T Nation

How to Eat, Train w/ Almost No Money?

I was wondering, what would you eat, cheap and nutritious, and how would you make the most of it (not drink liquids with and after meals, chew well, go to bed early,etc) if you were extremely poor, for one reason or another? Other lifestyle suggestions welcome.

A few prices first in Romania,where I live:
Oat flakes (100% debranned oats, no other ingredients added): ~2.2$/kg (2.2 lbs)
Cheese (natural)- anything between 3 and 9$/ kg (2.2lbs)
Whole chicken: ~3$/kg
Turkey legs: ~4$/kg
So, for Romania, say you would have 40$/month for food.

I was thinking eating oat flakes ,and garlic. 33$ would allow for 500g of oats/day… ~1800 cals and 62 grams of protein (at best). I know oat protein is about as good soy protein SHOULD be. (and read a study that people training on 800 cals a day actually made progress, lost fat and maintained lean mass…so training would be a good idea…)

And garlic is good for…a lot of stuff. Of course, when possible one would buy cheese meat and veggies.What do you think about this?

Adjust money available according to where you live…

Note:to make sure no one gets it wrong, I’m not talking about me


$40 a month for food? Get a job? I eat anywhere from $5 to $12 worth of food a day depending on diet. 40 a month for food is only 1 and 1/3 of a per day. Looking at your food prices that you listed how the fuck do you live?

Soy protein is trash. Don’t know about oat protein, but you need milk at the very least, and VERY preferably eggs, chicken, meat. I’m very sorry, but I don’t know how this would pan out.

Price of eggs/milk?

Edit: Oh, you’re talking about a hypothetical situation? I would stop working out and earn enough money to maintain a lifestyle that would allow me to work out. There are certain priorities in life; having more than 40$ a month to spend on food is one of them. Sports are a luxury, not a necessity.

I’m broke, just graduated, looking for a job. I went to the store yesterday.

3 packages of fresh Tyson chicken breast at 1.8lb/package and $1.79/lb = $9.67

2 packages 90% ground sirloin at $3.18/lb = $6.36

3 boxes whole wheat pasta at 3/$4 = $4.00

2 26 oz cans tomato sauce at at $1.58/ea = $3.16

1 loaf natural whole wheat bread = $2.00

1 jar smart balance natural pb = $2.99

2 packages of 2.5 dozen eggs at $3.38/ea = $6.78

1 galon of milk at = $3.19

1 large head brocoli and 1 large head cauliflower = $2.00

2lbs bananas at $0.59/lb = $1.08

I already have some seasonings and dressings. I already have a tub of oats, fish oil, and whey. This hopefully will last me a week.

eggs 2.50 a dozen 720-800 calories a dozen

milk 4.00 a gallon -2800 calories a gallon if i remember correctly

bread 2.00 a loaf -i think theres 30+carbs in one slice

mayonaise 3.00 a jar -1tbsp = 100 calories

if theres one thing i know its how to eat on a budget. isnt spaghetti like $2 a box? throw some butter on it and go to town. rice? cheapest shit on the planet.

oh and theres this thing called the dollar menu.

a jr bacon cheeseburger is like 320 calories for a fucking dollar. you have no excuse not to be able to eat enough. the only thing is if youre willing to eat for size rather than taste because thats the mentality you need.

[quote]gabex wrote:

3 packages of fresh Tyson chicken breast at 1.8lb/package and $1.79/lb = $9.67


WTF you eat Tyson’s? Are you insane in the membrane? They are a ton more expensive than store brand and have you never heard of their massive recalls? At least once a year they have to recall a bunch of meat due to improper handling. I’m serious man please don’t buy any more think about your health.

Funniest thing recently was a month ago it was cheaper for me to buy a lb of steak than a dozen eggs. Luckily, prices have come down a little…we’ll see how long this lasts.

I was just working on a report on cost of living in Romania the other day for work. One of the few places where the US dollar is still worth a lot. For the food section I was calculating how much tuna I could buy with 20 bucks USD, it was something like 242 lbs.

Make a deal with a farmer and buy your food in bulk directly from the farm (buy entire or half calf/pig…) Find some good old big ass freezer (that standalone thing) and pack it with meat.

Dried beans are pretty cheap and nutritious…

It is a hypothetical situation. I was saying, presuming that yes you are looking for a job etc. But in the meantime, what would you do? Working out is not necessarily a luxury, since it preserves muscle mass even with low protein.

Oatmeal= up to 3600 kcal and 120g of protein (I know what soy is, but it was SAID to be good. Well oat protein is somewhat like the protein in beans- pretty complete, and so it compares to what soy is SAID to be, quality protein)
Think Robinson Crusoe (and adapt the money to where you live). What is THE MOST you can do in such a situation.