Getting the correct nutrition for muscle building can be expensive! We're going to try to ease the weight with some muscle building meals for tight budgets.

Cheap muscle mealsMuscle building diets and supplements are not cheap! Eating big, using supps and working out all the time can just about send you broke! The "usual" sources of protein are always so expensive! Chicken breast, fish and red meat cost a fortune these days at the supermarket! So you want to eat the best muscle building diet possible without spending hundreds or food per week right? Well this article is for you! I'm going to show you some of the things I do every week to keep the grocery bill down. It is possible to follow a strict muscle diet and keep some money in the bank! Here are my tips for eating big on a budget...

TIP #1 - Buy mince meat (ground meat)

Lean fillet steak, veal and lamb can often be very expensive. The solution, mince meat. Mince meat has the same amount of protein in it as steak and it's so much cheaper. You can make it into beef patties for burgers, make a chili to feed you for a week or even make a pie with it. Chili is my personal favorite. I can buy all the ingredients for a big chili for around $20. That includes 1.4kg or meat! One thing to remember though, always get the premium mince. The normal stuff has way to mach fat in it. (>20%)

TIP #2 - Eggs are your friend

Egg whites are a really rich source of natural protein. Eggs are cheap and so very versatile. You can make omelets, scramble them, boil them, fry them... the list goes on - use your imagination! One point to note though, the yolk of the egg is very high in cholesterol so if you're making an omelet use 4-6 egg whites and 2 full eggs.

TIP #3 - Buy in bulk and save

You hear it in every second TV advert, "buy in bulk and save!". Well they're not lying! Sometimes you can save up to 40-50% of meat sold in bulk. You've got a freezer haven't you?! Don't write butchers off either, sometimes their prices (especially on bulk) are cheap than the supermarkets. And if they're a small outlet the might even be willing to do you a deal.

TIP #5 - Eat sandwiches

Bread is cheap. Head to the deli isle of your supermarket and you'll find loads of good cheap sandwich meat available. Chicken, turkey and beef are all good sandwich meats. All some salad and you've got yourself a wholesome snack.

TIP #6 - Cook like a restaurant

What I'm telling is to cook in bulk. Find your favorite chili recipe, times the ingredients by 4 and cook it on a sunday afternoon. There you have 10-15 meals for the week ahead. All you need is some 2 minutes brown rice and you have yourself a meal ready in minutes. Perfect for post workouts and rush meals. Now you'll have no need to stop at that sandwich shop!

TIP #7 - Natures cheapest fish

Tuna tuna tuna. Tuna is one of the best foods you can eat if you want to build lean muscle. Not only has it got more than 20% protein but it's cheap and rich in natural essential oils. Just one problem, it tastes like cat food! I find it hard to stomach tuna, but I eat it anyway because it's dirt cheap and so good for me. If you don't like the taste or small on tuna mix it with some satay sauce. My favorite is tuna mixed with satay sauce on some boiled brown rice. Nothing but goodness! (tastes average though!)

Well that's all I have for you today. Have I missed something? Got some tips on how to save on muscle meals? Drop them in the comments section below!

Posted on: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 16:47

In addition, a lot of individuals skip the first meal of that day, when your body is craving a meal. Breakfast is the most arrogant meal of all, it knows it’s number one and will let you know. Skip breakfast and your energy will lag, your metabolism will suffer, and a downward spiral for the day begins. By eating breakfast, your body can burn up to 20% more calories per day. There’s a reason why it’s #1; never skip it.
Posted on: Thu, 07/04/2013 - 02:53

U say bread?bt it has heapz of carbs?idnt gt it

Posted on: Sat, 06/22/2013 - 05:28

I agree with Miguel on the milk make sure It's vitamin D since it has the most protein also you need to eat greens along with nuts ( almonds and macadamias ) are going to be the best. Meat wise anything lean or grass fed is what you want. If you can't get ahold of it go with the yard bird (chicken) cheap and delicious!. Eat salmon, cottage cheese (low fat) red beans and definitely eggs! You can never go wrong with eggs. There is so much out there you can eat. It just requires some research. And only eat white rice and potatoes (mashed) if you want to put on weight quick, if you put on to much weight switch to brown rice and sweet potatoes.

Nick H
Posted on: Tue, 05/14/2013 - 11:52

Good article. Work on your grammar(;

michael lucas
Posted on: Sat, 04/20/2013 - 15:25

i would suggest adding spaghetti and chocolate milk

xcel energy
Posted on: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 08:48

thanks for shar

xcel energy
Posted on: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 06:53

wow,damm good post

Posted on: Thu, 11/29/2012 - 01:25

You should have put milk in there. Also peanut butter.

Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 08:45

Good idea I'm trying to put on mass the bad part is I ain't know chef breakfast good but after that I'm brain dead when comes to cooking chicken I don't like fish so that's why I just eat tuna cereal and maybe some peanut butter thru out the day

Jesse Inman
Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:41


I'm just about to start a regular work out routine and I'm trying to figure out a good and cheap diet plan. I bought a book called Muscle Chow and it has lots of recipes but looks a bit expensive to me. What I wanted to ask is is it bad to eat the same meals every day, chilli for example, for a whole week or doesn't it really matter. And can anyone suggest a website or book or anything that can offer a weekly, easy, cheap eating plan? That would be great. It all looks a bit complicated to me at the moment, what should I eat? How much? when? Protein shakes? Aaaaaah!

Thanks a lot.

Jungle Man
Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2012 - 05:43

Potatoes are one of the best ways to go for cheaper meals. I use golden potatoes while baking them with bacon, peppers and onions. (frozen peppers are a good deal at trader joes.) That can last you awhile. Cut them down and boil those suckers up first so it cooks faster in the oven. Just make sure they dont turn into mashed potatoes. Set to 425 degrees covered in the oven. Uncover after 20 min. Poke at them after another 20. You want them to be soft. Also, almost any lasagna can get you the right sources for muscle growth. Look up different ones. Watch out for the salt content and sodium depending on the ingredients. If you make chili try using ground chicken so there isn't AS much fat. I mix it with black beans then pour it on rice, sprinkle cheese, and top it with Greek yogurt which tastes almost exactly like sour cream, but you gotta watch the fat content with that too sometimes. Needless to say it can still be very beneficial for weight gain meals on a budget. Damn! I had more to say than I thought. That's not even close to all the meals I know of lol

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2012 - 04:48

Mince is no longer a cheaper option as mentioned in this article...

anthony c
Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2012 - 01:38

Need some advice guys. I'm 130lbs 5'5''. I'm leanly built. I am well defined but small. I have little fat...very little. I'm mostly lean muscle. But i stay this way. I don't eat a lot. I used to but i can't fit as much food in as I used to. I used to wrestle and peaked out at 145lbs of the same body type just larger. I want to get to 160. Cheaply, simply with not a whole lot of trouble. I'll start going to gym next month. How do I go about gaining the muscle nutrition wise. Like I said I eat very little. I get full easily. I eat 3-5 small meals a day. For example a bowl or two of pasta will fill me way up.

Any advice would be great. Would like to get back into my wrestling body size.

Posted on: Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:59

love tuna mix it with pasta and lots of salad,mixed peppers and french dressing great lunch for dinner and cheap also if you want steaks,chicken,fish or prawns for protein visit supermarket between 1 and 2 hours before it closes you can get some good deals when they drop the prices of nearly out of date meat i buy loads and freeze it all and probably pay about half the price it all about timing it right you get to know when they start to drop prices so get shopping

Posted on: Sun, 09/04/2011 - 13:13

Great article BUT I've been taught to stay away from bread and deli meats because of the high sodium content.
Can't you eat tilapia, Swai and salmon instead of tuna.....tuna makes me hah something serious.

Posted on: Fri, 06/03/2011 - 10:20

I'm trying to reduce body fat and build muscle. Would my diet be better at 40% carbs 40% protein 20% fat or more like 50% carbs 30% protein 20% fat ?

Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2011 - 14:21

Love the tuna diet! Have been eating it for lunch quite often. Its cheap, quick, and loaded with protein.

One problem that I think everyone should take more note on though, the mercury thats in tuna. This stuff is really scary, as it builds up in your body over a period of time, and could take YEARS to show signs of mercury poisoning. Its only recommended that an average male (200 lbs) eats two cans a week. After talking with my doctor on my last check-up he pointed out the very real danger of eating too much tuna, so I have switched to canned chicken instead. Although it is a little more expensive, I would gladly spend more $ not to have neurological problems down the road.

Just google it if you want to find out for yourself. It's not a myth.


Posted on: Tue, 09/29/2020 - 17:05

you should try sardines low low in mercury because there very small only large fish has more mercury not wild salmon.

Posted on: Mon, 04/11/2011 - 17:18

Nice article. I am a hard-gainer as well but I have had some success with the weight gain. Tuna is one of the best foods you can eat to gain muscle in my opinion. Yes there are better foods for Mass, but tuna is just so easy to deal with. I usually get Tuna in spring water, mix in 2-3 boiled egg whites, some light mayonasse, and either a pickle chopped or some dill weed for flavor. It is a freaking awesome meal, snack, or even pre-workout food for me. It is cheap and you can buy it in bulk.

