I have been eating gluten free for over three years and have tried a lot of different products. Different taste buds have different, well, tastes, so what I think is perfect might not sit well with you. However, if you are just starting out on the gluten free journey, this list will give you a great place to start. As always, check ingredient lists for products that do not clearly state they are gluten free as formulas change. Also, if you have nut allergies, be wary as nut flours are often used in gluten free products.
By easy, cheap and delicious, I mean, when comparing apples to apples. None of this stuff is truly cheap but I feel that the items below give the biggest bang for the buck.
Mary's original All Gone Crackers--a serving of these have half a serving of protein and are filled with seeds--these are a staple of my gluten free diet.
Calbee's Snapeas, original flavor--these are not technically a gluten free food since gluten is not present to begin with (like an apple or potato), however, I adore these and so I thought I would mention them.
Sof'ella Chocolate Cake Mix--has more lift than other mixes and tastes divine.
Glutino's Perfect Pie Crust Flour--this is a miracle! I use it when I bake from scratch, sometimes by itself and sometimes in combination with other cup for cup gluten free flours, depending. It certainly makes the best pie crust of any other flour I have tried and it's great in cookies and other delicate baking.
General Mills Brand Corn/Rice Chex--every flavor is delicious but I like the cinnamon rice chex best because cinnamon is an awesome energy booster.
Crunchmaster's Multiseed Cracker, Rosemary and Olive Oil--Yum! The original and garlic flavors are good, too.
Udi's White Sandwhich bread--for a gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, this bread can't be beat. It actually has more nutrients in it than their multi-grain bread.
Costco brand multi-grain bread--a delicious, dark, multi-grain bread great for toasted cheese and lunchmeat sandwhiches.
Pamela's Pancake Mix--this makes great pancakes and waffles. I have used it to make chocolate chip cookies per the directions, but I prefer others for that.
Costco Frozen Pepperoni Pizza--best ready made frozen pizza, in my opinion. (I think it is Kirkland brand.)
Udi's frozen pizza crust--if you are going to assemble your own pizza, I really like Udi's crust.
Trader Joe's chocolate cupcakes--TJ's just unveiled their gluten free cupcakes. They are a dollar each (compared to $3-$4 each at gluten free bakeries) and loaded with delicious buttercream frosting. They are 330 calories each and taste like it. Simply divine!
Lucy's Cookies--I prefer to make my own but if you want store bought cookies, the kind that crunch, Lucy's chocolate chip, maple, sugar and chocolate chocolate chip versions are the best I have ever tasted (these are pricey, people but worth it!)
Noodles--I prefer Schar's. Noodles are probably the easiest thing to find that tastes close to the original but I prefer a blend of rice and corn noodles--Schar does it best.
Trader Joe's GF Joe-Joe's--there are lots of GF Oreo substitutes out there--these are the best. The others are too sickeningly sweet.
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix--pretty much like the real thing. Honest.
Glutino brand pretzels--both plain and chocolate covered.
Amy's Black Bean Soup--I haven't found a truly tasty canned soup but this is edible and has some high notes.
Schar's shortbread cookies--both plain and chocolate covered--also their version of Mother's Fudge Cookies is pretty good.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix--the only one I have found that says Gluten Free right on the box.
Sadly, I have not yet found a ready made gravy mix, rolls, doughnuts or gnocchi that I find worth eating. Let me know if you find any.
Items I have bought but have not yet tried: Trader Joe's new Mac and Cheese, Whole Foods brand ready made pie crust (this is a tough one--all the others I have tried was like eating bricks) and Trader Joe's brand new cup for cup gluten free flour--much cheaper than King Arthur's (it's okay) or Better Batter (which I hate) and about the same as Glutino's Perfect Pie Crust flour which I use for more than pie crust.
Recipes I love that taste pretty much like when made with wheat flour:
Any Chocolate Molten or Lava Cake
Any cream puff recipe
Cookies with almond flavoring
In short, any recipe that contains enough flavor from chocolate, eggs (such as cream puff choux) or other strong flavorings like almond, and requires a smaller amount of flour than a cake or regular cookies, is going to come out pretty well. You might need to add xanthun gum (I have developed a sensitivity to this which I hear is common) or Guar Gum to make things stick together better but most cup for cup gluten free flours contain one or both. Also, extra egg white can create miracles.