Maintaining a high-quality bodybuilding diet with all the required calories and macros can be tricky if you’re on a tight budget, especially when you make a stop at the meat department.
To gain serious mass you need to be able to afford to eat a lot – supplements aside, we’re talking about bodybuilding staples such as beef, chicken and fish. While some people believe you have to spend big to get big, we wouldn’t necessarily agree. Although it’s true that the bodybuilding lifestyle comes with a price, you don’t have to be a millionaire in order to maintain it.
There are a lot of guys out there who’ve succeeded in getting big on a tight budget. If you feel like you’re hitting your budget’s ceiling, all you need is to put some effort into smarter shopping – there are a lot of budget-friendly high-protein foods out there waiting for you to notice them.
You can get a great cost advantage by avoiding famous, massively advertised brands (or those flashy “hormone-free“ and “100% natural“ labels that are more often false than not, so make sure you read the labels thoroughly) and sticking with the unpretentious store brands, as well as buying in bulk. Also, try buying huge packs of meat -it’s cheaper and can be kept in the freezer for up to six months, and opt for frozen vegetables and fruits instead of fresh ones. Read the rest of this article to find out which foods can give you more for your dollar!
1. Powdered milk
Switching from regular to powdered milk has a special importance when it comes to saving big – the price of the milk tends to keep going up together with your consumption of protein shakes. Powdered milk is a great inexpensive alternative to liquid milk – it will cost you up to 40% less, it’s low in fat but packed with protein and it lasts much longer if stored properly.
2. Whole chicken
Next time you go to the supermarket, choose a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts and you’ll be taking home a great amount of low-cost proteins. You could roast it on the weekend and then consume it all week long in a variety of tasty dishes – it will save you both money and time. Even better, you can also use the carcass as a chicken stock for soups and stews.
3. Bone-on pork chops
When you need a break from eating all that chicken, pick up some pork chops. Opt for pork rib chops instead of pork blade chops, since the latter contains about twice as much fat. Cuts from the side, back and belly of the big are the highest in fat, while meat from the loin such as tenderloin and center-cut pork chops are much leaner and rather affordable. Besides its protein-richness, pork meat is a good source of vitamin B12. A 3.5-ounce serving of pork chop contains 0.66 micrograms of this crucial nutrient, which is about 28% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin B12 helps your body metabolize the food you consume, i.e. turn calories into fuel and plays an important role in the function of your brain.