Note: This list needs your help! By contributing your personal experience with budget meals you will be aiding fellow lifters looking to gain and still keep money in the bank!
My Story: Why I Compiled This List
In an effort to save money as I continue my college degree, I have compiled a list of foods I've found to help me gain, stay healthy, are easily prepared, and be on budget.
Weighing in at 140 lbs at 5'8, my goal is to get to 165 by the end of the year. After seven months of pushing my body and reaching 150lbs, I took a little more than a month off. Needless to say, I am humbled at how fast I lost ten pounds. Not only did my bench decrease, but so did my appetite!
Although a collection of amatuer research, by sharing what I've found I'm hoping more experienced users will contribute to this list, thus providing a narrower menu of information. Suprisingly, the articles for cheap bodybuilding foods are limited. By no means am I trying to provide advice to others. This is more a list I'd like others to edit before I make my first store run.
From what I've gathered, trying to be big on a budget has limited options, therefore this list isn't exactly long. I haven't included Whey protein..
The Bodybuilders Budget Grocery List:
- Tuna - High in protein. Canned. Reading mixed reviews on the dangers of mercury levels, the amount of tuna is a personal call. Recommend ingredients like celery or sauces to add zest.
- Nuts - . Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc. Peanuts, suprisignly, aren't considered nuts. Regardless, peanuts "have a very high protein content and a significant amounts of iron, zinc and magnesium. In particular, their high protein and iron content makes them an excellent replacement for red meat in any diet, particularly for vegans and vegetarians" (Anne Collins).
- Pasta - Contains carbs and easily prepared.
- Potatoes - Contains carbs
- Rice - Easily mixed when fried with eggs, beans, chicken, and corn, which are all gain-contributing foods.
- Chicken - Lean and protein. Having experienced plain chicken over an extended period of time, I've learned the healthiest ways to zest up chicken is to marinade in oils while using lemon peels, peppers, or cilantro. Also, chicken legs are an alternative.
- Beans - Protein. Any beans. Suprisingly, baked beans, with it's sugar volume, has appeared on multiple users lists as choice for meals.
- Eggs - Protein packed. Fried eggs have more bioavailable protein than boiled or raw.
- Peanut Butter - Protein.
- Whole Milk - Protein. According to StrongLifts: "1 gallon of milk indeed contains a lot of saturated fat. This is one of the reasons why GOMAD works so well at increasing mass. Saturated fat is high in cholesterol which increases testosterone production, thus more strength & muscle. "
Here are items I've found cost a little more, but provide essential nutrients to those willing to indulge. Bagged vegetables and fruits are easy to prepare, store, and still retain close to their original nutrition value!
- Fruits - Essential vitamins and minerals needed for repair and chemical balance. I haven't seen fruits on many budget lists, but have concluded I will drop a few more bucks to keep something as healthy and sweet-tasting as fruits in my daily diet.
- Lettuce/Cabbage - [I]Vitamins and minerals. A natural kimchi eater by birth (half Korean), spicy fermented cabbage has a newfound place in my diet, and therefore my heart.[I]
- Flax Seed Oil - Healthier than Olive Oil. Contains necessary Omega fatty acids the body needs to repair itself.
- +Corn, Avacados, Cottage Cheese, Yams, and bacon.
I'm going to put this list to the test by shopping within the next week. I'll upload the end price so people can have an idea of general prices (or at least the charge in Southern Arizona).
Please provide suggestions. This list is based on results from forum scouring, article reading, and random Google results clicking, so please provide personal experiences!
Much gratitude amigos.