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Bulking On A Budget | Top Tips

Written by Jason Weal

Top Tips For Bulking On A Budget

Building muscle requires commitment, plenty of time in the gym and not to mention consuming the right nutrition and supplements. All this can have a huge impact on our outgoings, at the end of the day, if we don’t have our health- we have nothing! Diets and nutrition plans can dent our bank balances, making bulking up on a budget difficult, although following these tips can hopefully make reaching your fitness goals stress free.

bulking on a budget

#1 Know where to shop

We all have our chosen supermarket that we seem to pledge our loyalty to. But knowing the best places to shop can really shred the cost off our weekly shop. Yes, supermarkets have everything in one place but they also all have one other thing in common, high prices, especially on meat, the most vital protein source for bulking up. Try giving your local butches or farmers market a look up. They are a great source of local produce and can give you great value for money. You could also try your hand at negotiating for a better deal.

#2 Buy in bulk

This tip may seem expensive at first but buying in bulk can in fact help save you money in the long run. If you have enough space to store it all that is. As we already know quality protein sources like meat and fish are very high in price but stocking up and freezing these items can really help you save money further down the line. Not only will buying in bulk knock pounds of your weekly shop it also can help save on fuel charges as you’ll be making less trips to the stores.

#3 Pre-prepare meals

It seems like everyone’s Instagram is jammed full of food prep pictures. Countless tupperware containers filled with pre-made food ready for the week. It’s clear that they have caught on to something. So how can this help you save money? Firstly you can portion out each meal which lets you measure the amount of nutrients you’re digesting every meal. Pre-preparing meals not only saves money but also saves time. Spending a couple of hours one day a week preparing and cooking all your meals at once will save you time for other tasks during the week. Great if you’re working dawn to dusk and want to hit the gym!

#4 Buying the right food with the highest protein content

Being able to prepare the food and source is one thing, but actually knowing which items of food contain the best source of protein can go a long way to building muscle on a budget. Do your research, know where the highest protein and nutrients sources lie. You then won’t be wasting money on high calorie, low muscle food ingredients. Below is a guide to foods that contain a high amount of protein.

Food (Per 100g) Protein Carbs Fat Calories
Almond Nuts 21.1g 6.9g 55.8g 614 kcal
Anchovies 14.5g 0.1g 2.8g 85 kcal
Asparagus 2.9g 2.0g 0.6g 25 kcal
Avocado 1.9g 1.9g 19.5g 195 kcal
Bacon 15.9g 19.8g 245 kcal
Baked Beans 9.5g 22.1g 0.4g 130 kcal
Bananas 1.2g 23.2g 0.3g 100 kcal
Beef Fillet Steak 20.9g 0g 7.9g 155 kcal
Bread (wholemeal) 11.0g 39.1g 2.2g 220 kcal
Broccoli 4.2g 3.2g 0.2g 31 kcal
Carrots 0.6g 7.9g 0.3g 37 kcal
Cheese 30.9g 0.1g 15.0g 260 kcal
Chicken Breast (Skinless) 23.5g 0g 1.7g 109 kcal
Coconut 3.33g 15.23g 33.49g 354 kcal
Cod fish 17.9g 0g 0.9g 80 kcal
Cottage Cheese 12.2g 4.5g 1.5g 80 kcal
Couscous 15.1g 73.1g 1.1g 365 kcal
Crab meat 18.1g trace 0.5g 80 kcal
Eggs 12.5g Trace 3.2g 151 kcal
Goji Berries 12.3g 57.7g 0.3g 285 kcal
Haddock Fish 16.4g 0g 1.2g 80 kcal
Hummus 7.4g 9.8g 26.8g 310 kcal
Lamb (Steak) 19.9g 0.8g 3.2g 115 kcal
Lobster 26.41 3.12 1.94 143 kcal
Milk (Semi Skimmed) 3.6g 4.8g 1.8g 50 kcal
Milk (Whole) 3.3g 4.7g 3.6g 64 kcal
Monkfish 24g 1.7g 76 kcal
Orange 1.1g 8.5g 0.1g 39 kcal
Orange Roughy Fish 22.64g 0g 0.034g 105 kcal
Pasta 12.5g 73.0g 1.4g 355 kcal
Peanut Butter (Crunchy) 24.9g 10.1g 50.2g 586 kcal
Peas 5.9g 9.0g 0.9g 70 kcal
Pizza (Pepperoni) 11.4g 28.0g 11.1g 260 kcal
Pork Chops 19.3g 20.3g 260 kcal
Porridge oats 11.0g 60g 8.0g 356 kcal
Potatoes 2.1g 17.2g 0.2g 80 kcal
Prawns 17.0g 0.3g 0.9g 80 kcal
Pumpkin Seeds 28.8g 15.2g 45.6g 586 kcal
Rice (brown) 6.9g 74.0g 2.8g 350 kcal
Salmon Fish Fillets (Boneless) 21.6g 0g 14.0g 215 kcal
Sardines (Fish) 21.5g trace 9.6g 172 kcal
Sausages (Pork) 13.9g 11.9g 17.0g 255 kcal
Soya beans 35.9g 14.8g 18.6g 375 kcal
Spaghetti 5.1g 33.0g 1.3g 165 kcal
Spinach 2.8g 1.5g 0.8g 24 kcal
Sunflower Seeds 23.4g 18.6g 47.5g 600 kcal
Tilapia Fish 24g 0 4g 105 kcal
Tofu 12.1g 0.6g 6.0g 105 kcal
Tuna Fish (Steak) 25.6g 0g 0.5g 110 kcal
Tuna Fish (Tinned) 26.3g 0.0g 10.7g 202 kcal
Turkey Breast (Skinless) 22.3g 0g 1.2g 100 kcal
Venison (Deer meat) 30.21 3.19 158 kcal
Yogurt 4.5g 6.6g 11.0g 145 kcal

#5 Supplements   

Finally, if you are looking to go that little bit further in saving money when bulking up, supplements are a great way of getting the right nutrition for your fitness goals. Zinc, omega-3 and whey protein all make a huge difference in saving money in order to bulk up on a diet.


bulking on a budget

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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