Monday, April 4, 2011

The High Price of Gluten Free Living

Besides generally sucking, being gluten free is really expensive.  This just seems rude to me because I don't even want to do it.  Here is an example to demonstrate the high price of gluten free living: flour.

Flour is a basic staple in everyday life.  It is the base for bread, pasta, pizza, and most desserts.  A 5 pound bag of regular all purpose flour in the grocery store runs for around 3-5 dollars depending on the brand.  This seems reasonable.

I recently purchased Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend.  It is a mixture of sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum.  A 3 pound bag cost me $14.99.  I couldn't bare to buy this myself and put it on my mom's credit card (thanks mom!).

I also bought Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour.  It is a mixture of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour.  A 1 pound 6 ounce bag cost me $6.99.  This also went on the credit card.  $22 for less than 5 pounds of flour is just absurd.
Pure foods, the house blend gluten free flour from Risotteria is a mixture of corn starch, brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch.  A 2 pound bag cost me $9.  I don't have a picture of this, sorry.

The very first gluten free flour I bought was Arrowhead Mills Organic White Rice Flour.  This is just white rice flour and a 2 pound bag costs around $6.  This is the most reasonable of the bunch, but do not use this flour on its own.  It is very gritty and needs to be mixed with other flours if you are baking.

Because flour is the base of so many foods, and gluten free flour is so much more expensive, most gluten free products are therefore much more expensive than their gluten-filled counterparts.  Also, because it's such a niche market, the creators of these products can get away with their absurd prices because sometimes a girl just needs some bread.  (I love Tu-Lu's, but their loaves of bread are $10 - who can afford that!?)


  1. If you buy a big bag of Irish Oatmeal, you can throw it in a food processor or blender and grind it to a flour. It's not perfectly ideal for baking everything, but works for pancakes and simple dishes like that. I say Irish Oatmeal instead of American made, because most European silos that hold oatmeal do not hold any gluten containing products ever, while the American silos tend to hold both gluten containing products, and non-gluten products, the gluten containing ones leave a residue that gets mixed in with the oatmeal therefore making the oatmeal not entirely gluten free. But usually those oats are less expensive than the fancy flour :)

  2. Thats so unfair! I've noticed that anything good for you, is bad for your pockets

  3. Courtney (Millette)April 8, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Hello Lovely. I wanted to let you know that aside from all those weirdo mixed flours you mentioned, there are also a lot of gluten-free, natural, normal and interesting flours that aren't too expensive! There is a tiny spice/coffee bean/tea leaf shop on the corner of my street that sells almond flour, chickpea flour...many other flours besides wheat that sound delicious. And they're inexpensive! I would be happy to pick up some for you if you wanted me to! I could mail it to you or force you to come visit me again. Either one works for me. xoxo

  4. I've noticed that too KayBee. It's really unfortunate.

    Courtney (Millette) - thanks for the tip. I might start buying my own flours and creating my own mixes to make it cheaper. And yes, I better come to Boston to buy them....