Monday, 2 February 2015

Low Cost, Low FODMAP and a bit of Tough Love


Hi Fodmappers

I have my serious head on today as I have seen a few people recently lamenting how they can't afford a low-FODMAP diet and I'm not so sure that's true. I'll be completely honest with you when I say, I even wonder if that's just an excuse not to start. We can all find plenty of reasons NOT to change what we're already doing (it took me years to leave a job where I was no longer happy and I kept finding reasons, or maybe excuses, to stay) but when you know that some simple changes to what you're doing can make you well, what reason would you have not to make that change? (Actually I'm genuinely interested to know what reasons you may have, so please feel free to let me know in the comment box below). 

But back to the issue of cost.

I understand that money can be tight (I only have a part time job myself and have all the usual household costs) but I choose to make my health my priority, and I want to encourage you to do so too. There is nothing -  not your relationships, your family or your job - that will not actually benefit from you looking after your own health. Think about that for a moment. How often have you missed out on a family event or had to let down colleagues at the last minute, because you were ill?

So assuming it is just the cost that is holding you back, here are my tips for an affordable low-fodmap diet. I even let on how I make a meal for two (with some to spare) for less than £3.

Affordable FODMAPs


1. Think about where you shop. A supermarket might be convenient but don't assume that they are always cheaper than your local market or greengrocers.

2. Buy in bulk. Consider ingredients, such as rice and oats, which you can buy in bulk and can be stored in large jars for when you need them. Check out the world foods sections of your supermarket (or visit your local asian store) for big bags of rice. Also a great place to find larger packs of spices.

3. Shop with a friend and share those 'buy one get one free' offers.

4. Buy seasonal produce. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are cheaper than those that aren't. This isn't rocket science but it's easy to forget. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to some strawberries in the winter, if that's what you fancy, as long as your budget allows.

5. Make the most of potatoes. Potatoes are something of a fodmappers friend. Not only are they cheap but you can bake them, boil them, mash them, roast them, add them to soups, or add them to a curry. You could even try replacing a pastry crust with a layer of mashed potato.

6. Cook in bulk and pop the rest in the freezer. Unless you really enjoy cooking, the chances are that there'll be days when you fancy a day off. That's when you can turn to your freezer and enjoy a meal you made earlier.

7. And that takes me to my final tip. There's no getting away from it, certain low-fodmap ingredients are pricey. Gluten-free bread being a prime example. But if you pop one in the freezer on the day you buy it, you can take out slices as you need them. At least none will go to waste.

And that just leaves me to share my absolutely low cost (less than £3) low-fodmap meal for two.

You'll need a stew-pack (I got mine in Lidl's for £1.50) a couple of potatoes, some spring onion greens and herbs or spices according to your preference.

Simply chop the root veggies into nice chunks, place in cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Add herbs or spices. I like to use some ginger, cumin, turmeric and pepper. I also added a spoonful of yeast extract instead of a stock cube. Stock cubes often contain onion or garlic so are best avoided.

Simmer until you're hungry - and serve. One stew pack made two BIG bowls of soup with enough left over to go in the freezer. So easy, so tasty and so cheap!

So there you go Fodmappers, if you haven't yet started your low-fodmap diet, what's stopping you? Not the price I'm sure. ;)

'Til next time - Stay Fabulous! x

54 comments:

  1. Good tip about buying spices in bulk. In grocery stores near us, many times the Asian or Mexican isle will the same spices, in different packaging, for a much cheaper price than a few isles over on the spice isle. :-)

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    1. Exactly Jennifer. I even think sometimes they might be better quality.

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  2. Great really helpful article - I always try and think when spending money on good food that if I don't eat the right stuff, it will cost me a whole lot more in health bills down the line!! x

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    1. Good on you Sophie. I've really learned that health is our best investment.

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  3. I wasn't familiar with fodmaps until today, but I've been trying to feed my celiac son-in-law and gluten free daughter for a few years now and these are great tips. We've been lucky enough to find gluten free bread at a local bakery outlet. Thank goodness it freezes well!

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    1. Hi Staci. Great to hear from you. I really hope you find some useful info here for your daughter and son-in-law. Even though Fodmappers don't need to avoid gluten, most gluten free breads are also fodmap friendly so there is a cross over. There may be some recipes here they'd like to try. x

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  4. I love buying spices in bulk. I know this is off topic, but I buy baking soda in bulk and use it to clean tough stains. I can get my white sink sparkling again!
    We also use a lot of oats in our diet. I make homemade granola and also like to add oats to meatballs.

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    1. I keep meaning to make a big jar of granola. Always nicer when you make it yourself.

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  5. Good tip about buying spices in bulk. I haven't really thought much about that, but we are trying to eat healthier. This has been hard with a very picky two year old.

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  6. Buying seasonal produce is so great for so many reasons! Cost, freshness, carbon footprint... the list could go on and on.

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    1. You're right. I also like the way that seasonal produce encourages us to change our eating habits in line with the seasons.

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  7. I learned something new here. I've never heard of fodmaps before. Great tips that could apply to any grocery budget.

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    1. FODMAP is still a pretty new approach to IBS so I'm not surprised you hadn't heard of it. It has made such a big difference to me that I'm just glad to spread the word.

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  8. I just started cooking in bulk and freezing extra meals. I just got me a freezer for my garage and it was the best investment I have ever made. I spent extra that shopping trip to stock the freezer up and I am loving the result. Thank you for your post. It is awesome to read how other people do life!

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    1. Sadly I don't have room for a chest freezer, but I imagine that must make life a lot simpler. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Interesting information. I hadn't heard of FODMAP before.

