If your goal is to build a huge amount of muscle, you need to eat a huge amount of food. Which can be expensive so bodybuilding on a budget should be an interesting topic. There’s no other way around it. You can work out for 2 hours a day, 7 days a week but if you’re not eating enough food, you will not see the results that you’re after. You can take all the supplements and steroids in the world but if you’re not eating enough, at best you will only gain a pound or two if you’re lucky. Food is the most important ingredient when it comes to building muscle, it helps your body repair and recover and without enough of it, you will be left feeling tired and miserable.
The problem with eating so much food is that it can get quite expensive. A good percentage of newbie bodybuilders are either high schoolers or college students with limited funding. Some of us just can’t afford eating so much food. Or can we?
The truth is, it’s entirely possible to eat enough food to gain muscle and still not break the bank, you just have to make smart choices and accept that you will need to make a few sacrifices.
Make a list
Make a list of all the things you need and stick to it. This ensures that you’re not buying random useless things that you really don’t need, like candy bars, chocolates, chips etc. Only buy the essentials. If you find that you have a hard time avoiding these guilty pleasures, have a large meal before you go grocery shopping. If you’re full, you won’t even want to look at these unnecessary snacks, on the other hand, if you’re hungry, everything will look like a 5-star gourmet meal.
Buy in Bulk
Most stores offer products in bulk. You can save quite a bit when you buy things like oatmeal, eggs and frozen chicken breasts in bulk quantities. You can even buy fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk and just put them in the freezer for later use, this helps to preserve their freshness and prevents them from going bad. Alternatively, just buy frozen fruits and vegetables. More often than not, these are priced much lower than fresh ones.
Buy Store Brands
There’s really not much difference between a store brand box of oatmeal and a branded one. It’s all about the packaging, so, whenever possible, go for store brand items as they are considerably cheaper and are more than likely, the same quality as the branded ones.
Look for the Best Deals
My local supermarket has what they call a ‘market day’ every Monday. This is the day when most of the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are on sale, maybe because they get new stock every Tuesday, maybe they’re just generous, doesn’t matter. Many supermarkets and groceries also have similar deals so make sure to always be on the lookout. A couple cents might not seem like much but when you are buying in large quantities, they add up. Again, if you don’t think you will use it all up in time, freeze it. Most food items freeze well.
Whenever possible, opt for local produce. This helps to support your local community farmers, ensures the freshest product possible AND is also the cheapest. This is because it hasn’t been flown in from various other parts of the country/world and hence, doesn’t have shipping and fuel costs added to its final price. Do you really need those fancy Spanish oranges?
I hope these tips for bodybuilding on a budget can help your journey.