T Nation

Meals on a Budget

First off I’d like to say hello! I’ve been lurking around the website for a while now and just thought, fuck it, I may as well join. I’m currently studying at University, and like the majority of students, I’m on a fairly strict budget.

Despite this, I refuse to let it affect my gains and my health, and I’ve come up with a new diet. It’s costing me £36.92 a week, which is $56.35 a week. I buy in bulk to keep costs low. Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance for taking your time too look.

My Stats -> 19 Years old, 5ft 9, and 181 pounds of body weight with a 12% Bodyfat. Training five day a week for two years now.

Monday â?? Friday

7 Meals a day - 3681.2 Calories a Day
Total Protein - 328.2 Grams a Day
Total Carbs - 391.08 Grams a Day
Total Fats - 90.38 Grams a Day

1 Multivitamin every morning
1 Omega 3 Fish Oil

Breakfast â?? Protein Shake with Oats â?? 8am

100Ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
1 Banana
4 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Whites
1 scoop of MyProtein Whey (25g)
100g Oats
10g Peanut Butter

Calories - 991.5
Protein - 70.7g
Carbs - 96.79g
Fat - 36.44g

Dinner â?? Chicken and baked beans â?? 2pm

100g Chicken
205g Baked Beans

Calories - 369
Protein - 31.3g
Carbs - 33.6g
Fat - 9.8g

Veggie Time â?? 3pm

100g of mixed vegetables

Calories - 62
Protein - 2.9g
Carbs - 9.5g
Fat - 0.6g

Pre Workout Protein Shake â?? 4:30pm

100Ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
1 Banana
1 scoop of MyProtein Whey (25g)
1 scoop of MyProtein Soy (30g)
100g of Oats
10g peanut butter

Calories - 801.2
Protein - 66.2g
Carbs - 95.19g
Fat - 18.44g

Post Workout Protein Shake â?? 6pm

100Ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
1 Banana
1 scoop of MyProtein Whey (25g)
1 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 scoop of MyProtein Soy (30g)
50g of Dextrose

Calories - 627.5
Protein - 62.6g
Carbs - 79.1g
Fat - 9.3g

Tea â?? Chicken and baked beans â?? 7pm

100g Chicken
205g Baked Beans

Calories - 369
Protein - 31.3g
Carbs - 33.6g
Fat - 9.8g

Veggie Time â?? 8pm

100g of mixed vegetables

Calories - 62
Protein - 2.9g
Carbs - 9.5g
Fat - 0.6g

Before bed protein shake â?? 10pm

100Ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
1 Banana
1 scoop of MyProtein Whey (25g)
2 egg whites
1 scoop of MyProtein Soy (30g)

Calories - 399
Protein - 60.3g
Carbs - 33.8g
Fat - 5.4g

I’m no expert by any means but I have a couple of points. You don’t seem to be having any vegetables, which isn’t great for digestion or health, and it wouldn’t cost much to add in some broccolli. Also your fats seem relatively low for the total calories you are taking in. If I were you I’d want more calories from fat.

Otherwise seems great!

I was hoping that the bananas would count but it seems to not be the case hehe, I can get a bag of mixed vegetables for £0.75, that’s $1.44. The broccoli from what i’ve seen is a bit more expensive here in the UK. Do you think my calories are too high? I want to build muscle, not turn into a tub of lard :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]Rzaorgmaer wrote:
I was hoping that the bananas would count but it seems to not be the case hehe, I can get a bag of mixed vegetables for Ã?£0.75, that’s $1.44. The broccoli from what i’ve seen is a bit more expensive here in the UK. Do you think my calories are too high? I want to build muscle, not turn into a tub of lard :stuck_out_tongue: [/quote]

I’m in the UK too so can relate. Frozen veg is cheap so you could go with that.

I think that the calories required varies so much from person to person and so I can’t really say what you need. I gain weight on relatively few calories and I know 4,000kcal would be too much for me, and I weigh 15kg more than you. But 4,000kcal might be right for you. I’d suggest starting lower (maybe 3,000kcal) and gradually increasing the calories by around 200 per week. Judge the quality of the weight you are gaining and adjust your intake as you go. That is the only way to be certain.

You could save some money by cutting your protein. No need for such high amounts. 1g/lb of bodyweight (2.2g/kg) would be sufficient, especially considering you are in a calorie excess.

I’ve also found that lean pork tends to be cheaper per kg than chicken breast.

I use frozen spinach or broccoli for veg and I eat a lot of it.

Agreed on adding more calories from fat.

I’ll switch the chicken to lean pork then, see if I can keep the bills down. Most of the meals are in liquid form so I can get the calories in quickly. Any suggestions on how to add more fat to my diet? Thanks in advance by the way you two I do appreciate it. I’ll update the page with the improved diet afterwards. Thanks.

I used to eat a lot of tinned fish from Asda when I was at uni, that and unsalted nuts, basically trying to find calorie dense foods. My Budget was a bit higher though, around £50/week. You got a part time job?

I also saw a friend on FB buy his meat online! They send it in bulk and its cheaper than in the shops. Google “muscle food”.

Also, can’t beat the Tesco £2 chicken. Undoubtedly raised in horrible conditions but you can worry about that when you graduate.

[quote]furo wrote:
I’m no expert by any means but I have a couple of points. You don’t seem to be having any vegetables, which isn’t great for digestion or health, and it wouldn’t cost much to add in some broccolli. Also your fats seem relatively low for the total calories you are taking in. If I were you I’d want more calories from fat.

Otherwise seems great![/quote]

The beans and the oats provide the fiber needed for proper digestion

Without vegetables you’re only missing out on vitamins/minerals etc

Cheers for the pointer Diddy Ryder I’ll research into this muscle food thing! Will be in the UOTC in September, basically the Territorial Army. The chicken I’m currently using is £1.69 from Asda. It’s probably just as horrid as the £2.00 Tesco. Keeping the chicken as it’s cheaper than the pork but thanks for the suggestion anyway Consul :slight_smile: . I’m trying to keep the budget for food as low as possible as I have a motorbike to run as well. Keep an eye open for my original post, i’ll be adding the new version in the next few hours. Thanks everybody I’m very grateful.

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:
I’m no expert by any means but I have a couple of points. You don’t seem to be having any vegetables, which isn’t great for digestion or health, and it wouldn’t cost much to add in some broccolli. Also your fats seem relatively low for the total calories you are taking in. If I were you I’d want more calories from fat.

Otherwise seems great![/quote]

The beans and the oats provide the fiber needed for proper digestion

Without vegetables you’re only missing out on vitamins/minerals etc[/quote]

Ok fair enough. I still think it’s a bad idea to go without veg though.

OP - for the fats I like seeds (cheaper than nuts) and peanut butter. Do you have a Worldwide foods near you? That is the cheapest place I’ve found to get nuts and seeds. You can get a tub of Morrison’s Value peanut butter for 52p - add a tablespoon to your shakes to boost fats.

I think you could do without the soy protein, it’s not though of very highly in BB’ing circles

100ml of milk in your shakes, with 3 eggs, oats and a banana. Man, can you eat that with a fork or what!?

It’s more along the consistency of slop :stuck_out_tongue: if I can’t be bothered in it, I just add water. Simple :slight_smile:

Added the updated version of the diet. Tell me what you think, any tips would be appreciated.

Best thing i did was start hitting up the local butcher.

Thhose guys always reward loyal customers and people who become friends. I sometimes catch chicken on the friend discount…which is 1 dollar a pound if i dont ask for it to be cleaned

You should look into this