Where to Find Gluten Free Coupons, Codes, and Discounts
Gluten Free Coupons can be found in magazines, your local paper, online, or in your local grocery store’s ad or coupon book. Get great deals on gluten free products and food when you use gluten free coupons and coupon codes. Look for sales on gluten free products online and in stores before shopping and using your gluten free coupons on double coupon days. Get extra cash back when you use a cash back credit card or shop online through Top Cash Back or Ebates.
Amazon always has Amazon Gluten Free Coupons available to clip and discounts available for prime members and through the subscribe and save program, where you’ll get an extra 15% off when you subscribe to 5 or more items.
I made up this smoothie this morning and I thought it was actually pretty good. It’s packed full of good stuff and will keep you full for a good portion of the day. The orange juice and peanut butter make for a surprisingly tasty combination. You can always adjust the amount of each ingredient according to your own personal preference. Enjoy!
Getting free food from the grocery store only takes about an hour of planning each week. It’s a great way for us moms to contribute a bit to the family finances. So, instead of just feeling like I’m always the one spending money, I can know that I’m doing my best to save the most on food.
5 Simple Steps to Getting Free Groceries
Shop at a grocery store that has double coupon days and then plan to go shopping on those days
Save the grocery store insert and in-store coupons that you get in the mail each week
Take the sale price and subtract in-store coupons and doubled manufacturers coupons to get your final price
Decide whether or not the end price is worth the purchase and add it to your shopping list
If you don’t have much time, but you’re curious about what some of the free items could be at your local grocery store, you can get a list at Money Saving Mom. You can even sign up for their e-mail list that will keep you updated on the latest coupon match-ups for the week. The lists aren’t always complete, but it’s a good place to start. I usually find more products than what they have listed.
I have to confess, I most certainly have a sweet tooth and would be content to eat nothing but a bowl of ice cream for dinner. But, ever since I had my first baby seven years ago, I’ve been struggling to be a good role model for my kids when it comes to eating healthy. I may look like I have my eating under control, but even thin people struggle with the foods they eat.
We have everything at our finger tips here in the USA and in many other places around the world. Just around the corner is a McDonalds, Culvers, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Dairy Queen! I’m sure I’ve missed a few more fast food places in that list, but I’m sure you know how I’m feeling. We all have to drive past those places on our way to school, work, the store, and even at the most vulnerable time when we’re all hungry after church on Sundays! Am I right? The kids never fail to ask if we could just stop for a while at McDonalds or get some ice cream at Dairy Queen. The kid inside all of us would love to do that very thing every day. But, we know exactly what that would lead to and we don’t want to go down that path. Not only would our belts and budgets be busted, we would also experience the quantity and quality of life God has blessed us with diminishing with every cheeseburger and blizzard we buy.
There is a verse in scripture I was recently given a new perspective on. Some parents take this verse to mean that if we teach our children about Christ, they will eventually believe and be saved. I don’t, however, believe this verse has anything to do with salvation.
The verse is Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I’m sure you’re asking “What does that have to do with healthy eating?” I’m getting there! You’ll just have to bare with me, ok?
When you see the word “train” in scripture, very often it is used when speaking of war. Soldiers were trained for battle so they would have the best chance of survival. Although in most cases we are not training our children for a real physical battle, the Bible talks about another type of battle. James 4 addresses the war within us that wages each and every day. It is a war of “passions.”
We need to be training our children to face these passions at an early age and overcome them. We all know that it is much easier to develop good habits when we’re young than to try breaking bad habits when we are older. I believe that is at the root of that verse. If we train our children to eat healthy and develop other good habits, they will not depart from those good habits when they are older.
We should be establishing these good habits to ensure a bright future for our children and their children. Not only are we at war within ourselves, we are also at war as a nation. Our country is fighting obesity, diabetes, depression, and so many more conditions that are fueled by the foods we eat and our lack of physical activity. If we fight against these bad habits now, our children are less likely to struggle as we do.
Throughout my childhood, and now into my adulthood, I have struggled with a sugar/carb addiction. I never established good eating habits and I am now paying for it. While in high school, I used to eat Fruity Pebbles for breakfast and come home after school to devour a few scoops of my favorite ice cream or get a blizzard at Dairy Queen after Tennis practice. Sugar was my reward for almost everything. It was my reward for waking up in the morning! And, don’t even get me started on my birthday favorites. Ok, I’ll get me started. My birthday included French Toast (made with Wonder Bread) piled high with butter and powdered sugar, Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese for lunch, and Pizza for dinner. And, don’t forget the birthday cake made out of Oreos and Cool Whip!
You may be asking, “How are you not overweight?” Well, the answer is very simple really. I never ate large portions. I would eat throughout the day in small portions. This kept my metabolism up. To this day, I still have a hard time finishing an entire meal. It’s just not natural for me.
