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Site review: BeFreeForMe could be a nice hit in the pocketbook

Submitted by on Thursday, 25 December 2008 No Comment

You think your food bill is high?

I pay $6.49 a quart for egg-free mayonnaise and count myself lucky that one store carries it locally. The peanut-butter subsitute we prefer is $21 for two, five-pound pails with $14.50 shipping — there is no local supplier. A wheat-free bread I recently priced for a friend was $6.49 for a one-pound loaf.

The only place where I catch a break is that egg replacer is much cheaper than the real thing.

That’s why I was happy to hear about BeFreeForMe, a new Web site created by a woman who has Celiac disease and can’t eat anything containing gluten.

The site’s creator pledges to offer a quarterly coupon book offering discount coupons and free samples of products of interest to food-allergy and Celiac suffers.

Sounds GoodForMe. There is nothing worse than paying full retail for a full-size of an allergy-safe product — and keep in mind that full retail for an allergy-safe product is going to be astronomical 10 times out of 10 — only to get it home and have the “ick” factor set in. That happened to us a lot in our quest for mayonnaise and faux peanut butter.

The site also an impressive recipe collection in an easily searchable database that’s reminded me to better organize my own recipes. I think that will be my one and only New Year’s resolution.

The recipes aren’t of much use to me — I searched for “nut free” and of the first 10 that popped up, only two worked with the other allergies in our house. But then, my recipes are of zero use to her because I don’t think I have a single one that’s gluten-free. That’s part of the challenge of dealing with multiple allergies or allergies and celiac — finding something that fits all sizes.

The site’s accompanying blog also is full of useful information, such as a pre-Thanksgiving post running down gluten-free turkeys.

Bottom line: If you have Celiac or one of the four other allergies the site covers thoroughly — fish, nuts, soy and dairy — BeFreeForMe is a great resource, particularly in the early “so what in the world do I eat now” stages of the diagnosis.

As for me, I’m just in it for the coupons and samples. But that alone’s worth a lot these days.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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