Gluten-free versions of common gluten-containing products, such as bread and pasta, can cost two to three times more than their gluten-containing counterparts. One way to save is to form a buying group with other gluten-free shoppers, and purchase gluten-free pizza crusts, cereal, almonds, and rice in bulk, at a discount. Some stores offer their own brands of gluten-free items, often at a lower sticker price than national brands. With more food manufacturers offering gluten-free products, compare prices on similar items. Bast says the competition is driving down prices and improving taste.
However, there are several areas to avoid, despite their appeal: Even though bulk bins are a great place to scoop up gluten-free foods such as dried lentils and brown rice, the risk of cross-contamination—when gluten-free goods are tainted with gluten-containing ingredients or residues— outweighs the price savings, Bast says. Be cautious with salad bars and sampling, too.