There are times in your life when you find out certain things about yourself that will likely affect you for the rest of your life. A few months ago, I went to get my annual physical. During the physical, I complained to the doctor that my stomach hurt sometimes when I woke up in the morning and the way I dealt with my stomach aches was by taking TUMS. While the doctor was drawing blood for my cholesterol check, he asked me if I wanted a food allergy test done as well. I obliged because they were already drawing blood, so why not. I received a call about 24 hours later from the doctor. He told me that my stomach was intolerant to gluten and if I wanted the stomach aches to go away, I needed to switch my diet up.
This is when I took a hard look in the mirror and realized my life was about to change and I needed to throw out/donate all the food I couldn’t eat anymore and focus on purchasing non-gluten products. I first made a consultation with a dietitian and went over what products I needed to purchase to stay healthy and avoid any health issues. After my consultation, I took most of the food out of my pantry that I couldn’t eat any more and packed it away in a bag to donate at the local charity near my apartment. I then went grocery shopping and packed away my pantry with food I could eat!
Cost Savings Analysis
I looked into how much money I was spending on food prior to discovering my gluten free issue. First off, I was spending nearly $550 a month on groceries. This included runs to the pizza store, buying beers at various bars across D.C. and eating out at restaurants that served non-gluten free food. Because I had to eliminate most of those options to remain healthy, I started evaluating how much I would be spending on weekly groceries.
I started buying more vegetables, meat, and gluten free grains/seeds (quinoa, etc.). Costco sells meat and chicken at extremely reduced rates, so for the organic kosher chicken I purchase, I would spend $8.99/lb at Trader Joes. At Costco I was spending $4.99/lb and getting much more for less. I also started buying raw veggies there as well.
Overall, my average grocery shopping has dropped down to $355 a month and because I can’t drink beer or eat out at various restaurants anymore, I can justify buying better quality meat and vegetables to stay healthy!