Shopping for gluten-free products is typically easier in metropolitan cities, because there are more stores that serve a larger population with a demand for gluten-free products, it warrants the supply. Living in a small town can be challenging particularly if you don’t have a natural food store available. Plus, gluten-free products can be considerably more expensive to buy for both the shop owner and the consumer due to low-volume buying and higher transportation costs.
If you live in a small town, your approach to stocking your kitchen with gluten-free products will have a different strategy. Some options or guidelines to living gluten-free include
• Drive to the nearest big city where gluten-free products are widely sold, if the mileage makes it worth your while. Stock up on essentials each time you go.
• Ask your neighborhood store to carry or special order certain products for you. They may be happy to do this knowing that they will be immediately purchased by you, but expect to pay more than you would in a larger town.
• Consider shopping for a variety of products from online sources. You will need to increase your shopping budget to include shipping and handling charges, but the upside is that you can save money on sales tax through Internet shopping in most states.
• Buy larger quantities of the ingredients and products you go through quickly to cut back on trips into the city or to save on shipping and handling charges.
• Rely less on packaged ready-to-eat products and have quarterly gluten-free baking parties to make a variety of baked goods from scratch including cookies, muffins, and breads, then freeze them for future use. Make enough to last you for several weeks and have another party when you get low.