When Heidi was first diagnosed with celiac disease, facing the grocery store gluten free was an overwhelming—and expensive—experience.
You might remember our recent post about BB’s Grocery Outlet, where we’ve found some pretty stellar deals (clearance!!!) to stock our gluten-free pantry. Routinely stocking up on discount groceries definitely gives our budget a little breathing room. And yet, clearance grocery shopping isn’t a realistic way for everyone to meet their weekly needs. After all, not all of us live within reasonable driving distance of a good outlet, and sometimes a trip to a store like BB’s leaves some major gaps in our shopping list.
Since we believe grocery shopping is an adventure (grocery nerd alert), we’ve been roaming far and near in search of great gluten-free grocery shopping options. And we’re finding them everywhere. Better yet, we’re sharing our discoveries with you.
Wegmans has 91 operating stores (with 10 additional announced stores) spanning from Virginia to upstate New York and Massachusetts. As far as we can tell, everybody LOVES Wegmans. We certainly do!
Pro tip for the West, South, Midwest, everywhere that hasn’t discovered the joy of Wegmans: If Wegmans ever approaches you about building a store in your area, embrace them with open arms. We’re talking top-notch grocery chain here.
For you lucky ducks who already live within driving distance of a Wegmans, we’ve compiled your gluten-free report. Perhaps you’re already head-over-heals in love with your local Wegmans—who isn’t? Perhaps you’re debating whether it’s worth your while to check it out. We hope to help you make an informed decision by sharing our experience!
Wegmans is BIG. Big and beautiful, in a commercial kind of way. The atmosphere is good, the store is clean, the selection is great, and the customer service is excellent. Need to make a return? Forgot to give the cashier your coupons? (Oops!) They are too nice to us.
That being said, a big grocery store is both a pro and con for most people. Your first visit to a Wegmans will probably take a while, since you’ll have to go down Every. Single. Aisle. to find everything on your list. The good news is that they’ll probably have everything on your list: tissues, batteries, laundry detergent, Cheerios, peanuts, gluten-free ice cream, frozen stir-fry vegetables, coconut flour, almond flour… Wegmans has great potential to be your one-stop, weekly shopping experience.
We’ll let you finish the list. We don’t know what you’re shopping for, just that Wegmans probably has it. If you’re not sure, you can actually browse the store online and find products carried at your local Wegmans, including prices and aisle numbers for most products. Pretty cool, huh? We actually did some comparison shopping online in the early days, since we had no idea how much almond flour and the like typically cost. Turns out, Wegmans has a great price on almond flour (completely unrivaled until our local Costco started carrying almond flour as well).
While we’re chatting about online resources, let’s talk about special diets
for a sec. After all, why are most of us here? Wegmans store brand products are labeled with a “Wellness Key.” Personally, we’re watching out for gluten. The Gluten-Free Wellness Key Criteria
give us a lot of peace of mind about the products we’re buying and eating. Essentially, any store brand item labeled with a “G” is 100% safe (<20 ppm of gluten).
Wegmans has fantastic allergen/gluten labeling, and we really appreciate it. Remember this picture from when we first chatted about Wegmans in our 10 Minute Gluten-Free Taco Soup recipe
? Yes, stock up on those ingredients on your next Wegmans run. (Add that to your list!) Your tummy will thank you.
With the help of the Wellness Key on store-brand items, we have an easy time finding GF products throughout the store. Some of our favorite “main aisle” finds are canned tomatoes, canned beans, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables (we always stock up on stir-fry veggies), almond flour, and coconut flour. Shopping is so much faster, especially as a GF newbie, when you don’t have to pause and look up every brand—or call the manufacturer when you get home. Are we the only ones who’ve struggled to make dinner because we had to make phone calls to figure out if what we’re eating is celiac safe? We’ve also found their prices to be very competitive with other local chains (often better).
Ready for a quick tour?
In addition to gluten-free dairy products (including ice cream and yogurt), Wegmans offers a good selection of dairy-free products. We’ve heard great things about these earth balance buttery sticks. We’re so excited to try making cookies with them!
Plus, there’s a buttery spread version too.
Dairy-free yogurt anyone?
Since right now we’re (mostly) dairy-free, we usually pick up almond milk at Costco. It’s closer to us so we shop there more frequently for convenience. But coconut milk is So Delicious (see what we did there?), and Wegmans has a decent price on it. Mmm, mmm!
We also love that Wegmans offers gluten-free cereals at an affordable price. (Don’t worry, they sell Chex and Cheerios too!)
Nuts! For gluten-free folks who aren’t sensitive to contamination, finding nuts probably isn’t an issue. For us though, finding uncontaminated nuts was a real challenge! It seems like all nuts are processed in a facility that also processes wheat. We love that Wegmans offers a great selection of gluten-free nuts (just check the label to be sure—we came across one or two types that didn’t have the gluten-free marking on the Wellness Key).
During our almost Whole30
, we discovered Wegmans salsa. Not only is this salsa verde Whole30
compliant, but it also makes a pretty fantastic white chicken and veggie chili. Oh, and we found a great deal on coconut aminos here too.
Wegmans is also a great place to stock up on gluten-free canned beans. Their regular price rivals sale-prices for Goya blue line beans (which should also be gluten free). We don’t have to wait for a sale to stock up. #Winning
Now that we’ve hit some of the main aisles, let chat about their GF section. Because, yes, Wegmans loves you so much that they’ve got an entire aisle dedicated to you. Oh, and it has its own freezer section.
Before you move into this aisle, don’t forget how awesome the main aisles are and how much easy-to-find gluten-free food there is out there. You’re not going to find diced tomatoes on the GF aisle, but you’re going to want to pick some up. (We’re making taco soup, remember?) Also, don’t be scared away from the main baking aisle. Sometimes the almond flour is on the GF aisle, sometimes not, but it’s always on the main baking aisle.
We had six freezer doors to ourselves on the aisle, plus two more on the end cap. We’re talking about all kinds of bread and a smattering of muffins, donuts, lasagna, burritos… We don’t buy a lot (we’re cheap!), but when we want a little something, they’ve got it.
Where baking mixes and flour blends are concerned, Wegmans has got you covered.
As far as we know, Wegmans has the best price locally for Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour. We don’t use it anymore—we don’t love the texture—but we know it’s a favorite for many GF bakers.
Oh, and pasta. Lots of pasta.
If you’re into corn pasta, you probably won’t find a deal better than this.
Cereal, granola, snack bars… lots to choose from. Or rather, chew on.
We’re skipping a little here (pretzels, chips, etc.) because we can see you grabbing your list and keys and trying to sneak out the door. We’ll save a little mystery for your adventure. The K-Kritters chocolate animal crackers were a hit with our toddler on our last trip. (Oh, and we like them too. You’re never too old for kid snacks.)
Ignoring relative distances to stores, right now, if we had to pick one store to shop at exclusively for all our groceries, we’d probably pick Wegmans. It offers all the basics we want in a grocery store: quality produce, good selection of affordable meat, great dairy (and non-dairy) products… Plus, it’s easy for us to find safe pantry staples with the help of their Wellness Key, and the selection of specialty gluten-free products is fantastic. Really, it’s the ideal one-stop shopping experience for the GF newbie and GF veteran alike. Come shop with us!