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I have tried to follow a number of diets and some of them end up costing a small fortune. Whether you are looking to bulk up or shed the fat, eating healthy is not easy. It is however possible to bulk on a budget when you think smart and do some planning.
The aim of this article is to provide some initial tips on bulking on a budget. It will then give some suggestions on cheap bulking food. Helping you to save the pounds, whilst packing the pounds on!
Stay away from Dirty Bulking..
Some people may or may not agree with me on this. I am personally not a fan of dirty bulking, although I am sure many people are and find it to be effective for them. It can be really tempted to go the dirty bulking route and eat all kinds of fast food. Fast food tends to be cheaper and it can really help you pack on the weight. Not only is it causing your body more harm than good, it makes your cutting cycle 10 times harder!
By the end of this guide you will hopefully realise that it can be just as cheaper, if not cheaper to do some decent clean bulking. You just have to plan and be smart about it!
Tips To Bulking On A Budget
Tip #1: Lean Where To Shop
The first tip is to learn exactly where to shop. You might be used to going to the same shop, but is it really the cheapest? Are you able to save money by shopping somewhere else? Could you also check the discount isles to see if you can save money..
Tip #2: Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, you can also take advantage of promotional deals IE 2 for 1 or deals such as that. A good thing I like to do is instead of buying pork loin steaks, ill buy a pork loin joint and cut it into individual steaks. Instead of buying packs of 1 or 2 chicken breasts, buy a box of 8 or 12 and divide them up. These do often work out cheaper and in the long run can save you some money.
Tip #3: Stock up on spices
My problem before when bulking up was that some of the food can feel a little “samey”. Chicken on Monday seemed to be the same as the chicken I had on tuesday. This is where spices can be a life saver and can make a real difference. Let’s say your cooking 4 chicken breasts for different meals. Sprinkle BBQ spice on one, chilli on another, Fajita spice on the 3rd and finally cajun spice on the final one. There you have 4 very different tasting meals.
Tip #4: Meal Preparation is key
Sitting down and planning your meals for the week is a great way of budgeting. You can plan exactly what you need so you don’t end up adding things to your basket that you don’t want or need. You could even spend time at the weekend making your week’s worth of meals and freezing them, saving you time as well as money.
Tip #5: Become An Accountant…
Okay maybe you won’t be able to become an accountant BUT you can manage your own finances. Next to your meal plan, write down exactly how much each individual item costs. At the end of the week, anything you have not eating or used cross it off the list. Dont get it the following week as you obviously don’t need it.
Continuing keeping an eye on what you do spend, helps you find places where you can save even more money.
Tip #6: You Don’t Have To Eat Bad…
If you do remember one thing from this article, please let it be this. Just because you are cutting down on how much you spend, doesn’t mean the food has to be bland and taste bad. You can make some incredible food, without it costing much at all.
There are 6 great tips on bulking on a budget, below are some examples of cheap bulking foods.
7 Cheap Bulking Foods
Food #1: Eggs
Rich on natural protein as well as containing BCAA, there is no wonder you will see them on most bodybuilders diets. They can make a wide range of meals from omelette, scrambled and on a salad. They are also great value for money as they tend to be very low in cost.
Food #2: Peanut Butter
You can usually get peanut butter pretty cheap and is perfect for muscle growth. It is full of protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Perfect for supporting the repair of muscles after a workout.
Food #3: Ground Meat
Ground meat is typically cheaper than other cuts of meat but what’s more important, it can be very low in fat. Even more so if you get lean ground meat that is 5% fat or less. You could also get really lean ground meat by grinding it yourself.
Food #4: Rice/Pasta
Rice and pasta tend to be very cheap when you think about it per meal. Usually a bag of rice will go a long way and will produce a lot of meals. Rice is one of those go to dishes I tend to premake as you can make a week’s worth of great lunches in very little time.
Food #5: Tuna
Tuna is a go to food for me when I am making a nice lunch. Its perfect for building lean muscle due to it being 20% protein. It also contains a lot of natural essential oils. I would recommend going for the tuna in spring water.
Food #6: Chicken
Not always the cheapest of meats but when brought in bulk, you can make great savings. It is one of the most versatile foods as you can have chicken breast with rice, salads, wraps and even in sandwiches. Chicken is used a lot in bodybuilding due to the high protein to fat ratio. A 6 oz of chicken normally has 40 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat.
Food #7: Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is perfect for those that like a snack at night. It contains Casein which is a slower digesting protein. T therefore keeps your body in the anabolic stage. It also contains whey protein, which again is vital for building muscle.
Boost Bulking Efforts with Supplements
You no doubt want to see the very best from your bulking cycle, picking the right foods is essential for that. It is however possible to boost your bulking efforts even more with some form of supplement.
These supplements tend to offer benefits such as;
- Increased muscle mass
- Improved Strength levels
- Reduce recovery time from workouts
- Fat Loss without the muscle loss
- Improved physical conditioning
- Increased energy for stronger workouts
Using these kind of supplements with a healthy bulking diet, you will see even better and quicker results.
I have researched a number of bulking supplements to help boost bulking efforts. It’s important to only use one that has been proven to be effective and contains safe ingredients.
I do hope this article has helped you with ideas on bulking on a budget. If you do have any questions or comments, please do comment below.
Barry is an enthusiast of all things bodybuilding and fitness. Spending many years researching a wide variety of subjects to do with bodybuilding. Barry has spent a lot of time researching different ingredients and their benefits as well as learning all about nutrition.