Although I may have my weight under control, my emotions have been taken on a rollercoaster. When I eat nothing but carbs and sugar, I become very irritable and sometimes depressed. My emotions are all over the place and I have a hard time focusing on tasks. Being a Mom of four young children already keeps my emotions on high alert and keeps me from completing tasks. I certainly don’t need to be feeding my frustrations with “crabby calories.” Eating donuts in the morning for breakfast might be fun while you’re eating them, but just wait a little while after that and you’ll be more likely to snap at little Timmy for spilling his milk again.
It’s important to find a way to kick your sugar/carb cravings.
Teaching our children good manners, healthy eating, cleanliness, and self control at an early age will ensure a life of good habits and can even give them a better chance of survival in this world we live in. A rude, unhealthy slob with no self control will not survive and thrive the way we want our children to.
Breaking Bad Habits
If you are one of the many people that struggle with a sugar addiction or you’re just looking for ways to change your families eating habits, here are a few simple steps you can take to become healthier.
Step 1: Education
Get Educated! Sit down as a family and watch a documentary on food and how it affects your health. You can find some good videos at http://www.documentarystream.com/category/health/food/. After you discover the facts as a family, discuss your findings. Then, find some healthy recipes for meals you would all enjoy.
Step 2: Find Healthy Alternatives
Before you go on a rampage and throw out all of your favorite treats, you’ll want to take it one step at a time. First, try replacing those treats with a healthier version of them. I know these may cost more, but you are paying to keep the nutrients that your body uses to properly process the sugars.
Replace refined sugar with date sugar, a whole food sweetener made by simply grinding up dates. Date sugar can be used to replace white sugar or brown sugar in most baked goods and it tastes just as sweet! Check out my recipe for date brownies!
Have designated “snack” times throughout the day to avoid hungry tummies and over eating at meal time. Great snacks include fruit, string cheese, carrots, and dried fruit and nut mixes. Read about the benefits of Snacking.
Try to have your children help or just be in the kitchen with you while you are making dinner. They will be more likely to eat what you’re making if they can participate somehow in the meal preparation. And, maybe they’ll learn something!
Instead of delivery or frozen pizzas, try making your own! My family and I love socca pizza and it’s really easy to make. We got our recipe from the Simply Sugar and Gluten Free Recipe Book.
Step 3: Drink More Water!!
Drinking more water will help you stay hydrated and keep you from over eating. Sometimes your body just needs water, not a bar of chocolate!
Step 4: Stay Active
For some reason, this is the hardest thing to do for most people. As a mom, I get tired just watching my kids jump around. It also doesn’t help when your body is being dragged down by junk food. The first week I cut out refined sugar, I felt horrible! I didn’t want to do anything or talk to anyone. All I wanted to do was focus on getting through the week without putting a spoon full of ice cream in my mouth! But, once I got past the first week, I found that I had much more energy. Not only that, I also felt less irritable and had a clear head.
Once I got my energy back, I started to force myself to exercise. I couldn’t understand why it was still so hard for me since I had the energy to get through the workouts now. Suddenly, it dawned on me! Exercise can be fun! I just had to find an activity that I loved doing. I tried going for a run and nearly died of boredom. I know I love tennis, but now it’s the middle of winter. I also don’t have the time to go to a fitness center or join any yoga or zumba classes. So, I had to think of something I could do at home while taking care of my four kids.
One day, I finally found the ear buds/headphones I had been looking for. I plugged them into my iPod and started dancing around the house as I did laundry, vacuumed, picked up toys and clothes, etc. Not only did this give me a great workout, it made me happy! The kids found it amusing and I’m sure they noticed that Mommy was in a better mood. I had finally found something active that I loved to do… dancing!
Step 5: Treat Yourself!
While you may have gotten rid of all the junk food in your house, there are still those temptations outside of the house. Once you’ve cleansed your body and gotten into a clear state of mind, you most likely won’t crave the junk anymore. But, don’t fool yourself! Those memories of sinking your teeth into a gooey glazed donut will not fade as quickly as you hope. You can still treat yourself once a week without giving in to your addiction once again. You’ll find the less you eat the sugar and carb filled treats, the easier it is to pass them up and only have them once in a while.
It’s important to teach our children that cake and ice cream are for special occasions. They shouldn’t be something you keep in the house to eat after every meal. Once that has been established, you and your children will begin to enjoy the healthy treats. Your interest in different flavors will grow, and life will be that much more exciting!
I made eight gluten free pumpkin pies over the course of the past two weeks and they turned out great! My husband took a few to work, we had two for Thanksgiving with his family and two for Thanksgiving with my side of the family, and we kept one for ourselves. Everyone loved this gluten free pie crust and I hope you do too!
Here is the gluten free pie crust recipe I came up with. It yields four pie crusts or two double crust pies.
