T Nation

Poor Man's Diet

I have one of my graduated players who is now attending a JUCO. $$$ is very tight and they don’t have a cafeteria plan or I would just purchase that for him. I have told him about some of the inexpensive options including PB&honey sandwiches, quaker oats, etc. I will be getting him some gift cards to help out and was hoping to hear from those who have been in this situation or are in the same boat right now.

What are some good inexpensive carb/protein sources for a poor JUCO football players?

Thanks in advance.

The student menu:

Cheap protein:
Eggs, tuna fish (!), cottage cheese, yogurt

Cheap carbs:
Salad, fibrous vegetables, fruits, plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread

Cheap fats:
Nuts, olive oil, canola oil, full fat cheese, natural peanut butter

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Carbs=rice and potato and or oats.
Proteins=whatever is on sale. Eggs and tuna are always cheap but honestly that gets old REALLY fast. Smart shopping and coupon clipping for cheap cuts of beef chicken or pork are always the best.

You can easily find ground beef/chicken for at or under 2/lb and other meats for cheap, have him buy in bulk and freeze. Protein powders give you more protein for your buck especially if you buy them in bulk. I’m taking in 400-450 grams of protein and carbs/fat to grow and get by on a modest part time pay check, it’s certainely possible.

Thanks for the input on foods. I am going to make him a shopping list including the items mentioned. I am also thinking about getting him some protein in bulk but cannot afford to be doing Biotest products for both of us. May have to go with one of those “mix your own” websites…sorry Biotest but I will keep buying my stuff here.

If you could only go with one protein supplement what would it be (in terms of ingredients)?

[quote]coachld wrote:
If you could only go with one protein supplement what would it be (in terms of ingredients)?[/quote]

Met-Rx protein plus, because it�??s a solid all-around protein, and available dirt cheap if you don�??t mind shopping around. You can get it at Trader Joe�??s (or online) for $20 per 2 pounds!

[quote]wakiki wrote:
The student menu:

Cheap protein:
Eggs, tuna fish (!), cottage cheese, yogurt

Cheap carbs:
Salad, fibrous vegetables, fruits, plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread

Cheap fats:
Nuts, olive oil, canola oil, full fat cheese, natural peanut butter

Hope this helps :)[/quote]

If you are somehow finding cheap nuts and cheese I would recommend not eating them as their quality is probably highly negotiable.

Sam’s Club: 2lbs of almonds for $13, raw and unsalted. Also delicious. They have a bag of walnuts too.

Sam’s club also has protein powder of questionable quality, but it seems to work okay for now. For me at least. It was cheap, but Grow! Whey on here is the same price for a 5lbs. tub. Just order a bunch at once to save for shipping charges.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
Sam’s Club: 2lbs of almonds for $13, raw and unsalted. Also delicious. They have a bag of walnuts too.

Sam’s club also has protein powder of questionable quality, but it seems to work okay for now. For me at least. It was cheap, but Grow! Whey on here is the same price for a 5lbs. tub. Just order a bunch at once to save for shipping charges.
[/quote]

Don’t forget Sams has 6.5lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast for $14 and 3lb bags of precut broccoli and/or mixed veggies for $5. Both part of my weekly shopping list.

P

[quote]PeterD wrote:
boyscout wrote:
Sam’s Club: 2lbs of almonds for $13, raw and unsalted. Also delicious. They have a bag of walnuts too.

Sam’s club also has protein powder of questionable quality, but it seems to work okay for now. For me at least. It was cheap, but Grow! Whey on here is the same price for a 5lbs. tub. Just order a bunch at once to save for shipping charges.

Don’t forget Sams has 6.5lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast for $14 and 3lb bags of precut broccoli and/or mixed veggies for $5. Both part of my weekly shopping list.

P[/quote]

I shop at Costco instead of Sam’s but they’re pretty much the same thing. Both have the best price on Cottage Cheese, Tuna, Chicken Breast, Frozen Berries.

For variety’s sake they also have some delicious Chicken Sausages and Turkey Burgers. They cost a little more in terms of dollars to protein than tuna eggs and chicken breast, but it’s worth it every now and then to keep from going insane with boredom.

