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Most gym-goers often ponder how it would be possible to hit their protein requirements and eat all their vegetables without having to spend a considerable chunk of their income on food.
One question, though: are you serious about it? There’s no shame in being broke, as we’ve all been there.
So if you are wondering how to cut down on most of your expenses related to bulking up, then we’ve got some buying-savvy and cooking-at-home ideas for you that can easily do the trick!
We’re going to be UK-specific in this article since there’s a lot being discussed about purchasing foods for cheaper price tags.
Nonetheless, you can still read on if you’re not from Britain, as there’s some really valuable information in this article regarding bodybuilding on a budget.
First things first: it is integral for us to consider a subject, i.e., someone who will supposedly go through with this whole “bulking on a budget” idea. Let’s give this fictional character a name, perhaps “Steve”.
So Steve is your average strongman, weighing in at 95 kg and currently studying. His income is somewhere around the 250-pounds a month region. But he does love to go out and party every now and then.
Our job is to feed this fella for a month on only 150 quid. How do we go about doing this? Well, read on.
Planning Meals to Meet the Budget
This is perhaps the most essential step in bodybuilding on a budget. By planning, not only do we mean staying inside your budget, but also starting to cook by yourself. This saves a lot of your time and money down the road.
As mentioned earlier, we’ve 150 quid and roughly 28 days. Since Steve is such a party animal, he does have that odd day on a weekly basis where he goes out and eats whatever he wants.
Categorising this under his entertainment budget, we also take 4 “cheat” days out of the equation. This means we’re now left with 24 days…. So our daily budget is £6.25. No sweat.
We’re following a pretty simple and straightforward 3-meal and 2-snack plan, with healthy food choices being the most important aspect.
This would involve having a few carbs pre-workout as well as some carbs post-workout.
The breakdown for the weekly meal plan is going to be as follows: Mondays to Saturdays:
- Breakfast: Eggs and Quark or Quark, Berries and Cream
- Snack: Protein Shake
- Lunch: Vegetables and Seafood
- PWO: Protein Shake and Sweeties
- Dinner: Vegetables, Pasta or Rice, and Meat
*Sundays excluded, as they are cheat days.
- 1 steam veggie pack and 200 g prawns
- 1 steam veggie pack and 1 fillet of cod
- 1 steam veggie pack and 1 fillet of salmon
- Prawn or Chicken Curry
- Steam Potatoes and Vegetables, Steak
- Beef or Chicken Chilli
- Roast Meat Bit (spread across 2 days)
Designing a Shopping List
Now we’re getting to the serious parts. The main source of Steve’s calories will be Farmfoods, which is gladly, a pocket-friendly supermarket chain here in the UK where the food is as cheap as chips.
With a weekly budget of £37.50, this is what Steve’s shopping list should look like:
- Frozen chicken [3 kg] – £10
- Fresh beef (mince or steak) [1 kg] – £10
- White fish pieces [1.5 kg] – £5
- 24 bags of steamed veggies – £3
- Bacon [12 rashers] – £2
- 12 eggs – £3
- Frozen Fruit (berries) [500 g] – £2
- 2 packs of quark – £1.50
- Oats or Rice/Pasta [1 kg] – £2
Total = £38.50
Now this gives Steve enough of raw ingredients through which he can easily hit his macros.
We would further advise you to keep a lot of herbs and spices stacked as they will help you cook better, giving your food some delicious flavouring along the way.
As the breakdown and the list of items you can buy cheap suggests, it isn’t as difficult to bulk up on a budget as you’d think it would be. All you need to do is stick to the plan, and spend carefully on your entertainment days, and you’ll be golden!