At the grocery store today, I was marveling at how much easier this whole gluten-free thing has become since I was diagnosed five years ago.
First, a little about my local grocery store. I just needed a few staples, so I went to the dinky chain Publix market near my house. It’s a little ghetto, but not that bad, the prices are reasonable, and it’s about a mile away, so it’s an easy place to go when you realize you’re out of milk. But it’s tiny…square footage wise, it’s about a fourth of the size of other stores around the area. And the selection matches the size. For example, it’s great if you need milk, but if you’re looking for organic white truffle oil, you’re better off going elsewhere.
While I was at the store, after I got the milk, I had the urge to wander the aisles. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is something I do. My husband will vouch for that. Never go to the grocery store with me if you’re pressed for time…more often than not, I’ll be lolly-gagging in the aisles, looking to see what kind of rice they have, what are the seafood specials this week, or trying to remember if we’re out of Asiago and maybe I should pick up some while I’m here.
So…there I am wandering, without anything in particular to look for. So I headed up the cereal aisle to see if the new Gluten-Free Rice Krispies were in stock. Um, no, they only had the regular Rice Krispies, but they did have three different kind of gluten-free Chex. While still on the cereal aisle, I checked for Cream of Rice, since they are now a sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Yes, they had it. Surrounded by every type of Cream of Wheat you could imagine, but it was there.
By now I had remembered I was running low on rice flour, so I picked up a bag on the baking aisle. Still no Gluten-Free Betty Crocker cake mixes or Gluten-Free Bisquick, but hey, it’s a small store. I’m happy they have rice flour.
On the way to the checkout, I wandered past a shelf where they have a selection of organic, specialty, and “healthy” foods. There are quite a few gluten-free products there, mixed in with everything else. Gotta love that! Your store may have one of those too. Beware, because the Annie’s Whole Wheat mac ‘n cheese looks an awful lot like the Annie’s Gluten-Free mac ‘n cheese. But if you are careful, you can find quite a selection. My store had Erewhon Gluten Free Brown Rice cereal, Gorilla Munch cereal, Tinkyada pasta, Pamela’s cookies, Ener-G Tapioca Bread, and a healthy assortment of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free products, just to name a few.
If you haven’t done so recently, take the time to wander around your own local grocery store. You might find that they carry a lot of things that you assumed you had to go to a specialty market for. And if they don’t, talk to the manager. You can probably get them to stock some of your favorite items, saving you time, and possibly money.