Frugal Tips For Bulking On A Budget

Macronutrients play the most important role when it comes to building muscle

Bulking doesn't have to be expensive, you have lots of options for cheaper sources of protein/carbs/fat. 

Budget-Friendly Protein, Carb and Fat Sources for Muscle Building

Best Budget Protein Sources:

Eggs: 

Eggs are a cheap and versatile source of protein, with about 6 grams of protein per egg.

Canned tuna:

Canned tuna is an affordable source of protein, with about 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving.

Greek yogurt: 

Greek yogurt is a high-protein option, with about 17 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving. Look for plain or unsweetened varieties to avoid added sugars.

Chicken breast: 

Chicken breast is a lean and affordable source of protein, with about 24 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving.

Lentils: 

Lentils are a budget-friendly plant-based protein source, with about 18 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Cottage cheese: 

Cottage cheese is a low-cost source of protein, with about 14 grams of protein per half-cup serving.

Peanut butter: 

Peanut butter is a budget-friendly source of protein, with about 8 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving.

Quinoa: 

Quinoa is a nutritious grain that contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It has about 8 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Black beans: 

Black beans are an affordable plant-based protein source, with about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Tofu: 

Tofu is a low-cost vegetarian protein option, with about 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving.

While protein is the most important macronutrient for muscle building, carbohydrates and fats also play a crucial role. Carbohydrates provide the energy needed for intense workouts and support overall muscle growth. Fats provide energy and support hormone production.

Best Budget Carb Sources:

Rice: 

Rice is a staple food in many cultures and is an affordable source of carbohydrates. It is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Pasta: 

Pasta is another budget-friendly carb source that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is easy to cook and can be paired with different sauces and ingredients.

Potatoes: 

Potatoes are a cheap and versatile carb source. They can be boiled, baked, mashed, or fried, making them a great option for budget-friendly meals.

Oats: 

Oats are an affordable and nutritious carb source. They can be used to make oatmeal, granola bars, or added to smoothies for an extra boost of carbohydrates.

Bread: 

Bread is a common and inexpensive carb source that can be used for sandwiches, toast, or as a side with meals.

Lentils: 

Lentils are a budget-friendly source of carbohydrates and protein. They can be used in soups, stews, or as a side dish.

Corn: 

Corn is an affordable carbohydrate source that can be used in various dishes such as salads, soups, or as a side dish.

Quinoa: 

Quinoa is a nutritious and versatile carb source that can be used in salads, stir-fries, or as a side dish.

Barley: 

Barley is an inexpensive whole grain that can be used in soups, stews, or as a side dish.

Beans: 

Beans are an affordable source of carbohydrates and protein. They can be used in chili, salads, or as a side dish.

Best Budget Fat Sources:

Avocado: 

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Nuts and seeds: 

Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds are all budget-friendly options for adding healthy fats to your diet. They are also packed with other nutrients like fiber, protein, and antioxidants.

Olive oil: 

Olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is rich in monounsaturated fats. It can be used for cooking or as a dressing for salads and vegetables.

Coconut oil: 

Coconut oil is a versatile fat that can be used for cooking, baking, or as a spread. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily digested and can provide a quick source of energy.

Peanut butter: 

Peanut butter is an affordable and delicious source of healthy fats. Look for natural peanut butter without added sugars or hydrogenated oils.

Greek yogurt: 

Greek yogurt is not only high in protein but also contains healthy fats. Opt for full-fat varieties to get the most benefits.

Eggs: 

Eggs are an inexpensive source of healthy fats and protein. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Dark chocolate: 

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) is a good source of healthy fats and antioxidants. Enjoy it in moderation as a treat.

Fatty fish: 

Canned sardines, salmon, and mackerel are all affordable options for adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.

Cheese: 

Cheese is a good source of healthy fats and calcium. Opt for varieties like feta or mozzarella that are lower in saturated fat.

Budget-Friendly Meal Planning for Muscle Building

Meal planning is a great way to save money and ensure that you are getting the necessary nutrients for muscle building. Here are some tips for meal planning on a budget:

Buy in bulk: 

Purchasing staple items like rice, beans, and oats in bulk can save you money in the long run. Look for sales and discounts at your local grocery store or consider joining a wholesale club.

Meal prep: 

Spending a few hours on the weekend to prepare meals for the week can save you time and money. Cook large batches of protein, grains, and vegetables, and portion them out into individual containers for easy grab-and-go meals.

Plan your meals around sales: 

Check the weekly flyers for your local grocery stores and plan your meals based on what is on sale. This can help you save money and also add variety to your meals.

Use leftovers creatively: 

Instead of throwing away leftovers, repurpose them into new meals. For example, leftover chicken can be used in salads, wraps, or stir-fries.

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