Eat Big on a Budget
We all want to be big, build muscle and be strong. To be the alpha dog. But as you know by now, getting big isn’t easy, especially if you are on a budget. When movie stars need to add size for a role they hire a trainer, nutritionist and personal chef and go to work. Unfortunately, that is not the case for us. You may be a student, working part-time in a job that doesn’t pay much or you might be under the pump financially, paying off a big mortgage. You too want to be big, but you can’t afford to go and buy every supplement on the market and eat grilled turkey breast five times a day.
So is there a way to eat big to build muscle when you are on a budget? You know it. But there are some tricks of the trade that you need to know. We want to maximise our cash. To do this we need to find the foods that will give us the biggest nutritional bang for our buck.
Step 1 – Know your budget and track your spend
It doesn’t matter whether you have $50 or $250 to play with, as long as you know what the figure is each week. Once you have that figure it will shape your food choices. It is also important to track where your money is going. Write down everything you spend in a week and see if you can identify any black holes that are draining your funds.
Step 2 – Have a shopping list and plan your meals in advance
No, shopping lists aren’t just for your grandma. By planning your meals in advance and putting together a shopping list you can ensure that you won’t end up buying stuff you don’t need. Believe it or not, research has found that people who take a shopping list to the supermarket spend less overall and are less likely to make impulse purchases – a budget killer. Check your cupboards, make a list and execute it with precision!
Step 3 – Find the best protein bang for your buck to build muscle
You know that protein is essential for strength and muscle building. You also know that it is expensive and likely to take up most of your budget. Therefore it is important to identify the cheapest sources. Traditionally foods like eggs, canned tuna in a family size tin and canned fish like sardines, mackerel and herring can be cheap and protein rich.
Step 4 – Embrace different protein sources
This leads to the next point, embracing different protein sources. While we all would love to be chowing down on eye fillet, it is not always possible. Don’t be ashamed, unusual protein is usually high in protein and cheap. Think kangaroo, turkey and venison and canned fish variations.If you want to stick to beef, lamb and chicken, consider different cuts. Cooked in the right way any meat will end up tender. Talk to the butcher, and find some recipes that show you how to use different cuts of meat in meals. Like chicken? Think about thigh fillet. Every meat you can think of has some expensive and cheap cuts.
Step 5 – Buy in bulk
It may hurt the hip pocket upfront, but you can save it in the long run, especially on goods that you know you will have to buy, such as toilet paper, potatoes, rice and canned food. Buying in bulk can ensure you never run out of food. Just be aware of use by dates if you are going to load up with a few months supply.
Step 6 – Carbs are cheap
The good news for people trying to eat big and build muscle is that carbs are cheap. Dirt cheap. Especially the ones we want to consume, such as oats, potato and rice. Want to take it a step further? Buy your carbs such as rice in bulk.
Step 7 – Think outside the box
Check your local fresh food market, butcher, and be prepared to experiment with some new foods, you may just unearth a cheap high protein gem. Always check what’s on special and check out the frozen fruit and veg aisle. It can save you money by preventing fresh food from going to waste. Check out generic supermarket brand food as well, some of it is just as good as the well-known brands for a fraction of the price.
Step 8 – The bonus of running a tight budget
The bonus of running a tight budget is that it is difficult to eat bad food because bad food is expensive. This has the added benefit of helping you eat to build muscle but also stay lean. What’s not to like!