T Nation

Am I spending too much $?

Hi all! Just started logging my meals on a food log. Also just started the t-dawg diet. I (as many have been) was really surprised to find out how little protein I take in overall.

Now that I have a protein intake goal in mind… I’m wondering if everyone else found the switch to eating the right way a bit expensive? Between the low carb grow, eggs, cottage cheese and veggies. I’m gonna spend a fortune, lol.

I guess it depends on whether you were eating ramen noodles before. I find that I can keep most of my meals around $3 which is about $15 a day (add a couple of bucks for my post-workout shake). If you think about it, you can spend $15 on one meal if you eat out. Most quality lean proteins seem to cost about the same (albacore tuna in a can, chicken breast, etc). I never eat the cheap stuff (low-quality tuna in a can for instance), as I feel the protein quality is probably better with the more expensive stuff.

As far as supplements are concerned, a cannister of protein is going to last a while if you are just have one post-workout shake a day.

For me, I get the most satisfaction and results out of a diet that consists of quality foods; I guess I’m willing to give up some other stuff to make sure my food intake is the best I can make it.

I found that when I cut out all the processed crap (tv dinners, pizza, etc) that I could spend a lot LESS.

Here are tips to get excellent sources of macros for a low price:

Carbs: oatmeal
Protein: canned tuna, chicken breast
Fat: peanuts
Protein/Fat: extra lean ground beef

Of course, buy the biggest package available then divide it into small packages and freeze it. It may not be the ultimate way to go but it’s cheap.

Think about what you spent money on before. In general, I think it’s cheaper to eat correctly than to eat a ton of processed crap. You just need to look for deals

I always check the coupons, but here’s roughly the prices I pay right now

Chicken Breast - 1.99/lb
90% lean beef - 1.99/lb
Eggs - 3.79/60 eggs
Fish Oil Pills - 6.99/300 caps
Cottage Cheese - .99/8 oz.
Protein Powder - 6.89/lb

It’s all about looking around for deals (Coupons, Sams, Costco, etc)

It’s a bit tricky, because I find I spend a lot too (and believe me what’s on your list is not even the tip of the iceberg). Think of it this way, if you were to go to McDonald’s it’d cost you nearly $10/meal. If you have 3 meals a day that’s $30/d. I have 8 meals a day but don’t spend $80/d worth of food. And we all know that eating fast food makes you hungry again in a very short while afterwards (that in addition to fat in a shorter period of time heheh).

I know most people don’t eat McDonald’s 3 times a day, but I like to use that cost comparison when I think of how expensive my diet is. Even if you were to add some light every day junkfood in your shopping cart the cost quickly adds up since you snack on them between meals and dont’ usually count them, resulting in eating more at meal time. Pop is more expensive than water! :slight_smile:

Some brilliant guy (who will remain nameless) wrote an article on this very subject. I think that you’ll find it quite informative and helpful.


Between food, supplements and vitamins my “grocery bill” is about 600 CAN$ a month. What can you do? The option sucks…. eating a shitty diet and not using Biotest supplements!


I think we have a problem here. As the president of your fan club, I thought I was supposed to post that link. This is going in the minutes of the next meeting, mark my words!

Tuna,Tuna,Tuna and more Tuna. Nuts and more Tuna. Cheap beef and more Tuna. Cottage chees an shop for suppliments online. Peanutbutter big tub of the cheap stuff.

EC and Beamuh,

Actually, I’ve traditionally brought up that same stinkin’ article! I think there’s rift here, boys. Definitely a topic of conversation at the next EC Fan Club get together.

As far as the original question goes, what else are you spending money on should also be considered. I mean, of course there are bills to be paid and the like, but really for me, my only other source of expenditure besides those mandatory payments is food!


I feel ya bro. Definitely need to look that over at the next meeting.

After my bills, it’s pretty much food, supps and try to start some savings for me.

In addition to costco, I suggest looking around trader joes. They have cheap frozen seafood (I’m making bouillebaisse from it right now) and lots of fairly cheap stuff in general (famously cheap wine). There stuff also tends to be higher quality (more natural) than the normal grocery store. Learning the basics of cooking has really paid off for me because once I got over the initial investment in spices and whatnot, I now feel no compulsion to eat out or buy any prepared foods. Look at the thread on that subject, not all the stuff is healthy, but you can mix and match ingrediants as you please.

Buy bulk. 10kg of chicken breast are gonna get you a better deal than 2kg. but yeah, its not a cheap hobby

Brent, Sega genesis, classic… :slight_smile:

Gentlemen, my constituents…there’s plenty of me to go around. And if there isn’t, you can all just sing my praises equally and repetitively:)

As for the next meeting, the mariachi band and strippers are booked. I’ll need Brent to looking into the midget wrestling rink and T-Rock to get the fire permits for the blaze that will be needed to roast the large quantities of animal flesh we shall devour.

That is all.

Depends on what you’re coming from. Sometimes I feel like it costs more to diet, other times I realize that not eating out saves so much money.

You can, however, meet the nutritinal requirements to get by cheaply. This is why much of the lower class is suffering from an obesity problem.

So true! Other than bills (car payment, car insurance, student loans, cable, electric, phone)…most of my hard earned money goes towards food and supplements. To be honest…I saved a shitload all throughout college cause I didnt drink. I had friends and teammates who would drop $40-$60 a night on drinks at the bar…thats a weeks worth of groceries for me for crying out loud! I agree that eating “healthy” is a bit more expensive. But, if you look for the deals a la Brent Nelson style, than you should be good to go. Hey, how can I join the EC fan club guys??? Can I join? Huh? Can I? Can I?

“To be honest…I saved a shitload all throughout college cause I didnt drink.”

That quote alone just won you an honorary membership. It hit home for me, as I’m always the one who ditches out of the bar 1-2 times per night to grab my protein shake from the car…

"…as I’m always the one who ditches out of the bar 1-2 times per night to grab my protein shake from the car… "
Know how ya feel, i used to do the midnight protein shakes for the bouncers and me at work on friday/satday night, now i cant be fucked and just eat in front of customers…hahaha

I’m always struck speechless at the lack of financial savvy of college kids who waste their money on drinks. I think I PAID for alcohol maybe 4 times in four years at my school, and my school was a big party school.

BTW – eating well isn’t expensive if you know where to buy your stuff. EATING OUT is expensive. I end up spending at least $20 when I go out to eat dinner.

Stella…you’re a hot chick, of coarse you wouldn’t have to pay for drinks that often…HAHAHA.

EC…YEah baby…I’m in the club!!! My life is so much more fulfilled now…;o) Is there any initiation thing I have to do to complete the process??..