Bulking up on a Budget in 2021 – Get Big Without Spending a Fortune

If you’re like me, you don’t have money lying around to buy steaks and lobster for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With that in mind, you’ll want to consider bulking up on a budget. Don’t worry; bulking up cheaply isn’t as hard as you might think.

You’re about to learn how to bulk on a budget from someone who has done this for almost a decade, here and there. I’d be happy to help you out, let’s get started.

Your new bulking shopping list

The first part of any bulking plan starts with what you’re eating. Hopefully, you’re working out if you want to truly bulk up (I’ve got some exercise for you to try below). Getting back on track, here’s a look at some important foods to get if you want to bulk up.

Main dishes

My best tip is to keep an eye on the circulars or digital ads for a few supermarkets in your area. If you’re going to bulk up, you’ll be cooking and eating more food than normal. Because of this, it’s a good idea to look for any special sales that might be happening. Chances are, you’ll find at least one place offering a sale on meat.

bowl of ground beef

If there are no sales or you don’t want to bother checking ads (which I totally get), then I would recommend either ground beef or chicken as your protein sources. As far as where I live, these are the cheapest kinds of meat. You can also bulk up cheap by finding and eating canned tuna.

Also, keep a close eye on weights and prices. In some cases, you’ll get a better deal if you buy larger quantities of meat. But that’s not always the case. Trust me, you’ll get good at adding up grocery prices quickly the more you continue bulking up.


Some of the best sides for bulking up are beans. If you want the most nutrition and fewer amounts of sodium, you’ll want to get the dry, hard beans and cook them at home. I understand that this isn’t always possible. If you’re pressed for time, just get the microwavable or canned beans.

Another popular bulking side is rice. If your budget has a little wiggle room, go ahead and buy the instant rice to save time. If not, you can get uncooked rice for an incredibly low cost. This food is actually one of the least expensive regarding cost vs nutritional value and calories.


If you’re clean bulking, indulge yourself with some honey and cottage cheese. It might sound gross, but if you’re clean bulking, you don’t have a lot of dessert options. Bananas and oats are other good additions for dessert time.

For dirty bulkers, the sky’s the limit. I’ve seen plenty of pictures of bodybuilding forms of people combining ice cream, cookies, cereal, and any other sweet snack food into a bowl. Oh yes, it can get filthy when we’re discussing dirty bulking desserts.

Bonus tips for bulking up cheaply

Along the way, I’ve gained some tips for bulking up on a budget that I wanted to share. Follow these tips to avoid going over budget while you’re buying food.

1. Buy the generic brand

supermarket shelf

If you’ve spent a lifetime buying name brands. Or eating the name brand foods that your parents bought, making the switch to generic or store brand foods might seem like uncharted territory. As someone who’s eaten plenty of generic food (i.e me) can tell you, it’s hard to tell the difference.

2. Clip coupons

While I can’t guarantee that you’ll find coupons for meat, it’s easy to find lots of coupons for bulking staple foods like rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Yes, companies still send coupons in the mail. However, many companies also have digital coupons for people to enjoy, which means no getting out the scissors and acting like your mom or dad. I use coupons all of the time, it’s easy.

3. Freeze what you can’t eat

Something you’ll run into as a new bulker is cooking way more food than you can eat. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what to do here besides throw their spoiled food in the trash after a few days. But you don’t have to do that. Instead, use this tip that I learned from my father-in-law a few years ago, which is to freeze the cooked food you’re not going to eat. It keeps longer and you’ll save even more money while bulking up.

There you have it, a few helpful tips and tricks for bulking up on a budget. I never knew that my many times trying to get as much food for as little money as possible would help anyone. But I’m super pumped if this helps you bulk up without spending a fortune.