I will try the lean ground beef thing, steaks were getting very pricy for me. I'd usually buy a tenderloin and cook the whole thing, then eat on it for a week. That gets really expensive.

The deli meats are another good idea and you can find the lean & low sodium varieties.

I agree that brown rice is gag-worthly, but you can always find whole wheat breads (that taste better), crackers, pastas, and other items that taste better than the breads alones. They also have bread makers that are pretty reasonable, so perhaps trying to make your own? Maybe adding a bit of honey would help?

Anyway, great ideas to bulk. I will be trying some tonight.


Posted on: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 19:31

I've got no muscles at all I'm slim that slim I'm very skinny and you can see almost my bones yet I seem to be able to stay fine in my health and I don't seem to end up fat neither no matter how much I eat whether it's chocolate and bad food that should make you fat it doesn't with me I just eat and eat those kind of things no matter how much I eat of it and I never end up fat. Is that actually a serious thing to worry about my health and balance or is that a good thing I don't seem to put on any weight at all. I'm that slim I feel really cold at times in the winter and others don't and I'm like exhausted sometimes well that's cause I've got Asthma that stops me sometimes and makes me tired to do anything else too strenuous.

With more muscles in me and a bit more weight on my stomach is what I want to acheive out of eating meals then I shouldn't end up slim and no muscles at all. I'm starting to eat meals that have protein in them such as Pasta with Dominio Tomatoes mixed together and Hadddock Fish you can buy from Fish and Chip Shops in the Shop and I can eat that together now. Also did my self Tuna with Potatoes without butter and milk in just from baked potatoes and put them in the Microwave and put Butter Beans together with Salad Cream On Top which made my Potatoe Sald I called it those two meals are absolutely mouthwatering they are full protein. The pasta and haddock together is very protein food a gorgeous meal. I'm thinking of trying Mushrooms next not had them on their own with something else tried them as a kid I never liked them them days I'm an adult these days my taste might have changed since then and it sure has cause I one time I didn't like Tomatoes in anything like Dominio and now I do. Yet I use to like Tomataoe Sauce on Chips and Fisk Cakes as one of my favourite meals as a kid Tomatoe Sauce and Tomatoes are both the same thing well I just a kid them days when I use to be a kid just fuzzy and only like what I like kept to the same things I'm still a bit fuzzy with food. I only eat what I'm use to eating and just got use to eating the same food all the time such as tin Ravioli and Bake Beans boaring after a while eating the same things all the time and I'm a low budget income coming in money is tight and I have to live on budget. I can't always afford exspensive food cause of that when most of what income does come in goes towards my Bills most of all I've to make do and manage with just simple foods. When I really want to be adventurous with foods I can't cause of Bills take my Money away first I'm living on simple and same food all the time it's why I got use to eating that kind of thing and unable to change my diet the way I eat. Now I can do it without that fuzzy silly kid I use to be with food and in my early adulthood and it's going quite well still no muscles and a hunky body which I love to be able to have out of these protein meals that's my aim. I'm quite proud of body cause it doesn't end up fat and I don't have to watch my eating that could be more damaging than not putting weight out at all for all I know. What are the muscle building meals with Tuna and fish all the time and that's under say £80? which is what I have left to live on after spending the rest on Bills. Any tips on that I would appreciated. Thank you.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 08/27/2010 - 08:53

Hi Michael,

Here are a few articles that can help point you in the right direction:

Let me know if you have any questions. For specific muscle building meals, I recommend posting your question in the forum. You will receive some excellent responses.

Posted on: Tue, 01/17/2012 - 12:59


If you are trying to pick up weight my best advice to you would be to eat as much carbs as you can. In the form of pasta and potatoes. Such as mash, baked, boiled, roasted, fried, chips, crisp you name just eat as much as you can. You will see you will soon start filling out. I was the same and for years I couldn't pick up weight no matter what until someone gave me this advice now I am no longer the skinny lad! Good luck mate.

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:52

Hey this looks good , just one problem.. i litterly can't eat brown bread or brown rice it makes me gag... but i loove tuna i can eat it anytime and where.. so would it be just as okay to eat a whole tine of tuna, with cucumber and white bread. rather than brown.


Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2010 - 00:47

Cheers heaps for this article its exactly what i was after, plan was brown rice and tuna with some greens made in bulk but i love chili so i think ill follow you :)


Posted on: Sun, 05/09/2010 - 23:56

pretty good, liked the chili tip thats a great idea mate :D now lets get big :D