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Bulking On A Budget

Save Money & Get Big!

Posted by JoeWachs - September 11th, 2019

When it comes to adding mass and more muscle to your body, it also brings many more factors into your daily life. To add more muscle and gain more mass, it’s going to require much more food and calories. Along with adding more calories into your diet, you also tend to raise the amount of money you’re spending weekly on groceries as well. We all know the sport of bodybuilding and in general living a healthy and fit lifestyle tends to be more on the expensive side of the spectrum because good things always cost more and looking good is expensive. Utilizing certain foods in the store that can get you more calories, help you save money, and also taste good doing it is the #1 thing we all look for when shopping, so here are my top ten most efficient, cheap, calorie dense foods for bulking.

Affordable Carb Sources


Whether you are dieting in a deficit or bulking in a surplus, white, red and sweet potatoes are all great health options for getting your carbohydrates in daily. Potatoes are low in calories and a medium-sized baked potato contains only about 110 calories which can fill you up if needed. They are a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid. A sack of potatoes goes for around $7.00 in stores.

Jasmine Rice

Rice is a very compact and dense calorie filler. A small amount can contain a good amount of carbohydrates which is great for being in a surplus of calories. Jasmine rice, brown rice and others are a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain that contains an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds. Consuming whole grains like brown and white rice can help prevent or improve several health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. A bag of rice goes for around $4.00 – $10.00 dollars in stores.


Granola is a very easy, calorie packed food which you can mix into many foods such as oatmeal bowls along with many others. Granola can be used as a snack, topping or add-on to many other foods for flavoring and calories. Granola delivers impressive numbers in fiber and iron, while nuts and seeds add heart-healthy unsaturated fats and some protein. Along with these benefits, granola can be very high in calories, oils you don't need, and contain scoops of sugar with healthy-sounding names. A bag of granola goes for around $4.00 in stores.

Rice Cakes

Easy, tasty and a popular bodybuilder snack, rice cakes are a great carbohydrate source if you need something quick and strictly carb based! These are lower in calories than bread but also lower in fiber and other important nutrients. A bag of rice cakes goes for around $2.00


This is more to the dirty carbohydrate side of the spectrum, but it’s hard to find something so filled with calories and carbs to compare to the amount per serving! If it's a whole grain cereal, then it's more of a complex carbohydrate, which provides better benefits. Plus it has a higher fiber content, and a lot of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need in order to stay healthy. A box of cereal goes for anywhere from $2.00 – $5.00 in stores.


A very easy and healthy fruit that carries a lot of carbohydrates and can almost go with any meal! These are very easy and accessible to have almost anytime, anywhere. Bananas improve kidney health and the potassium in them is essential for blood pressure control and healthy kidney function. As a good dietary source of potassium, bananas may be especially beneficial for maintaining healthy kidneys. Eating a banana several times a week may reduce your risk of kidney disease by up to 50%. Bananas can be found for around 21 cents each!

Affordable Protein Sources


One of the cheapest and leanest protein sources there is as a choice of meat and per pound in the store! The reason chicken is always included in a healthy diet is because it is basically a lean meat, which means it doesn't have much fat. So, eating chicken regularly can actually help you lose weight in a healthy way. Apart from protein, chicken is also chock full of calcium and phosphorous. It’s also good for the heart and eating chicken breast suppresses and controls a body's homocysteine amino acid levels. Chicken can be found for around $2.00 a pound in stores.

Ground Turkey

Is a great broken down protein source with a bit of extra fat but not as much as a fatty meat would have, such as steak or ground beef. It's an excellent source of niacin and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus and zinc. Choosing ground turkey made from only breast will have 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 0 grams saturated fat. Ground turkey can be bought for around $3.00 per pound in stores.


These can be made in many different ways and also used in many different foods, recipes and much more. Eggs are almost used in every baked good along with many different snacks. This is also one of the cheapest, most affordable options for a protein source in any store! Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. There’s only 77 calories per egg, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids. Rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others), a carton of eggs can be bought for as low as 88 cents in stores!

Ground Beef

A great fatty protein source filled with a ton of nutrients. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health. A 3.5 ounce (100 gram) portion of raw ground beef (10% fat) contains: Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of the RDA. And vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 37% of the RDA (this vitamin is unattainable from plant foods). Ground beef can be found for around $4.00 per pound in stores.


When it comes to living a fit and healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t always have to be so expensive! If you have the right mindset, shop at the right places and buy things when you should, you’ll end up saving a ton of money while getting all the gains you need. All of these foods offer an excellent natural way to increase stamina, strength, and even boost the immune system to avoid illnesses getting in your way of living your life. Next time you’re in the store shopping, make sure to utilize these foods into your diet and always remember to shop smart!

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