow’s milk and leave the milk for 24hrs before consuming. Lactase drops are available over the counter at most pharmacies. 

10. STOCK UP WHEN PRODUCTS ARE ON SPECIAL

Non-perishables (e.g. tinned fish, tinned tomatoes) can be stored in the pantry for months, while many non-perishables (e.g. low FODMAP bread) can be frozen and used for toast. 

…just think what you could do with the savings!!

Good luck & if you think of any other tips, please comment below or tweet #FODMAPBudgetHack to us @MonashFODMAP 

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