Buying gluten free or free from products can be a minefield. There is such a wide selection in supermarkets now compared to what there were a few years ago. Even in the last two years, supermarkets have jumped on the bandwagon and realised that there is a need for free from products and the shelves have expanded.
It’s all about trial and error. I don’t shop in one supermarket for gluten free products, but pick the best of the bunch from multiple different shops. Here’s my low down on the best shops for free from products
Trusty Tescos. It all depends what kind of Tesco store you shop in. The bigger the better. My personal favourite is Tesco, Serpentine Green, Peterborough that has the biggest selection I’ve seen to date. I’m pretty sure in a years time it will get its own aisle, it’s expanded so much! Tesco is great if you want offers, especially right now as it’s doing 3 for 2 across most free from products. For sweet treats Tescos is definitely a winner and they even do a Tesco Finest range. Fancy! It’s my one stop shop if I want to pick up some biscuits to dunk in my tea. They also do amazing carrot cake and it’s the only supermarket that seems to do it. They their own branded range to the more expensive brands such as Nairns and Schar, it has a wide selection of brands.
Check out Tescos range here
It’s all about the bread. If anyone is struggling to find a loaf of bread that actually tastes like bread, I’d really recommend the Sainsbury’s own branded stuff. It’s actually soft, doesn’t fall apart and there are no holes. Really affordable too! They even do their own freshly baked gluten free bread which is delicious but more on the pricier side. Worth every penny if you want to feel like a muggle again. Sainsburys is also great for fresh foods such as breaded fish, yoghurts and cheese.
Check out Sainsbury’s range here
Morrisons have actually come a long way in recent months. They only used to have one section dedicated to free from products in my local supermarket, but now they’ve even got a fridge and a freezer section! Morrisons wouldn’t usually be my go to, but they do a great selection of gluten free pizzas. They’ve also started to stock freshly baked gluten free bread, which I only discovered last week. It’s on par with the Sainsbury’s brand in terms of taste and also about 50p cheaper a loaf. They don’t do much of their own branded stuff, but tend to stock big name brands, so it can get expensive if you shop here on a regular basis.
Check out Morrisons range here
Marks and Spencers
Food tastes so much better from M&S don’t you think? Or is that just me? They are the official sponsors of Coeliac Awareness Week and they’ve really upped their game. Their selection of gluten free products is pretty remarkable. From chicken burgers, cheesecakes and lasagnes, they’ve taken things to a whole new level. Most of their ‘normal’ products are naturally gluten free also, which means you can buy muggle food for a change. It’s brilliant. I really struggle with convenience food, by this I mean, if I’m hungry I can’t just walk into any old shop. However, M&S are the kings of convenience for Coeliacs. Their selection of sandwiches, wraps and salads is massive and something I think other supermarkets need to do. Although, you’re going to have to stretch about £4 for a sandwich, it’s better than wandering around aimlessly thinking, ‘oh I guess I’ll just have this fruit pot then.’ They even do gluten free options in their Dine in For £10 which is great if you just want to stay in and cook. If only I could afford to shop in M&S all the time….
Check out M&S here
Aldi & Lidl
I’m putting these two supermarkets together. They don’t have their own free from range and I’ve never seen a dedicated section in their supermarkets, unless I’m being blind. However, they do sell the odd thing really cheap. For instance, gluten free pasta, you can pick this up for less than £1 here and also things such as the B Free Pitta Breads for around £1.50. If you want to hunt for the bargains then this is probably right up your street.
I often get asked why gluten free shopping is so expensive, and the answer is, they need to make the food safe. The food is made in separate factories, packed in separate places and shipped separately. I’d rather pay the extra money to know that what I’m putting in my mouth isn’t going to make me ill. I think in a few years time the cost of these items will go decline because they’re so in demand. This is the only good thing about people ‘jumping on the bandwagon of gluten free products because they think it’s healthier. It’s not just Coeliacs that are buying the products, but other people too.
Check out my Coeliac Story here