Saving Money with Food Allergies

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

As many of you know my youngest son is highly allergic to soy and extremely lactose intolerant. My oldest is *only* lactose intolerant. Yes- soy is in practically everything! Next to gluten, I think soy has got to be one of the most difficult food allergies, then dairy! So how in the world can you afford to feed a child (or yourself!) with food allergies? Don’t you have to be uber-expensive pre-packaged products? NO!! With a little bit of research, and some browsing around in the grocery store you can find alternatives to your child’s food allergy that aren’t too expensive.
It is a little more expensive to buy non-allergy foods sometimes if you are a couponing-only family like we are. But if you do not exclusively coupon you have so many options without much of a price difference! As for those of us who are ‘heavy coupon users’, I have found ways to buy things at a decent price. Stock up BIG time when the sale is good. Look for different foods (and different brands!) you can try. And take a few extra dollars out of your budget every week to donate towards the allergy-free food snacks. Make a once a month “special” buy for extra non-allergy foods either online, at Whole Foods, etc. Even Walmart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc. here are all starting to carry non-allergy food items!
I can’t send my kids off with animal crackers, yogurts, or cookies, but I can send them off with grapes, rice cakes, and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies! Yes, I said Rice Cakes! Seriously- I thought that it was crazy to buy rice cakes for my kids but they LOVE them. The 2 of them will sit down and eat an ENTIRE bag!! Buying 3 bags of rice cakes is the price equivalent to buying 1 bag of chips- and much healthier! It’s all about perspective.
The 2 most expensive items I have found to buy differently are bread & milk. Now we have WIC, so thankfully we do not actually have to buy Lactaid as it is provided for us, but here is a money saving tip for milk. Buy powdered non-dairy milk if you have a dairy issues. I bought some on Amazon, and although my kids do not care to drink it, I use it a lot in baking. It is cheaper and saves money on the ready-made milk. If you are making bread, pudding, cookies, etc. make it with the powdered non-dairy milk instead! (we use powdered rice milk bc of the soy allergy) I have found 2 stores where I can buy (for a decent price) non-dairy & non-soy bread. Now remember, anything with butter in it will have dairy & soy! Walmart makes a Cuban bread we can buy, and our Publix bakery has several varieties of bread that are absolutely delicious we can buy, but is a little more expensive. (about $2.50/loaf). I can almost always find the Cuban bread on clearance for $.90 at our Walmart. As for butter, Walmart carries Earth Balance’s NON dairy NON soy butter that my kids eat exclusively. There is no way around this cost- it’s about $3 for a small tub.
What about making your own bread? It’s truly not as difficult as you think! I have a breadmaker which makes it so much nicer, but you can even make your bread in the oven too. Considering gluten free? Why not grind your own rice? Rice Flour runs almost $4/lb…..I buy a 20 lb. bag of rice, pop some rice into my (clean) coffee grinder (although we have just ordered a grain mill), and voila- rice flour! In fact we just made waffles this morning that were gluten free using rice flour from my coffee grinder- they were actually incredibly tasty! The coffee grinder only works for a very small amount of grinding though before it burns out. I don’t usually use it for my than a few cups.
For our family, within reason of course, buying healthy food for my children comes before my need to save money. I try to save a little bit out of our budget as available so that I can buy my kids snacks and foods they can eat. I look for dye-free fruit snacks (Florida’s naturals are great and they sell at Walmart), natural products, products with no preservatives, etc. Once a month I buy them a bag of organic apples. I already know to plan it into the budget. Our kids are currently on a dye-free, dairy free, soy free diet, and hopefully by the end of the summer we will be completely gluten free as well. I am NOT a health nut- you can find me secretly shoving cookies or pizza in my mouth when my kids are not looking. But for my oldest son really this is a necessary move for us. If you’d like I can post a few of our gluten free recipes along the way as our family switches our diet!
Every once in a while I can actually find a few candies/snacks that are dairy free / soy free at the Dollar Tree too! If anyone is on a specific allergy-free diet, or considering starting a diet like this feel free to write me or comment below- I’d love to help!

Share with your friends!

Similar Posts


  1. Diane and Chad says:

    Visiting and following from a hop. As a retired (41years) teacher…love to hear what you have to say:)
    Come visit at

  2. Wakela Runen says:

    I never thought to grind rice to make rice flower. We have been ordering the gluten free flour from an online store as it is much cheaper then Whole Foods. Our local supermarkets don't really carry much gluten free foods.

    Hopping over for the Saturday Stalk remix. I am a new follower here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    if you email earth's balance and tell them you are so excited they have a product you can use with your child and ask about coupons they will send you some high value ones.

Comments are closed.