How to Successfully Go Gluten Free Grocery Shopping

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gluten free aisle of grocery store with cart

I remember when I first went gluten free; I would spend hours at the grocery store.   Fear not!  You can easily tackle gluten free food shopping with some important tips in mind:

1)      Do your research and create a list before you shop.  Compile a “cheat sheet” of what is gluten free before hitting the supermarket and bring your reference guide with you.

2)      Stop by the customer service desk.  Many grocery stores are now providing a list of gluten free products they carry in store.  Some stores even have a downloadable version you can access online.

3)      Shop the perimeter of the store.  Naturally gluten free fruits and veggies, meats, poultry, fish and dairy products can be found in the outer aisles of most grocery stores.

4)      Explore the inner aisles for gluten free finds such as canned goods, rice, corn tortillas, Frito Lay snacks, Chex gluten free cereal, Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake, cookie and brownie mixes, and Gluten Free Bisquick.  Chain stores as well as food stores such as Target, Trader Joes, Wegmans, and Whole Foods also carry a nice selection of gluten free food products.

5)      Speak to the store manager.  Is there a certain gluten free food that you are wishing your store would carry?  Talk to the manager and ask to fill out a product request form.

6)      Read all labels.  As time consuming as it may be, reading ingredient labels is the one way you can make absolutely certain if a product is gluten free.

7)      Shop during non-peak times.  If at all possible, plan to do your shopping during a time when your grocery store is not busy (early morning, late evening, weekdays).  You’ll feel less pressured when the aisles aren’t jam packed with frenzied shoppers.

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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.


  1. Also remember that some stores, Whole Foods in particular have a staff member that will help you shop. They are very knowledgeable on dietary needs. Sort of a personal shopper for the grocery store. Great idea to make an appointment if you are new to gluten free living. Also use the computer on your phone if necessary to research a particular product! Good luck to all newbies!! It does get easier.

  2. “Do your research and create a list before you shop. Compile a “cheat sheet” of what is gluten free before hitting the supermarket and bring your reference guide with you.”

    I apply this one when I buy to the department store, that was my strategy if I will shop a foods. you can Less your time, also everything that you need is completed..

  3. Hi Maureen,

    My sister was recently diagnosed as a Celiac after having bowel problems for years. I will give her the name of this site as there is a wealth of information.


  4. Very informative website! I agree, gluten-free foods are much harder to find compared to mainstream foods….It seems ironic that this is the case because supermarkets should endorse gluten-free food above all =(

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