T Nation

How to keep costs low?

Hey T-ppl,I would like to ask u all,how do u all keep food costs low?Well,maybe some of u all don’t mind spending a lot of money to get the best of the best or whatever but I am in college and I just ate a mediocre nutrition lunch bought at cafeteria for $6.88!!! I mean,I tried to customize it(veggies,charbroiled chicken breast sandwich,mash potatoes)And I have to eat another meal later too so…can’t spend $10 a day on food for 2 meals!!Carrying protein shakes in already full backpack,aish,one time,it spilled out.Packing is easier but I don’t want to ask my parents to buy food,I’d rather use my own money to buy my food.Suggestions on how to keep costs low?
Greatly appreciated,sorry if this msg is not so thorough.Pls,don’t say “Buy protein bars”,that’s not cheap.

p/s:I am not into the exact science of macronutrients and stuff.Food=protein,calories.
My goal is mass if it matters.

Cheap sources of protein (in no particular order) that I use: 1. Cottage Cheese, 2. Tuna fish, 3. Ground beef, 4. Chicken, 5. Eggs. My carbs come mainly from old fashioned oatmeal ( there is no better carb source for a bodybuilder, IMO). And sorry, but unless you are genetically predisposed to rapidly and easily gaining muscle, you’d better develop a keen interest in “the science of macronutrients and stuff”, otherwise you may not get “all massive and stuff”.

Beef is a good source of creatine. If I need to keep my food costs low, I look to ground sirloin, ground beef. Hamburgers sometimes is the way to go. At this point, I’m not sure if you should spend extra $$ on supplements. Just eat food. If you shop only on the outside aisles of grocery stores, you should be getting all the food you need. Right now stick with the basics in nutritional needs.

Learn how to cook. That 7 bucks you spent in the cafeteria could have bought you a whole package of chicken breasts, and for another 2 to 3 bucks you could buy potatoes and veggies. If you don’t have access to a kitchen (are you in a dorm?) then you could load up on deli meats and sandwich supplies for about the same cost.

Skip the cafeteria and head to the grocery store. Purchase a mini-fridge and a microwave for your room. Does your dorm (or wherever you live) have a kitchen? Spend a day cooking for the week. Eating out will KILL YOUR BUDGET EVERY TIME so learn to visit the grocery store, not the cafeteria.

Well man to be honest FOOD IS EXPENSIVE, and the only way I have found to combat this problem a little is to pack my lunch. I’m in college too so i know how money can be tight. I usually pack a couple (whole wheat bread/ natural peanut butter) PB&J sandwiches, cottage cheese w/ fruit and whatever else I can grab from the house or steal from friends, and I wash it all down with a nice thick protein shake. Hard boiled eggs are another cheap source of protein… Packing my lunch saves me pretty good amount of money, and for some reason the ladies find it cute? I guess they can’t believe a big guy can pack his lunch or something?
For dinner get yourself one of those big bags of frozen chicken (buy the steak when it’s on sale). Then get creative with the other details of the meal.

I suggest getting your protein in when you’re not on the run. Try getting 50 g before bed and right after sleep when you are in your own dorm or whatever. use a good protein like isopure or proto whey.
then bring with you 5 hardboiled eggs, can of tuna, and chicken breast. definitely remember the breath mints!
good luck