I am a WOHM with a DS who is allergic to dairy, eggs, wheat, and peanuts. We are also waiting a few years to introduce treenuts and fish/shellfish because of the allergies we already know of, so those are off the menu too. Our food costs have definitely gone up because of this, but here is what helps:
- We make 20/21 meals a week from scratch. (We get take out once a week, from the one place that doesn't use those ingredients.) We stagger our work schedules so that DH comes home first and gets stuff organized. When I come home I take over the child care and he cooks. We do eat late (~8pm) but at least it is homemade every night.
- Breakfast and lunch are fairly cheap: non-wheat cereal, for breakfast, a sandwich (non-wheat bread with sunbutter) and fruit or soy yogurt for lunch. It is simple enough that I can get this ready in the morning for both DS and I before going to work.
- We invested in a bread maker so we can make our own wheat/egg/dairy-free bread. Not sure it is cheaper than store-bought wheat-free bread, but it is a lot tastier, so we eat more of it rather than buy more expensive alternative snack foods. It takes only ~10 minutes to throw in all the ingredients and then 2hrs later you have bread!
- A typical dinner is rice or potatoes, chicken or other protein, and veggies. The veggies are usually just frozen mixed veggies - cheap and easy. Corn tortillas are a good cheap starch to use with meals than involve stir-frys or stews.
- We go to the farmer's market every week to stock up on fruits and vegetables.
- I don't buy: juice, soda, junk food, or anything prepackaged. Snacks are bread, fruit, soy milk, etc. - things you might eat at a meal, not special snack foods.
- We make our own coffee in the morning and DH brings it in a thermos to work. It saves a few dollars a day and tastes better!
- I make a list of things that can only be bought at the organic market (non-wheat flours, soy yogurt, etc) and make a special shopping trip for those. While it is tempting to buy other stuff there, I resist because it is so much more expensive. I buy everything I can at the regular grocery store.
Hope that helps. Good luck!