I’ve been eating gluten-free since early 2009, I think. One thing I can tell you is that it’s really stinkin’ expensive to keep baked goods in the diet. I’ve eliminated nearly all of them, but every now and then, a gal just really needs a brownie…
Today on Freecycle I found an offer for “lots of gluten free foods.” Sure enough, I was the first response, and benefited from the pantry of a pastry chef who’s given up GF baking. Oh man, there was some good stuff in those boxes. Two different grape seed flours, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, multiple cookie mixes, egg replacer, crackers, Chex cereal, quinoa, peanut flour, Chia seeds, and all the spiffy new things I haven’t tried yet, plus lots of the staples like rice flour, and potato starch.
If you haven’t yet joined a Freecycle group, I highly recommend it. To join, find a group near you in the directory at Freecycle.org. In most areas it is an email list, like a yahoogroup list. You may want to set your preferences to “daily digest” as there are a lot of emails, but also know that there are a lot of Freecycle stalkers, so you may end up missing out on things as emails are delayed to be “digested.” The other option is to set up a separate Freecycle-only email account.
I’ve had some great Freecycle finds over the years-including the hardwood floors I put in the kitchen and dining room. (Someone decided to do their whole house to match their living room, but couldn’t color-match to the original floor–so they gave it to me!). I’ve also shared many, many items this way–kitchen appliances I no longer needed, outgrown kids’ clothes/shoes, even cat toys that my cats rejected. It’s also a great place for sharing surplus harvest (gleaning). A few weeks ago I was free-cycled a 25 pound bag of beets, and was able to pay it forward by re-free-cycling fifteen pounds of surplus carrots a few days later.
Fellow Freecyclers helped my kids and I build our chicken egg incubator a few years ago, and then helped us to find homes for the hatched baby chicks (hatching the eggs was a school project, but keeping chickens in our condo was not).
Happy Freecycling, folks!