Do you have to eat a lot of meat if you want to be a bodybuilder? Meat tends to be the most expensive source of protein. Can you cut it back to one or two servings of meat a day and get your protein from cheaper sources like cottage cheese, eggs, etc.?

[quote]Digity wrote:
Do you have to eat a lot of meat if you want to be a bodybuilder? Meat tends to be the most expensive source of protein. Can you cut it back to one or two servings of meat a day and get your protein from cheaper sources like cottage cheese, eggs, etc.?[/quote]

Yah man, you just named 2 protein sources most of us use very frequently. I eat cottage cheese everyday. Eggs are amazing and you should eat them everyday; I don’t because I can’t stand the taste, either way the stuff is like a multivitamin. Both eggs and cottage cheese have an excellent amino acid profile.

You can’t live off just two sources though, you will end up going crazy after a while, plus it wouldn’t be very good for you as you wouldn’t be getting a wide enough selection of vitamins and minerals.

[quote]Digity wrote:
Do you have to eat a lot of meat if you want to be a bodybuilder? Meat tends to be the most expensive source of protein. Can you cut it back to one or two servings of meat a day and get your protein from cheaper sources like cottage cheese, eggs, etc.?[/quote]

on a workout day, you can easily pull 1-1.5g protein/lb with just 5 or 6oz of meat at a meal and the rest will come from workout shakes, eggs, whole wheat products, peanut butter, milk, etc. On a day of rest though, you’d be hard pressed to only eat 1-2 servings of meat though without supplementing with powders.

The costco near me has “88% or better” ground beef for like 2.30$ a pound if you buy the 5 lb pack, and it’s pretty decent quality meat, and cheap too. If 2.30$ a pound is expensive, I can’t really imagine what on earth you are filling up on that has many more calories for a cheaper price… raman and other varieties of enriched bleached fried flour I suppose…

The thing is, I just don’t like eating tons of meat. I don’t mind 1-2 servngs a day, but after that it’s too much for me. I also get protein from milk, beans, soy products, cheese, etc.

I mean, I’d rather just eat pizza and donuts all day, but that’s not gonna cut it. Beans & diary are good supplemental proteins but they only will go so far. Unless you want to live off of powders, 1 serving of meat a day is simply not optimal. Today was a non-workout day for me, and I could only prepare 1 meat meal; about 7 oz of steak. as a result i’ve had 5 eggs and am supplementing with a serving of Metabolic Drive Complete and a serving of low carb Metabolic Drive to add an extra 60g of protein. Not something I’d like to do on a daily basis…

[quote]PeterD wrote:
boyscout wrote:
Sam’s Club: 2lbs of almonds for $13, raw and unsalted. Also delicious. They have a bag of walnuts too.

Sam’s club also has protein powder of questionable quality, but it seems to work okay for now. For me at least. It was cheap, but Grow! Whey on here is the same price for a 5lbs. tub. Just order a bunch at once to save for shipping charges.

Don’t forget Sams has 6.5lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast for $14 and 3lb bags of precut broccoli and/or mixed veggies for $5. Both part of my weekly shopping list.

P[/quote]

I tend to just buy a few bunches of broccoli at around 1.50-2.00USD per bunch. Then cut it up. A few bags of frozen green beans, a bunch of celery, and a few green peppers are usually my weekly veggie list. Comes to around $10.

To the OP:
It’s important to shop around. Having worked in a grocery store for 5+ years now, I can tell you that some places just suck to buy things at. But then there’s places that have good deals. Smaller chain stores tend to have better produce prices and higher quality meat at the same price as bigger chains.

Shop around. Go to grocery store one week and see what your bill is, then try someplace else. Stick with the place that’s cheaper (obviously). I also tend to look at the weekly add when making my menu. If something tasty and healthy (ala turkey sausages or brats) are on sale, I’ll put that in my menu for the week. See what the deals are, and buy more one week and save it for a while. This means the grocery bill will change from week to week, but it pretty much balances out in the long run.

There was an article on this site about it, im sure it would be in nutrition…
If not keep searching… its exactly about what you wanna know.

Try milk with eggs. That is as close to mother’s milk as it comes when you are grown-up.

Look up in the articles section Stephen Berardi and there are 2 articles on how to eat for the poor college student.

School days parts 1 and 2