A small price to pay – Cost of living with food allergies

Shopping basket fruit and vegetables isolated on whiteI’ve recently started a part-time job at a grocery store nearby. Life with food allergies and dietary restrictions can be very costly. Because of my allergies to soy we buy all local/free range poultry and meat as I often have a reaction from poultry and meat bought at the big chain grocery stores. This makes cost of living go up quite a bit and getting an extra part-time job has been a good way to help with that higher cost of living.

When it comes to meals, my partner and I usually eat vegetables with poultry, fish and meat. I can’t buy the cheaper foods because well, they happen to have most of the things I am allergic to. The rice crackers I can eat that do not have any of my allergens in them are more expensive than others and regular crackers. When it comes to a cheaper protein option to have with lunches, I recently had a reaction to a brand and type of canned tuna that I had been eating for years. A few weeks ago, I had some on my salad and had a reaction. It had soy. Obviously, un-declared. There went my one easy protein source that I don’t have to cook and can take on the road with me when I travel. I don’t react to other more expensive tuna, however these cans can be $6 per can! Way more than I can afford with part-time work and school… I know the high cost of groceries for us is just a fact of life and don’t worry too much about it because I also know that we are eating as healthy as we possibly could be.

I look at it like this… When it comes to groceries, it is really expensive having food allergies however I’ve long realized that having food allergies and other dietary restrictions like gluten and dairy is in fact keeping me healthier. I am not eating any processed foods and eat far more vegetables than most. Most days, I find my food allergies have had a positive impact on my life, in more ways than just eating healthy.Most days, I don’t get frustrated when I can’t eat something others are eating. Instead I tell myself “so glad I’m not able to eat the cake or deserts” because I know it would go straight to my hips! Obviously I haven’t always thought this. As a kid I would feel left out when I missed out on things. My perspective has definitely changed over the years. I’m now happy to have food allergies as it has taught me how to speak up, be very attentive and has helped my self-confidence.

Do you find you spend more on groceries than perhaps your friends or family members do? What tricks have you found to help you save money when shopping? What are some things that you simply can’t save on?

2 thoughts on “A small price to pay – Cost of living with food allergies

  1. Hi Erika, I’m just catching up with you now after a couple of years. Love your blog! About the expensive food, I always say that it is not as expensive as doctor, pharmacy and/or hospital bills. You have found a great way to balance the expense!

    • Hi Lindsay! It’s great to hear from you and hear your take on the subject. I couldn’t have phrased it any better myself! I too tell myself the same thing. It’s definitely cheaper to eat healthy than it is to eat bad stuff and then pay the price long term with medical bills and medications! And I always feel better eating “clean” 🙂

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