So you’re starting low FODMAP and thinking: “Is this going to break the bank?” Maybe you’ve noticed the higher price tags on gluten free foods, low FODMAP certified foods, or other specialty items, and you’re wondering if this is still doable. Take a deep breath – I’m here to tell you that you do NOT need to buy any special low FODMAP products to be successful on your new diet. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly low FODMAP meal plan and shoppign list, this article is for you!
As a registered dietitian with my own private practice, I’ve been instructing clients on the low FODMAP diet for a while now. A few years back, many FODMAP certified products had not even made their way to shelves, and even back then, there were lots of great options. My one strong recommendation is to purchase the Monash App as this is probably the most important resource for anyone getting started (along with the Spoonful app of course!).
The $70 Low FODMAP Shopping List
Take a photo of this list, and store it somewhere you will remember. This is the foundation for a budget-friendly, FODMAP-safe grocery run. You’ll notice that a lot of staples (think potatoes, brown rice, and eggs) are actually low FODMAP and very easy to come by at any store.
- Dozen eggs – $1.99
- Corn tortillas – $1.78
- Lactose-free milk or almondmilk – $3.99
- 16 ounce bag brown rice – $1.00
- 3 lb. bag of frozen chicken – $6.00
- 5# Bag of russet potatoes – $2.00
- 1 bunch broccoli – $2.49
- 2 cucumbers – $0.99
- 1 small container cherry tomatoes – $2.99
- Starkist Selects E.V.O.O. Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna In Extra Virgin Oil – $2.89
- Cheerios – $2.99
- Blue Diamond Nut Thins – $2.75
- Rolled oats – $1.99
- I bunch banana – $1.50
- 1 lb. bag of whole carrots – $0.99
- 1 can of chickpeas – $0.58
- Prego Sensitive Recipe Traditional Pasta Sauce – $1.99
- Large container of spring mix lettuce – $5.00
- Sunflower seeds $0.99
- 16 oz jar of Jif Peanut Butter (Regular, Natural, Creamy, or Crunchy) – $3.00
- Annie’s Homegrown Balsamic Vinaigrette – $3.50
- ½ cup raisins from bulk bins – $0.50
- Popcorn seeds – $3.00
- 1 stick butter – $1.00
- Best Foods Olive Oil Based Mayonnaise (Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Light or Real) – $3.99
- Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt – $0.89
- Shelled edamame – $1.99
- Frozen blueberries – $2.74
Let’s hope we added that up right! Dietitians, not mathematicians over here :).
Look for generic brands. Most grocery stores sell their own private label version of cereal, gluten-free breads, and lactose-free milks. Just be sure to scan these with Spoonful to make sure you’re wise to any sneaky high FODMAP ingredients..
When buying fruits and vegetables, choose those that are in season based on your location, and check the freezer section for deals. Feel free to swap for less expensive, low FODMAP fruits and vegetables based on cost and personal preferences.
5-Day Low FODMAP Meal Plan
Now that you’ve got your pantry stocked, it’s time to turn that haul into some budget-friendly low FODMAP meals!
½ cup rolled oats cooked in water (add cinnamon and your favorite low FODMAP sweetener such as sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or stevia) topped with 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds or 1 tablespoon peanut butter) and ¼ cup frozen blueberries.
Tuna Salad and crackers.
Top your Blue Diamond Nut Thins with Starkist Selects Yellowfin Tuna, 1 tablespoon of Best Foods Mayonnaise (or Chobani Greek Yogurt). Round out your meal with an orange or a cup of baby carrots.
Chicken sauteed in oil, ½ cup shelled edamame, ¾ cup broccoli crowns and 1 cup cooked rice. Season with soy sauce.
*Make extra chicken for lunch tomorrow.
2 eggs cooked in a little oil or butter and a small unripe banana topped with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
Chicken and cheese Quesadilla.
Prepare with leftover chicken breast from the night before, a few tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, and 2-3 corn tortillas.
- Put ~1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once hot place quesadilla(s) on skillet and cook until lightly brown (~2 to 3 minutes).
- Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve with 5 cherry tomatoes, ½ cup cut raw carrots, and ½ cup sliced cucumbers.
Gluten free pasta with Prego Sensitive Recipe Traditional Pasta Sauce. Serve with a green salad made with lettuce, 5 cherry tomatoes, 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds, ¼ cup sliced cucumber, ¼ cup canned and drained chickpeas, and Annie’s Homegrown Balsamic Vinaigrette.
