I would like to see a catagory here called "BODYBUILDING ON A BUDGET." Please reply if you would, too.
Granted, this site is a "for-profit" endeavor. And, I am okay with that ... nothing wrong with making a little money.
So, I hope to not step on the Moderators' toes here. I'm sure those toes are big and muscular, too! (I was gonna say, "big and hairy," but they're no doubt clean-shaven! LOL!)
But, this is an expensive sport. Personally, I spend as much money as I can on it ... whether its food, supps, gym equip/memberships, whatever.
And, as a regular Joe, I have to be thrifty to get by. I want the most bang for my buck, so I seek-out and utilize what is cheap and effective.
I don't pay membership fees cuz I train at home. I don't run-out and buy the latest miracle pill or powder cuz I just can't afford it (and I'm usually skeptical anyway).
Some things I've learned out of necessity ...
Protein powders are good, I use 'em myself. But, no "man-made," processed food can compare to Mother Nature. Mom doesn't charge as much either.
Some cheap protein sources: Chicken/Beef Liver, Chicken Gizzards, Eggs, Gelatine, Brewar's Yeast. (Please input any other cheap sources you've found).
One of my cheapest finds is plain old GELATINE (grocery store baking isle). One tablespoon is 6 gms of protein at only 25 calaries. I haven't heard any talk about gelatine as a supplement. Maybe, its not "the best" form of protein, but it IS protein, none the less.
Jello is my guilt-free, anytime dessert.
BREWAR'S YEAST: One tablespoon = 8 gms protein, 35 calaries. I've heard about it for years, but just recently started buying it. Good nutrition, too.
MY DIRT-CHEAP PROTEIN SHAKE: gelatine + B'sYeast + 1 egg, comes to 20 grams protein, 130 calaries. I'll add a little honey, cinnamon or nutrasweet. Sometimes nuts, raisins. Add one scoop protein powder for 30 gms protein total.
If you disolve the gelatine in hot water first, it really thickens up the shake. I disolve it in a small glass, while the other ingredients are in the mixer. While the mixer is running, I pour-in the gelatin.
Then, I add a handful of ice-cubes. The cooling activates the hardening of the gelatine. And Presto! Thick, rich and creamy.
When I use TWO tablespoons instead of one, it turns into a thick mousse-like pudding, you need to eat with a spoon. It's much more filling this way, almost makes the shake too much too eat (it hurts so good!)
CHICKEN/BEEF LIVER - protein dense and packed with other muscle-building nutrients, second to none. Its dirt cheap, several servings for under a buck.
I've grown to love the taste, too ... especially when I fry it up right, with good oils and spices.
One could argue that the cholesterol levels might not make it a viable option. But, I eat a lot of fish, olive oil and supplement EFA's. I believe in ratios, good to bad fats.
CHICKEN GIZZARDS - Also dirt cheap (cuz hardly anybody buys 'em). Cook'em like regular meat, and you get chewy chunk of rubber (good for doggy treats!). Alas, I found a remedy ...
Got some good recipes online. Essentially, I just boil the crap out of 'em, for like an hour, then put 'em in a crockpot and let 'em stew with spices, onion ... my favorite is BBQ sauce.
They come out tender and tasty; lean, low-fat & high protein.
(I'm starting to sound like a friggin commercial here!)
EGGS - Not a new concept, I know. I used to buy regular eggs and throw-out the yolks. Now, I eat the whole thing, but I pay a little extra for "Christopher Eggs" ... from veggie-fed chickens.
Some "organic" eggs boast 100 gms of Omega-3. Chris-Eggs have 600 per egg! For the money, that blows away any EFA supplement/pill/oil. So, now I enjoy the whole egg, feel good about the fat quality, and save on EFA pills.
[Actually, I drink 'em raw, but that's another subject for another post].
I keep Gelatine, B's Yeast, Liver Tablets and Protein Powder in my car. Whenever, I can't get a meal in, I just take a few spoonfuls and chase it with water. Keeps metabolism up and catabolism down.
ANY OTHER FRUGAL LIFTERS OUT THERE? I'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR 2-CENTS WORTH ...