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  10. I love making large portions and freezing the rest. Also filling your freezer saves on energy costs - win, win!

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  11. I am BIG into food storage and bulk buying. We save a ton of money when we buy on sale and store food for later. Even potatoes can be purchased in bulk and kept in a dark cool place (like a mini root cellar) to extend their storage life. My favorite thing to do with potatoes - other than eat them, of course - is to cut them up, blanch and freeze them. Then I can just pull out what I need and they cook up really fast.

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  12. Great recipes! I'll be honest I didn't know what "fodmap" meant so I clicked on your other link. I learned something new today! Thanks.

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    1. You're not alone in that Dancinmoma - fodmap is still a pretty new approach to IBS but it is so effective. I'm glad I was able to spread the word.

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  13. Great Post, I also had no clue what a fodmap was. This was very informative and it is very important to put your health first!

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  14. I had no idea what fodmap is and meant, never heard of it before reading this post. It was nice to learn something new. Great tips, and very informative. :)

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    1. Thank you felecia. I'm glad I've been able to share something new with you.

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  15. I had no idea what a fodmap was! I love learning new things - and buying spices in bulk, so maybe I'm almost there?

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  16. I'll be honest with you, I had to go look up what the heck a FodMap was!!!
    Nothing like learning something new on Friday the 13th!!!!

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  17. I had to look up FodMap too and I have IBS. Anyway, it was very interesting to read about and I think I'll glean some helpful information from you.

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to introduce you to FODMAPs Phyllis. If I can help with any questions you might have, please let me know.

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  18. I'm used to buying in bulk as well as cooking in bulk since I had 15 kid for so many years. Now that we are just two empty nesters, I still buy and cook in bulk and freeze the extra. It helps me eat healthy and saves me time. I've never heard of fodmap before. Blessings!

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  19. I have never even heard of a Fodmap diet, I had to google it! The tips you share are great idea for anyone, regardless of the diet they may be on. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Health is most definitely our biggest investment. We've gotta eat the right foods now!

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  21. I had never heard of FodMap either. Awesome new thing to learn today, so thank you for that! :)

    I always buy my spices in bulk too. Huge money saver!

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  22. I have never heard of FodMap before. I will have to look into it.

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  23. I learned something new today, because I haven't heard about FodMap before. I agree that buying in bulk and buying seasonally can help you save money on food. Good tips.

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  24. I actually saw a post on Yahoo on the fodmap diet today. It was talking about how some people control IBS with it. Is that why you do it? Or is there another reason?

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    1. Yes that's it exactly Keelie, though some people with Crohns disease also find it helpful. It's made a huge difference to me. I'd been ill for such a long time before fodmap that I think I'd almost forgotten what being well felt like. It's just so good to feel well again.

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  25. Never heard of this before. Learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I am on a dairy-free diet. No meat but I do eat fish. I buy in bulk too. I agree with you when health comes first. I am on this diet because I have fibroids. I believe in doing what you got to do to help yourself. I'm not going to lie somedays are tough. I like being able to have discipline though. I never thought that I wouldn't be eating cheese. I always felt that I ate healthy and I was going in this direction but having these fibroids catapulted me into it much faster.

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  27. Thank you for sharing this. I was not really familiar with this diet until a friend of mine shared with me that she would need to start this type of diet. It is certainly helpful for me now to have this information now.

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  28. Thank you for sharing these tips for saving money. All the tips I can get are quite beneficial. I have to watch what we get too due to restricted diets in our house too.

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  29. I always assume the grocery will be cheapest, but you're right, it's probably not. Thanks for the simple recipe.

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  30. I loved the recipe that you shared! Whether or not you follow a FODMAP diet, it still sounds pretty delicious. :)

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  31. I plan to start growing some of my own veggies to save on cost. Plus, its so convenient to have it there when you need it!

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  32. Thank you for the great tips. I'm always looking for ways to cut the food costs around here.

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  33. I've never heard of FODMAPS before but I do have friends who are on various diets. And any tips for making food more economically are helpful! I try to shop sales and to buy bulk when I can. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. I often go to the farmers' market here to buy fresh veggies. it may cost a little more, but you can get a lot of meals out of it if you plan around specific ingredients. Making a lot of meals out of the same few ingredients and then freezing them allows you to rotate , so you don't feel like you're eating the same thing. I also love buying spices in bulk. it's cheap and easy.

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  35. I live in a tiny "hick" town that just last year started having gluten-free foods available. my problem with the diet is that not only do I not truly know what I can and cant eat but the my own mother (with whom I have to live because im on ssi and a 3 yr who's father doesn't have to pay child support) doesn't seem to want to here about what I can and cant eat. all she wants is quick foods and I know on this diet that just really isn't possible. she gets mad when she asks if I can eat a product she likes and I look at the ingredients and say no because it has such and such in it. I have no support to help me go through this diet and no guidance. my GI diagnosed me with ibs spastic colon and fructose malabsorption yet didn't give me a diet plan or send me to a dietician. all he said was no HFCS and no apples or pears. I live with anxiety and panic attacks which make my symptoms worse and then in turn make my panic and anxiety worse. I feel tired all the time and fear leaving the house because of my symptoms. I miss so much and so does my son because of all this. im not sure what to do!

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    1. plus im on food stamps and have basically no money left from my check to pay for extra food.

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  36. Hi Tiffanie and thanks for your comment. I completely understand that it takes a while to get used to what you can and can't eat and that it must be difficult when you lack support from those you live with. There is info on the foods to avoid and foods you can enjoy on the main tabs. Just a thought but have you printed out a copy of the free poster yet? It might be worth putting it somewhere where your mum can see it? good luck.

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