1 cup Cheerios, 1 small unripe banana, and lactose-free milk or almond milk. Add your favorite low FODMAP sweetener such as sugar or maple syrup.
How about a morning pick-me-up? Opt for coffee or weak black, peppermint, or green tea with almond milk, lactose-free milk or up to 1 tablespoon of half-n-half.
Egg salad made from 2 hard boiled eggs mixed with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise* or 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt.
- 15-20 Blue Diamond Nut Thin Crackers
- ½ cup sliced cucumbers
- ½ cup cut raw carrots
- 1 orange
Baked potato topped with shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Add ¾ cup broccoli crowns as a side or create your own green salad with lettuce, 5 cherry tomatoes, 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds, ¼ cup sliced cucumber, ¼ canned and drained chickpeas, 1-2 tablespoons Annie’s Homegrown Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Rice Pudding! See this simple recipe by Monash. If you prefer brown rice, you may want to try this recipe instead from Food.com. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar or add your favorite low FODMAP sweetener as a substitute.
Baked potato topped with butter, shredded cheddar cheese, ¾ cup cooked broccoli crowns, salt and pepper
Small yogurt parfait – mix two tablespoons of plain greek yogurt (increase to ¼ cup as tolerated), 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds, and ¼ cup frozen blueberries. Sweeten with maple syrup or your favorite low FODMAP sweetener. Add a bit scoop of peanut butter for extra calories.
Chicken (grilled, baked, or sautéed). Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Add 1 cup cooked rice, ¾ cup broccoli crowns, and 1 cup steamed carrots. Season your veggies with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper if desired.
*Make extra chicken for lunch tomorrow
Simple breakfast tacos: 1-2 scrambled eggs, 1-2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, and 1-3 corn tortillas.
“The Works” Salad – Low FODMAP style
Add several cups of lettuce, ¼ sliced cucumber, 4-5 cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, 1 hard boiled egg, ¼ cup canned and drained chickpeas, leftover chicken, and 2 tablespoons Annie’s Homegrown Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Season 1 chicken breast (baked, sautéed or grilled) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with Prego Sensitive Recipe Traditional Pasta Sauce and serve with your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Add a green salad made with lettuce, 5 cherry tomatoes, 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds, ¼ cup sliced cucumber, and Annie’s Homegrown Balsamic Vinaigrette.
What about snacks?
If hunger strikes, and you’re in a pinch in between meals, try any or all of these delicious snack options – all within budget and all FODMAP friendly.
- 20-32 peanuts and 1 ounce cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds and an ounce of cheddar cheese
- 1 small unripe banana and 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ cup shelled edamame sprinkled with salt or soy sauce
- ½ cup Talenti Sorbetto Roman Raspberry (YUM)
- Homemade trail mix: 1 cup Cheerios, 1 tablespoon raisins, and peanuts
- Popcorn! Make from scratch using a high heat oil like coconut, avocado, olive, or grape-seed, and season with butter and salt.
- Deviled Eggs
Try these other cost-saving tips
Planning meals in advance will likely decrease your intake of processed foods, which are more likely to contain high FODMAP ingredients. Read this super helpful article from Audrey Inouye BSc, RD 5-Step Low FODMAP Meal Plan to learn more.
Look for sales
Try to plan your meals around sales, especially proteins, as these can be more spendy. Check out your grocery store app, newspapers, and look online for coupons.
Make al ist
Simple, but effective! Keep an ongoing grocery list and stick to it as this helps to avoid impulse buys and last minutes stops.
Focus meals on simple, inexpensive ingredients
Build more meals around whole grains and starchy vegetables as these ingredients are low cost.
- Brown, white, or wild rice. Did you know that you can freeze cooked rice and quickly reheat when needed? Check out the bulk bins for some real deals.
- Quinoa – any color. Check out bulk bins for some extra savings as this grain can be more spendy.
- Baked potatoes – enjoy this FODMAP free, high fiber food.
- Sweet potatoes – watch portions so be careful how many you cook in advance.
- Pumpkin and spaghetti squash can be less expensive in the winter months and very comforting.
- Rice cakes – these can be used as a cheap alternative to bread. I often like to top mine with peanut butter and sliced banana, lox and cream cheese, or lactose-free cottage cheese and strawberries.
- Gluten free pasta – many generic grocery stores brands are making their own gluten free noodles, which are often less costly than name brands. Watch out for soy flour, bean, and lentil-based pastas. Chickpea pasta is the only pulse-based pasta with a low FODMAP serving size.