T Nation

The Cash Delima


Some of you may know that I'm currently training for a BB comp in Oct. I started at a weight of 165 and now I'm up to about 180 in 3 months. This is my post on that.

Luckly my bulking cycle has been very effective with putting on mass, muscle and increasing strength. Conversely though I'm taking a big hit in the wallet. I think this a problem that never really gets addressed in most nutrition articles. I would love any discussion on this topic. Ways to save money buying lots of food,what foods are inexpensive but healthy and high quality, and anyones own personal experiences.

I spend about $150 a week on food and that is on the lean side. I figure I should be spending about $175-200. I also spend very little money on supplements at the moment. I only take Surge, Grow!, and Spike. I find that prices at the super-markets for meats have also gone up over the last several months.

I think when people look at eating healthy I think some people look at money as an limiting factor. The thought process of "why should I go to the super-market and buy food that I have to make and probably end up wasting, when I can just go to the dollar menu at McDonalds".

Anyway I was just trying to spark a discussion on the subject.


Only 150 bucks?

-Ronnie Coleman


2 tips. Buy in bulk. Buy on sale. I kid you not when I say my weekly shopping bill is anywhere from $150 to $20 depending on what I bought on sale from past weeks. Chicken at $1.70 a pound? you shouldn't be walking out w/ less than 40 pounds of dead bird. you get the idea.


well you figure 6 meals a day give or take for 7 days a week thats only about $3.50 a meal if you where to get specific about it.


I went to Walmart earlier this week and spent under $40
9 dozen eggs, 5.5 pounds 93% lean ground beef, 7 bags of frozen veggies (1 pound each) 2 large canisters of oats, 14 oz box of brown rice, 2 loaves of ww bread, 40 oz jar of pb
There is no reason why clean eating needs to be expensive, just wait for a sale and stock up. (one rule I have is I never pay more then $2/pound for chicken breasts)


What's your feed bill look like X?


I haven't added it up since I was in school. I go grocery shopping regularly (like every other night) as I like using "fresh" food. I bake a lot of beef and pork in cooking bags and probably eat about a pound of that alone everyday which sells for about 7 bucks at Walmart. That's for one meal. If I had to estimate, I would say about 190-200 bucks on basic food alone not counting supplements. That varies depending on whether I am working on gaining or losing.


I've written two articles on "Budgeting for Bodybuilders;" you can find both in the articles section of my site:


The first one was actually the first article I ever had published.


Thanks Eric for the link I will go check it out.


I always eat hamburgers at McD's, the normal ones, not cheeseburgers. Typically 5 or 6 in one go. Wash it down with a superlarge diet coke, then have a cigar. Once a week, and I don't eat much meat usually, but this outing helps.


Anyone in the DC Metro area should consider Five Guys. Their burgers = muscle food.


I try to buy on sale and eat cheaply, but I'm only just starting a slow bulk again and I spend close to $150 a week on food, and I'm not big (205 on a good day). Milk is economical and convenient calories and protein, I will say that, but a lot of guys here aren't big fans of it. Olive and flax oils are your friends too.


Lucky art thou that liveth in Indiana.


so damn good.


I feel your pain, dawg. I live in Japan, where food is anything but cheap. Some things I do when bulking:

1) buy a lot of protein powder in bulk from a Japanese outlet of Costco.
2) Big economy-sized boxes of oatmeal. A big plate of oatmeal with a couple of scoops of protein is only 50c or so.
3) I know which supermarkets have the best deals and which days certain foods (meat, eggs, tuna, basically) are on special.
4) When I go out to eat, it's buffet time.

I have no idea how much I spend on food... it would be too depressing. Still, what's a bber gonna do?


Dont move to Australia then. I am happy when I can get chicken for AUD$10kg. (US$3.37 per lb based on current currency rates).


Yeah, I'm with ya. Sometimes my gains slow to a crawl simply because I'm out of cash. Just had a job interview today. And all I can think about is buying food on my first pay day.


I reckon that I would buy a cigar first and then food second, but thats just me.


HA thats nothing. Try Thailand. 60 bhat or $1.30 for a kilo 2.25 lbs or 57 cents a lb for boneless skinless chicken breast. A bonus for sure thats when it not on sale.

End Hijack


My wife and I spend around 100-150/week between us on food, and as most of you know, we eat 95% whole foods, and 30-40% of that is organic. I average an additional 100/month on supps. So, 200/week is a bit on the high side for one person, unless you're an offensive linemen in the NFL!

Here's a couple tips: we buy a 1/4 organic cow at a time and it only comes out to about 5/lb, which includes ground beef, roasts, and steaks. You could get grain-fed for 3/lb, but with a shitty nutrition profile. We found frozen wild salmon at a Super Wal-Mart for only around 3/lb. And we buy our produce at a farmers market (not always organic though) that is 2-3 times cheaper than a grocery store.

I think you guys could definitely be more thrifty and still eat top notch.