Bulking on a Budget: 9 Things Frugal Weightlifters and Athletes Eat (and Drink) To Stay Fit

Bulking up those muscles


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Bulking up those muscles

Fit and Frugal

Putting on muscle costs a lot of money. You’ve got to pay for your gym membership, a medicine cabinet full of supplements, and 3,000-plus calories worth of daily fuel. Since skimping on tank tops and spray tans is out of the question, the only way to bulk on a budget is to reduce your grocery bill and invest in some high-yield, nutrient-dense foods. Fitness geeks on Reddit recently shared how they stay frugal while getting shredded, including some little-known tips on how to get the cheapest protein powder.

Closeup of young Asian athletic woman preparing protein shake at home. Diet and healthy food.
MTStock Studio/istockphoto

Bulk Protein Powder

If you want to maximize your protein powder ROI, you’ve got to do three things: Buy in bulk, take advantage of subscribe and save offers, and shop in January. Protein powders and fitness gear are generally on sale at the beginning of the year because of New Year’s resolutions, according to one Redditor.

Delicious lentils with pepper and mushrooms on dark background


Every tablespoon of lentils has just over a gram of protein, making the legumes a perfect ingredient for bulking. “They’re cheap, easy to cook, and absorb flavor well. You can also throw in any meat or veggies that are on sale,” one commenter shares.

Vegan Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable - Asian Style

Homemade Seitan

The high-protein meat substitute seitan may seem strange and mysterious, but it’s actually just wheat and water. Apart from the flavoring, all you need to make it is vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, and water, according to one popular recipe.

Homemade Tofu Stir Fry
Janine Lamontagne/istockphoto
Healthy Vegan Chili con carne
Scrambled Egg Whites
Tinned Tuna Fish.
Make sure you stay hydrated throughout your session