Building muscle mass does not have to be difficult or expensive. If we keep our gym membership fee low (or workout from home), grocery shop smart, and make smart nutritional choices, we can minimize our budget and maximize our progress. Keep reading to discover some ways to gain muscle mass on a budget.
1) Find Cheap Ways to Exercise
Heavy workouts are a major part of the muscle-building process. However, gym memberships can get quite pricey. You may be better off purchasing your own weights and other exercise equipment. They should pay for themselves after a few long workout sessions. If you prefer exercising outdoors, consider getting a pool for your backyard. Pools do not have to be super expensive, and you can pay them off over time. For example, custom pools in Dallas are available for getting in a workout in the sun.
2) Buy in Bulk
Supplement your workouts with calorie-heavy meals. Since you will likely be buying the same types of foods over and over again, purchase them in bulk to save money. Costco and Sam’s Club are great places for shopping in bulk.
3) Shop at the Right Places
Of course, eating at home requires spending money on groceries. Supermarket prices can be expensive. However, there may be cheaper options near your home. Local butcher shops are becoming popular once again. They provide locally raised and high-quality meats that are often cheaper than those you find at grocery stores.
Farmer’s markets offer plenty of great deals, as well. While you may have to wake up early on a weekend to attend these events, the low-cost vegetables and fruits will make setting your alarm worth it. You should also find out if your town offers community-supported agriculture. CSA programs deliver farm-raised meats, cheeses, bread, eggs, and seasonal produce to your door, saving you time and money.
4) Make Easy Substitutions
Some simple changes to your diet can make a big difference when bulking up your muscles. Try switching from lean ground beef to beef that is 80% fat. Consider swapping fat-free milk for whole milk or purchasing calorie-heavy bread, as well. These substitutions increase your caloric intake without hurting your wallet.
5) Avoid Filling Vegetables
Vegetables are nutritious and can fill you up in a hurry. That is why they are great for losing weight. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, however, you want to fill up on more caloric-heavy foods. Still, you should not avoid vegetables completely. Instead, pick less filling options such as spinach. You can easily throw some into a smoothie or omelet.
6) Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are the densest micronutrient. In fact, they contain nine calories per gram. Proteins and carbohydrates, meanwhile, contain just four calories per gram. Of course, that does not give you the license to gorge on sugars and greasy burgers. Yet there are plenty of relatively cheap and healthy foods that also contain caloric-heavy fats. Peanut butter is one such option. Olive and avocado oils are solid choices, as well. These oils are particularly ideal for cooking meats and potatoes. You can even add a few tablespoons to your smoothies.
7) Choose Cost-Effective Carbs and Proteins
While carbohydrates and proteins do not contain as many calories as fats do, the former two micronutrients are still valuable parts of your diet. Proteins can be quite expensive, but there are ways to purchase them even on a budget. If you are limited to $50 a week for groceries, your diet should include plenty of ground beef, eggs, chicken breast, and canned tuna. For those with slightly bigger budgets, consider ground turkey and chicken, ham, steak, and frozen fish fillets.
When deciding which carbohydrates to buy, do not just settle for the cheap macaroni and cheese. Remember, the food you purchase must be both inexpensive and nutritious. Brown rice and oatmeal fit into both of these categories.
Certain fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, as well. Bananas also have plenty of fiber and antioxidants. Apples, berries, and sweet potatoes are also good choices. If you cannot afford fresh vegetables, opt for frozen ones instead.
To gain muscle mass, you do not need expensive dietary supplements or protein powders. Exercising regularly and eating lots of healthy calories should help you bulk up your body. By following the above strategies, you can meet your goals without spending a ton of money.