3 cups rice flour + 4 tbsp for rolling
1 cup potato starch
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
1/2 c. coconut oil
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3/4 c. cold water
Blend 3 c. rice flour with potato starch, sugar, and salt
Cut cold butter and solid coconut oil into flour mixture
Beat egg and mix with cold water
Combine ingredients until dough forms
Pull dough apart into four pieces and place in fridge for 1 hour in container covered with plastic wrap
Use 1 tbsp per pie crust for dusting surface and rolling pin
Roll each pie crust out and gently place in pie pans
Form the edges with your fingers
Fill crust with pumpkin, fruit, or any other pie filling and bake as instructed in your pie recipe
Go through pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what needs to be restocked
Make a shopping list based on the recipes and restocking needs
Find any coupons I may be able to use
Find time to go to the grocery store without the kids having to tag along
Go to the grocery store and resist impulse buying (avoid bakery at all costs!)
Try to be as frugal as possible without sacrificing the health of our family
Don’t forget main ingredients! Get EVERYTHING on your list!
Get home and unload groceries (freezer items first) without getting distracted by the kids
Make the next meal of the day and prepare meals ahead of time if possible
This gets to be pretty overwhelming every week. I suppose some people have meal planning and grocery shopping down to a science. I’m not one of those people! I would say there are three categories of grocery shoppers that people fall into.
Category #1: The Budget Busters
These grocery shoppers are the type that don’t do any planning. They look around the kitchen a while before going to the grocery store. Once they are there, they proceed to put whatever looks good into their grocery cart. ” Hmmmm, I think this $10 jar of almost butter looks good. I think I’ll get that! Oooo, and that! And, I could do something with that!” Before they know it, they’ve got a grocery cart full of condiments and they’ve gone way over their budget. And, they almost always run out of meals before the week is over.
Category #2: The Mindful Mommies
These grocery shopping mommies will do their best to find food that’s healthy AND on sale! If they can get something that’s healthy AND low-cost, then they’ve “done what they came to do.” Mission accomplished! Planning healthy meals and staying within the monthly budget are a mindful mommy’s constant companions. She eats, sleeps,and… well, eats her mission to have healthy, low-cost food in her home every week.
Category #3: The Crazy Coupon Crew
These Coupon Crazies are Crazy about Coupons! All they care about is spending the least amount of money possible. No time to worry about whether or not that bag of potato chips is healthy or not. ” If there is a coupon for it and it’s a double coupon day, then I’m buying it! After all… food is food, right? Gotta make sure we stay UNDER budget!” So, they spend all of their time clipping coupons instead of planning meals. And, when the shopping is all done, they’ve got a pantry full of processed food and a rather empty fridge.
Want to know how I came up with those categories? They’re ALL Me! I’ve been to both extremes. I’ve been that Budget Buster who goes down every isle and searches for anything that catches my eye. I’ve been part of the Crazy Coupon Crew and only cared about dollars and cents. And, now, I’m starting to settle into the middle category where I should be at this point in my life. I’m a Mindful Mommy with 4 beautiful children and a great husband to think about. It’s a little overwhelming at times, but I know it’s worth it. As long as my family is eating healthy and our finances aren’t suffering, I will feel confident in saying, “Mission Complete!”
2 c. gluten free all-purpose flour (usually a combination of rice flour and starches)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water (more water for thin pancakes and less for thicker)
2 mashed bananas
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c. coconut oil/vegetable oil
Blend dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Mix well and scoop onto 375 degree skillet. Turn over when bubbles start to form. When done, serve with sliced banana and 100% all-natural maple syrup.
This is probably the best gluten free cake I’ve ever made. It was AMAZING! Waaaay better than any coffee cake I’ve ever tasted before. And, it just so happens to be gluten free. That’s gluten free, NOT sugar free. YUMMY!
So, here it is…
Swirl Coffee Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
5.1 oz. (1 large pack) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup gluten free flour (I used 1/3 c. Betty Crocker yellow cake mix for this)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together butter and sugar
Add eggs and beat into butter and sugar mixture
Stir in sour cream and milk
Sift together rice flour, potato starch, pudding mix, and baking powder in another bowl
Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into 9 x 13 inch greased baking pan (batter will be dough-like)
Combine ingredients for filling and pour over batter
Take a fork and “swirl” the filling and batter, but do not combine them
Bake for 40 min. in preheated oven
Best if served warm with buttercream frosting drizzled over the top
I have changed this baked oatmeal recipe multiple times and have settled on this particular version of baked oatmeal. There are many varieties of baked oatmeal and I’ve shared some links to other baked oatmeal recipes at the end of this post. Enjoy!
4 c. regular or instant oats
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. water
2/3 c. vegetable oil or melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat eggs and add oil or melted butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 30-35 min. and serve with milk (optional.) Yum!
These other baked oatmeal recipes look very promising and have great ratings…