Gluten-free grocery shopping used to be a very traumatic experience when I first started on the gluten-free diet 4 years ago. While there are times that I wish that I had known sooner that gluten & I didn’t get along, I am somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to experience gluten-free grocery shopping 10+ years ago. From those I have read about or spoken to about shopping for gluten-free groceries “back then”, it sounds like a lot of stress and frustration. Sure there were always fresh fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, some grains & milk that are naturally gluten-free, but shop for any specialty items and the complication factor went way up.
Not only are gluten-free specialty items showing up on the shelves of mainstream grocery stores these days, but they are also available on many different websites. Amazon is just one of the many websites that sells a multitude of gluten-free groceries, but with a twist. Amazon offers a unique “Subscribe & Save” program to help you save money on the products that you use the most. As I was going through my email this morning, I came across one from Amazon that showcased just some of the gluten-free items that are part of the “Subscribe & Save” program. I clicked through and found Amazon’s complete list of gluten-free groceries that are eligible for the program and found that there are 864 items!!
There are several benefits to using the “Subscribe & Save” program. The price is 15% cheaper, even if the item is already on sale! The shipping is free. You choose the frequency at which you receive your shipments and you can change this at any time. For example, I received an email yesterday letting me know that on September 21, 2010 my next shipment of Pamela’s Baking Mix was due to ship out. There was a link in the email for me to go edit that if I wanted to. Since I still have 4 packages, I opted to “skip this shipment” and now my next shipment is due to go out on November 21, 2010. A few days before that shipment I will get that same email again asking me if I am ready or not. You can change the frequency at any time. I have this product set up to ship every 3 months, but may need to change that. I receive a lot of products to sample and review, so I haven’t been going through my mix like I used to. Perhaps every 6 months is a better schedule for me. You can also ask for the shipment to occur sooner than scheduled if you are close to running out. At that time, you are also given the option of staying on schedule for your next shipment or changing it.
I have been using this program now for over 2 years and have really only found one negative to it – sometimes Amazon has a product in their “gluten-free” list that is not gluten-free. Take the same care when ordering from Amazon that you would when shopping anywhere and read the labels. I choose products that I know my family uses regularly and that I can verify are gluten-free.
Have you shopped using Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program? If so, which items are you purchasing?