Updated: Mar 25
Saving money on groceries and improving your health can go hand in hand if you adopt the practice of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. This eating pattern has been associated with numerous health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. I'll show you how to save money on groceries while practicing intermittent fasting and the benefits of this eating pattern. Let's go.
Plan Your Meals and Shopping Lists Meal planning is essential when trying to save money on groceries. By planning your meals in advance, you can make sure you are buying only what you need and avoid buying extra items that may go to waste. Start by creating a weekly meal plan and a shopping list based on that plan. Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, proteins with lots of fat, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Pro Tip: Lists really do make a difference! Usually you end up shopping when you are hungry so your rumbling stomach decides what goes in the shopping cart. Grab an energy bite or some mixed nuts before shopping so you focus on your list. oh, and don't forget your list on the kitchen table like I usually did until I started using Out of Milk app on my phone.
Buy in Bulk and Use Discounts Buying in bulk is another great way to save money on groceries. When you buy in bulk, you can often get a better price per unit than when buying individual items. You can also take advantage of discounts and coupons to save even more money. Look for discounts on items that you use frequently and stock up when they are on sale. Costco is the obvious choice but be sure you are not buying a 5 LB tub of sour cream when you only eat it occasionally (ok exaggeration, but you know what I mean)
Pro Tip: There's a handy app called Flashfood that may be available in your area, it shows participating grocery stores nearby your location with up to 50% savings on regular priced food nearing its best by date. If you use my code JOAN25XXV when you sign up and spend over $10 we both get $5 in rewards! pretty cool huh?
Pro Tip: Share bulk items with friends and family.
Practice Intermittent Fasting Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. There are several different ways to practice intermittent fasting, but one of the most common is the 16/8 method. This method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window. By practicing intermittent fasting, you can reduce your food intake, which can help you save money on groceries.
Pro Tip: Start by skipping a meal, the easiest for us was lunch. Since we don't eat regular bread, lunch was always troublesome finding something other than a sandwich. Now we enjoy breakfast food for our first meal, then dinner for our second meal. Because I focus on high protein and healthy fats we rarely snack in between meals. If you do find yourself needing a little energy boost during the day, try my Chocolate Coconut Energy Bites recipe
Bonus: Intermittent fasting has been associated with several health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. Watch what Jason Fung says about intermittent fasting
Start Slowly If you are new to intermittent fasting, it is best to start slowly. Begin by fasting for 12-14 hours overnight and gradually increase the fasting period to 16 hours. You may also find it helpful to gradually adjust your eating window, so your body can adjust to the new eating pattern. Be sure to finish your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime so your body has time for digestion which will result in a better nights sleep.
Pro Tip: make sure you eat real food with plenty of good protein and fats to sustain yourself through fasting. If you load up on carbs & sugars I guarantee you'll be starving before your next meal.
Stay Hydrated Staying hydrated is crucial when practicing intermittent fasting. Make sure to drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee during your fasting period. Staying hydrated can help reduce hunger pangs and make it easier to stick to your fasting schedule.
Pro Tip: an easy way to drink plenty of water is to fill up a reusable water bottle and sip on it throughout the day. Add lemon slices for a refreshing taste. Be sure to clean the lid and bottle frequently to avoid bacteria.
Pro Tip: My favorite trick in the morning is to put a teaspoon of MCT Oil and a teaspoon of Grass-fed unsalted butter in my coffee. It gives it a creamy taste and a pick me up to get me through the morning until the first meal at 11:30am, especially if I play Pickleball in the morning.
Pro Tip: Sometimes mid-morning when I think I'm hungry, I realize I'm just thirsty. Grab your water bottle!
A short video explaining the advantages of intermittent fasting:
Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist and author of several books on fasting, including "The Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting". Some of the key points he advocates for intermittent fasting include:
Insulin control: Intermittent fasting can help regulate insulin levels, which can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes or other metabolic disorders.
Hormonal balance: Fasting triggers the release of growth hormone, which can help promote muscle growth and fat loss.
Caloric restriction: Intermittent fasting can lead to reduced caloric intake, which can result in weight loss over time.
Flexibility: Intermittent fasting can be flexible and adaptable to different lifestyles and dietary preferences.
Autophagy: Fasting can trigger a process called autophagy, which is the body's natural way of cleaning out damaged cells and cellular debris.
Improved health markers: Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve several health markers, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and markers of inflammation.
Sustainability: Intermittent fasting can be sustainable over the long term, unlike other restrictive diets that can be difficult to maintain.
It's worth noting that while intermittent fasting can have benefits for some people, it may not be appropriate for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary regimen.