Bodybuilding can get pricey when it comes to food. Bulking season? Gotta eat enough calories to grow, and buying that food can leave a hole in your wallet. Cutting? Gotta stock up on lots of vegetables to stay full. Either way, food can get pricey, and I don’t know about you but I don’t like to eat my money. Healthy options can get pricey as well, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health and satiation by fitting pop tarts into your diet. Here are some healthy options for five dollars or less – eating both in and out.
A perk of getting into fitness is learning how to cook healthy meals that taste d*mn good. Here are some of my favorite dinners that won’t blow out your paycheck and taste fantastic as well.
Meal #1 – 5 Ingredient Turkey Chilli
1 pound of lean ground turkey (93/7)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
1 small/medium onion (diced up)
3 cans of diced tomatoes
Optional: 2 tablespoons chilli powder
With most chilli recipes you have to prep it and let it sit for a few hours, but with this one, all you have to do is cook the meat, drain the grease, and then stir in all the other ingredients. Within 15 to 20 minutes you’ll have a high-protein healthy dinner. Most canned goods are relatively cheap, but the price will vary on your local grocery store prices. However, a general calculation is well under 5 dollars per serving.
Meal #2 – Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes
Between 250 and 350 grams raw sweet potato
Half cup of old fashioned oatmeal
1 egg and 4 egg whites
Dash of cinnamon (to preference)
Splash of vanilla extract
¼ cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Cook the sweet potato as you normally would, either by baking or in the microwave, and then peel it. Blend the oatmeal into a “flour” and then place in a bowl. Blend the sweet potato until it’s pureed and smooth. Combine oat flour and sweet potato puree. Stir in the rest of the ingredients until batter forms and then cook as pancakes as you normally would, either with butter or pam, flipping when golden brown. After cooking, enjoy! All ingredients you can buy for crazy cheap.
Meal #3 – “Mac”ro friendly Mac ‘N Cheese for one
⅓ cup whole wheat macaroni (or just regular macaroni)
⅓ cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
2 tsp of milk of choice (almond milk, 1 percent, 2 percent, etc)
Cook the pasta for about 5 to 6 minutes. Once tender, stir in the cheese and microwave to melt it. Add the milk, stir, and then enjoy. This one’s probably the cheapest and easiest to make, I’m sure the good old mac and cheese will bring back some childhood memories for you 🙂
Let’s Talk Eating Out
Eating out is where this whole “5 dollar” thing get’s tricky. If you’re eating at any decent restaurant, it’s gonna cost you well over five dollars, especially for any “healthy” meal. However, here are some options I came up with for the perfect healthy meal for five bucks or less at fast food restaurants.
Best options at McDonald’s:
- Egg White Delight McMuffin
- Artisan Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Best Options at Wendy’s:
- Ultimate Chicken Grill
- Asian Cashew Chicken Salad
- Baked Potato and Chilli
Best Options at Burger King:
- Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich
- BK Veggie Burger (no Mayo)
- Garden Grilled Chicken Salad (Hold the dressing)
Take Home Message
Bodybuilding nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive. Try out some of these macro-friendly meals for less than 5 bucks, and you’ll be making gains while also making wallet gains. Myprotein also has plenty of healthy snacks and shakes to consume in between meals that are fairly priced as well, and I would recommend trying them out to fuel your gains all day along. As always, stay strong.