five favs - - inexpensively gluten free at trader joe's.

"Sassy!" "SASQUATCH!"

I still don't know what the deal is with kids finding that damn Big Foot thing in Trader Joe's. But I do know they carry cheap gluten free macaroni and cheese. And it's darn tasty. Here are my top five gluten free pics from TJs. 

1. Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar

If I were smart and wanted to save gas, I'd buy a case of this stuff so that I wouldn't be running out every week. But no. It's only $1.99, and if I bought more than two boxes at a time, it wouldn't feel as cheap. Compared to Annie's brand of gluten free rice pasta mac & cheese which retails for upwards of $3.59 (!!!) at most other grocers, this is a major steal. 

2. Brown Rice Tortilas

Going gluten free means giving up soft, chewy, pliable flour tortillas. I've filled that gaping hole in my life with these rice flour substitutes. Nuke 'em for 30 seconds in the microwave and they're an acceptable alternative--plus they're only $2.69 for a 6-pack. Savor the pleasure of eating a cheap vehicle for cheese + anything else. 

3. All-Purpose Baking Flour

I hate gluten free baking. Hate. With a passion. Replace flour one-to-one? Use a store-brand gfree flour mix, xanthan gum or not, potato starch or tapioca based... ugh. Gag me with a measuring cup. I keep this stuff on hand because it's cheap (sensing a theme here?), only $3.99 for 16oz. It makes disappointment taste a little better. (For the record, lots of people bake gluten free things successfully. I am a fine person with many skills. This is not one of them.)

4. Gluten Free Brownie Mix

As much as a hate gluten free baking, I love, love LOVE love gluten free baking mixes. This one? It's a no-fail. I add about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and bake it a little less than the directions recommend. There's no easier or more delicious dessert to serve company. At $3.99, it ain't cheap, but the ease of preparation and the impressiveness of the taste make it worth it. Brownie or cake mixes at other grocers easily cost .50 cents to $1 more. 

5. Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs

Envirokidz somehow snuck in under the TJ's private brands barrier and sells on their shelves for $2.99 a box. Joe, Amby and I all eat this in the mornings. Unfortunately, Joe now thinks that panda bears are truly called panda puffs. I'm reluctant to correct him. 

So, those are my TJ's winners. What are yours? I give an honorable mention to the new Gluten Free Joe-Joe's sandwich cookies. But honestly, I think we gluten free folk may have to concede that no one will ever produce a gfree sandwich cookie that tastes as good as its gluten-full counterpart. Just stick with these and make everyone happy. 

Now go find a Christmas gift for your hubby at Moxie Wife


  1. Oh my gosh, this post is a life saver!! I love TJ's but haven't been since I moved to MN because it's a good 30 minutes away. I will go now. My 3yo has a gluten issue most likely and we are supposed to go completely gluten & dairy free for 4 weeks. We tried last week. Made it 5 days before a family get-together and cousins trying to give him chocolate milk and a huge fit ensued. It was stressful, to say the least. So we're just doing low on gluten for now...but these 5 Fav's of yours will really help! I hate not being able to eat tortillas! (I have to do it too b/c I still nurse him.)
    Anyways, nice to "meet" you. I'm just over from Moxie Wife.

    1. Hi Elisa! Wonderful to meet you too :) TJs has a bevy of other gfree foods (and many non-dairy ones as well) that I didn't include here--click the links at the top of the post for their whole gfree and allergy-free list. It's a hard path to start, but you'll find your way. If I can help with any other recommendations, please feel free to ask!

  2. Great post! I find you on moxiewife. We're gluten-free too. Not sure if you all can eat corn, but we've been eating corn tortillas by the bagful. They are super, super, super cheap and taste best if heated in the oven...we make cheese quesadillas and pizza quesadillas all the time in the oven. Just put a tortilla on a baking dish, throw on cheese, ,and whatever else (beans or tomato sauce or shredded chicken or tuna). Throw another one on top and bake in the oven until tortillas are slightly crispy.

    As far as GF flour goes...I really like Namaste brand. I buy it on Amazon (with free shipping) and I can get it for about 8.99 or 9.99 for 48 oz. (so cheaper than TJ). It works really well at subbing in for cookies, brownies and muffins in GF baking.

    We love that envirokids cereal! So yummy and TJ does have the BEST prices on cereal and mac n cheese. We've only tried their brand once or twice, but it is GOOD.

    1. Thanks for the Namaste flour tip! I haven't tried that before. If anything can make gfree baking easier/better, I'm game.