Friday, August 7, 2009

HypFoods Big Tip: Cutting Food Costs with Amazon.com





If you've been on the hypoallergenic food scene for any length of time, you already know that we are entering a most exciting period as food advocates and businesses come to terms with the realities of a large consumer population with special needs arising from numerous food allergies.

If you're new to this scene, rejoice! It's much easier these days to find convenience foods that accomodate your requirements than ever before. As consumers become more outspoken about their needs and more willing to purchase the new product offerings, the market will grow. Prices will reach a favorable range and job growth will be stimulated by consumer demand.

Nearly gone are the days when your only option was to bake your gluten free goods from scratch and to spend many hours and dollars in painstaking experiments with the various alternate flours and starches to find a combination that serves your nutrition needs and tastes good to your family.

Evidence of the new bounty arrived in my inbox this week in the form of an announcement that Amazon is now offering gluten free groceries in their subscribe and save program.

I have been a regular subscriber of foods that work for us for years. It just makes good sense for me and for the planet. Most of the staple foods that keep our household running smoothly are available from Amazon and often for a better price than general retail. If an item costs more, or if there is an exorbitant shipping cost attached to the purchase, then I won't buy online. However, if the price is appropriate, I will buy my "hypfoods" from Amazon and have them delivered to my doorstep.

With an Amazon Prime membership, most items are available for second day delivery at no additional cost. The UPS truck is going to be on the route anyway, so I save fuel and time while reducing my carbon footprint by managing food needs in this way.

Additionally, using "subscribe and save" through Amazon, the food choices are available as case lots at additional savings averaging 5-15% discount over shelf prices and they come straight to my door on scheduled intervals that I specify for each item.

The carousel leading this article shows a mixed variety of the staple gluten free foods available now from this rich source. These include the Kind bars currently being offered by Starbucks and the new Betty Crocker gluten free mixes.

You can buy Annie's Rice Pasta Mac & Cheese or Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice noodle products. Keep in mind that Brown Rice is often a better choice for those who must also manage their blood sugar closely. Tinkyada is my personal favorite, but I've also included Bionaturae noodles. I love Bionaturae products and their noodles are fabulous. They cook very nicely and provide a level of culinary satisfaction that is unexpected in gluten free products, but the flour blend used includes soy, so it is not well tolerated by those with soy allergies.

There is a selection of pre-made gluten free cookies and crackers, as well as a wide variety of bread mix products and certified gluten free oats. There is no better therapy than preparing your own meals from scratch, giving thought to and thanks for the labor and goodness that brought the food to your kitchen, but the truth is we don't always have the time or energy to do everything from scratch. I like to make my own bread and feel the very literal connection to a vast rainbow of men and women who have shared this simple and essential task, but I am also thankful to know that we have choices that will not do us harm.

Remember that most prices are for bulk purchases, not single items, and that each food product on Amazon displays a page of nutritional data (including the list of individual ingredients). You will find the link to this data at the top of each food product page, just beneath the product name.

Whether you work from scratch or from convenience, explore the Amazon website for grocery supplies and share the joy of having good choices.


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