breakfast food

Budget-Friendly Meal Ideas to Gain Muscles

If you already have experience with muscle gain and have been trying to build muscle for a long time now, you probably already know that there is so much more you need to gain muscle apart from weightlifting. To gain a good amount of muscle, you must consume higher calories than you burn each day. And a good amount of it should come from protein.

This huge requirement of calories from food can greatly affect your budget, especially if you are paying for a monthly membership fee in the gym. That is why this list of budget-friendly foods that you should add to your diet should help you gain a good amount of calories and protein.


Eggs contain five to six grams of fat and protein. A dozen eggs do not cost that much in some grocery stores. This is one of the best foods that help build muscle, and currently, there are no replacements for eggs.

If you want to gain serious amounts of calories to grow, you’ll need to force yourself to eat whole eggs. The egg yolk has healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. It has half the whole egg’s protein and contains vitamins and certain amino acids you won’t find in the white part.

Whole Milk

Most of the time, dairy products get a bad representation in muscle-building forums or discussions. But the truth is that whole milk is good weight-gaining food for those who want to grow muscles.

Whole milk contains 8–9 grams of protein and the same amount of fat per cup. And the price of it is commonly around 3 dollars per 16 cups or gallon. This is one of the best go-to food and recipe for skinny men who are facing trouble in bulking.

Peanut butter

Two tablespoon servings of peanut butter contain 16 grams of monounsaturated fats and 6 grams of protein. That is why peanut butter is one of the best, tastiest, easiest, and cheapest ways to hit your caloric surplus.

You can eat peanut butter by itself or add it to a protein shake, or you can put it into your oatmeal.

Granola bar with chocolate chips


If you want to build a good amount of muscle, but you don’t have that much budget, then you won’t want a low-carb diet. Instead, you’ll want to get a good amount of carbs for breakfast or around the time of your training.

One of the cheapest and best foods for this one is potatoes. A medium-sized red potato contains 25–30 grams of carbohydrates.


Another good source of high-quality carbohydrates is oats. One cup of oats contains 50 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber. Oats do not cost that much, and they are convenient and highly versatile.

You can easily take ready-to-eat oats with you anywhere you go, unlike rice, potatoes, and other good sources of muscle-building carbs. Moreover, people who are aiming to lose weight should also consider oats along with regular exercise and structured weight loss programs.

Whey Protein

Yes, many people are saying that you should not rely on supplements and focus your budget on them. But the truth is that whey protein is one the best spend that you can do for your body. Many whey protein powders contain nearly 25 grams of protein each serving. And there are whey protein brands that can range from 5 dollars per pound and commonly for 15 servings.

They are the most convenient source of protein. You can take one scoop and your shaker with you. Just add water, and you can have a good amount of protein anywhere and anytime.


You can get enough amount of carbohydrates from oats and potatoes, but banana is a good replacement and is much cheaper and tastier. One banana contains nearly 30 grams of carbohydrates. And they are very much budget-friendly.

They mostly don’t reach a dollar per pound. And if you live in rural areas and have a farm, it is more likely that there are plantations of bananas around. Or you can plant your own and enjoy a bunch of bananas for free. You can also add bananas to your protein shake after your workout if you want a fast-digesting blend of protein and carbs.


Last but not least, for budget-friendly foods to gain muscle is canned tuna. A can of tuna contains nearly 25 grams of lean protein and is mostly priced under a dollar. There are also tuna that contains oil. Meaning you can get twice as many calories from a single can of tuna.

One great tip, instead of investing for a mass gainer, you can create your own mass gainer combining the mentioned foods above. This will give you a cheaper and healthier source of high calories and protein.


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