By Ben Seath on 8/17/2012 Back to Articles
Big On A Budget
Guys in my gym are always asking me, “Hey Ben, how can I get bigger? I don’t have a lot of money for all those supplements you have. What should I do?” The answer in itself is really simple, EAT!!! It is all about calories in vs. calories out. When I first wanted to get “bigger” my older brother told me, “Ben if you want to get bigger you gotta eat ‘til you feel like you’re gonna puke, then eat some more.” I also had to do most of my bulking on a fairly tight budget, I am still pretty young and not exactly loaded at the moment. So, here is what I did and some of what I still do to get my big on, on a budget.
Cheap foods that pack a caloric punch. There are a ton of items out there to do this and I’m not talking about hitting up the local Hostess discount mart for a year's supply of Twinkies that you will eat in the next week. I’m talking calorie dense, healthier foods. So here are the staples that I always use and fall back on whenever I do a bulk on a budget.
6. Peanut Butter
8. Olive oil
These would be my "Great Eight" if you would. An example of a typical day of eating for me would look like this:
Meal 1*- Have my breakfast shake which consists of 16 oz milk, 1 cup oats, 2 spoons of peanut butter, 1 banana, and a scoop of Ultra Whey Pro, if it's in the budget.
917-Calories/ 56-Protein/ 42.5-Fat/ 91.5 Carbs
Meal 2*- Five Eggs with 1.5 cups rice
750-Calories/ 36-Protein/ 36-Fat/ 66.5 Carbs
Meal 3**- 3 eggs with 16 oz milk, 2 tbls chocolate syrup, two slices bread, 2 spoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of jelly
1280- Calories/ 51-Protein/ 54-Fat/ 114.5-Carbs
Meal 4*- 8 oz hamburger with 3/4 cup rice
718-Calories/ 43-Protein/ 43-Fat/ 32-Carbs
Meal 5**- 3 eggs with 16 oz milk, 2 tbls chocolate syrup, two slices bread, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of jelly
1280-Calories/ 51-Protein/ 54-Fat/ 114.5 Carbs
Meal 6*- 8 oz hamburger with 3/4 cup rice
718-Calories/ 43-Protein/ 49-Fat/ 32-Carbs
Meal 7*- Bedtime shake, 8 oz milk, 1/2 cup of oats, 2 spoons of peanut butter, 1 cup yogurt, and 1 scoop Ultra Whey Pro, if it's in the budget.
866-Calories/ 49-Protein/ 34-Fat/ 90.5-Carbs
*I use the olive oil in just about everything, use it for cooking as well as putting it in my shakes. I don't put it in everything all the time, but as I feel I need a little more calories I start adding it as I see necessary.
**Meals 3 and 5 are also extremely fast to prepare and eat. I take the eggs crack them into a glass pour the milk and chocolate in and mix it up really good. The whole meal takes about four minutes to prepare and consume, so they are also great if you are on the run.
So for a typical day I would be getting approximately 6500 calories, 330 grams of protein, 320 grams of fat, and 540 grams of carbohydrates.
I try to do most of my shopping at Costco and buy their brand the majority of the time. So for a week's worth of eating like this I spend $12.00 on milk, $7.00 on eggs, $7.00 on Ultra Whey Pro, $5.00 on peanut butter, $ 4.00 on rice, $2.00 on bread, $17.50 on ground beef, $4.50 on oats and maybe another 10 bucks on other miscellaneous items for a total of about $70.00 . If you want to get into the numbers more it works out be a little more than a penny per calorie.
When it comes to drinks on a budget, I always cut everything else out except for milk and water. Again, people are always telling me they don’t have money for supplements or food, but they're always walking around with a Rockstar, Starbucks, or some other drink. If you really feel you need that caffeine boost go buy a big tub of coffee grounds and make it yourself. You might not like the taste of regular black coffee as much as one of your Starbucks drinks or Monster flavors, but when you're on a budget you shouldn't be as concerned with how it tastes, but more with the function of it.
Supplements in my opinion should be put on the back burner if you're really trying to watch your money. However, if you have that little extra cash and don't mind putting it into buying supplements this is what I would get. I always take my Animal Paks, it's just something that I think everyone should take all the time and its only $1.23 a serving. Animal Flex is another thing I always take regardless. I don't see much of a reason to eat and train big if your body is always hurting. It’s the best joint support I've taken and its only sixty cents a serving. Next, I always try to get a lot of amino acids in me every day, so I always go with Uni-Liver or 100% Beef Aminos, both of them are packed with a ridiculous amount of aminos and cost less than ten cents a serving, I think these are overlooked by far too many people. I guess they're just not flashy enough. Like I said earlier, I also believe in taking the Ultra Whey Pro. Its fast and efficient and about fifty cents a serving, packing 22 grams of protein. Lastly, I always try to have creatine handy and it is about fifteen cents a serving. Your pre, during, and post workout supplements are great to have, and I love my Torrent, but if you just don’t have the cash then skip 'em. You should be focusing more on getting as much solid food as you can.
So, to eat big you don't necessarily have to be breaking the bank. It's possible to get a lot of calories at a fairly low price. Some may disagree with my diet suggestions for a multitude of reasons, but it's what I've used and will probably continue to use in the future. The only thing that really sucks about eating like this is that it can get fairly repetitive, having the same things over and over can get very bland. My solution to this is getting a variety of different types of toppings. I always have barbecue sauce, sloppy joe seasoning, Johnny's seasoning salt and salsa to mix up with my ground beef, eggs, and rice. I try to rotate the flavors of protein powder and yogurts that I buy as well. Try it out and see what you like. You can get pretty creative with some of this stuff. So what are you waiting for? Go get your BIG on!!!