Muscle Building Meal Plans on a Budget – The Basics

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There are several go-to bodybuilding macronutrient rich foods that should be incorporated into any muscle building meal plans. These foods are high in either proteins, good fats or carbs and can be easily used in meal recipes or snacks on the go.


High in slow burning carbohydrates and easily purchased in bulk, Oatmeal is a staple in any muscle building meal plan. Although primarily thought of for breakfast, oatmeal is an excellent food to be incorporated into protein shakes for increased caloric intake, low sugar high protein oatmeal cookies and home made snack bars.

Estimated price: Quaker Oats, 42Oz oatmeal is priced between $5 – $6 US dollars at stores like Walmart or Target.

Peanut Butter

Calorically dense and easy to use, Peanut Butter is a fundamental building block for most bodybuilding diets. When creating a muscle building meal plan on a budget or even for convenience, peanut butter is one of the foods with the most value. Peanut Butter is extremely high in essential fatty acids and proteins. These fats and proteins are extremely important for the body to build muscle and staying in a state of anabolism. Peanut butter can be added to protein shakes (along with oatmeal), used for a sandwich (yes peanut butter and jelly) and even eaten directly from the tub for a quick snack. In addition to being dense in good macronutrients, peanut butter is extremely satiating allowing the body to feel less hungry over the course of the day.

Estimated price: Peanut butter brands such as Jif and Peter Pan, 40Oz tubs are priced between $5 – $6 US dollars at stores like Walmart or Target.

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is another staple of the diet for the muscle building community. Not only is the canned meat practical, it is also affordable. Most canned tunas are extremely high in protein. One can may have 30g – 50g of protein (depending on the brand and size of can). In addition, although the taste of tuna on its own is not the most appealing, the meat is easy manipulated to make tuna salad sandwiches, tuna steak and quick tuna burgers.

Estimated price: Canned tuna, 12Oz cans are priced between $2 – $4 US dollars at stores like Walmart or Target.

Eggs (Both Whole and Egg Whites)

Any one who has been creating a bodybuilding meal plan understands the importance of protein. Eggs have been used by fitness enthusiasts as a quick protein fix for years. Although most consider the yolk of the egg to be a negative aspect of the whole egg, the simple fact is that the whole egg has essential fats and good cholesterol needed by the body to function properly. It is because of this that many, if not most, fitness and bodybuilding dietitians believe some whole eggs along with egg whites, are recommended. In addition, one of the benefits of eggs is the ability to precook large batches and to take them with you as a quick go-to snack. Eggs are extremely cost effective and can be cooked Fried, Scrambled, Boiled and even used to create no-flower protein pancakes.

Estimated price: when building a meal plan on a budget, eggs can and should be purchased in bulk. Packs of whole eggs in Costco range $6 – 7 dollars for 7.5 dozen eggs.


Beginning a bodybuilding or fitness routine is challenging enough. The sacrifice of food cravings and cheap quick meals makes staying to a meal plan difficult. In addition, the budgetary constraints in having to purchase and eat high quality foods makes staying on course that much more difficult. However, the previously mentioned foods allow muscle building on a budget much easier and far more cost effective. Each food listed can be prepared in multiple ways and delivers the essential macronutrients needed for any fitness and bodybuilding meal plans.


Source by Damien Drake

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