11 Frugal Tips From Weightlifters and Athletes

Ever wondered what kind of food weightlifters eat? While it is true they may consume more than the average man, it does not necessarily mean they have to spend more.

As food prices rise, you may be wondering how to save money on food. Who better to ask than the people who eat more than the average and still need to get their protein in?

Frugal Foods to Maintain Muscle

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One Reddit user posted this question on Reddit and offered his own tips on frugal foods people can eat to maintain their huge muscles;

  • Rice and beans 
  • Tons of boiled eggs
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Long shelf-life skim milk 
  • Meat

He turned the question over to other members of the Reddit community, specifically weightlifters and athletes, to offer their insights on more frugal foods people can eat to maintain their huge physiques. Here are some of the best responses;

“Online protein powder in bulk, recently got 12kg for 300 CAD.”

Get deals on protein powder in January, “Stock up on protein powder in January when much of it is half off.”

“Sweet potatoes and brown rice”

Squats and Oats

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One user explains how to prepare this, “Soak a big jar of oats once a week. Add frozen blueberries, cherries, Cinnamon, walnuts, sunflower & chia seeds all from costco. A few drops of alcohol-free monkfruit sweetener. Wash it down with a protein shake (or just add the whey directly to the oats, but I prefer separate). Less than a buck a meal.”

Sardines and Sunflowers

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“Well, canned sardines and sunflower seeds are cheap – most people are not into sardines. Beef shank, cooked with a slow cooker, is as cheap as beef gets. Yams are similar to sweet potatoes in nutrition.”


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Easy to cook and nutritious, “LENTILS. Every tablespoon has over a gram of protein. They’re cheap, easy to cook, and absorb flavor well. You can also throw in any meat or veggies that are on sale.”

“Costco for tofu, soy milk, protein bars, and protein powder. Make seitan from scratch. Only buy mock meats on sale. Marry a non-athlete, so only have one massive appetite in the family.”

Greek Yogurt and Chicken Breast

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“My top picks (aside from what you have on the list) would be Greek yogurt and chicken breast. Yes, chicken is much more expensive. But it’s still quite cheap, and in addition, makes balancing your macros a breeze since it’s so protein dense,” added another.

Raid Restaurant Supply Stores

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“See if there are restaurant supply stores near you that are open to the public. We have a US Chef Foods store in our city. They often carry bulk items (much like Costco without the membership) for meat, eggs, cheese, tortillas, lentils and beans, peanut butter, milk, and all the things,” advised one user

Peanut Butter

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This is a great snack for weightlifters, “Peanut Butter! For snacks, frozen soybeans are easy to heat up & enjoy. From vegetarian guides: tempeh & TVP (textured vegetation protein: cheaper, but just like hamburger meat in chili’s & lasagnas).”


Raw Tofu in Dices.
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“My go-to lazy method – rip the tofu into small pieces and air fry or convection bake at 400 for 15-20 mins for nice crispy nuggets. Dip into whatever sauce,” added another user.

A Slight Calorie Surplus Is Okay

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One user has definite advice for people seeking frugal tips to gain muscles, “You don’t need to be on a huge daily caloric surplus to gain/maintain muscle unless you’re a pro/competing at elite levels. A slight caloric surplus is fine for the average lifter/athlete and can save a ton of money in the long run if each day’s food cost is cut by ~25%.”


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An instant pot could be a great investment, as this user points out, “If you’re truly trying to be frugal, the first thing on your list is actually pretty important … getting an Instant Pot on sale and buying dry beans in bulk is SOOOO much cheaper. And they’re soooo easy to cook in that style of pot.
Separate into serving sizes after cooking and freeze if you need to.”

Do Not Buy Supplements

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“Don’t waste your money on supplements. Use the money you save by not buying supplements on buying higher quality, healthy whole foods (the type of food, not the specific store chain),” adds another

Cook Your Own Meals

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“Meal prepping is a crucial component of this strategy. Designate a day of the week (usually Sunday) to prepare your meals. This helps you to control portion sizes and the ingredients you’re consuming. Use the bulk ingredients you purchased, like brown rice, oats, and canned beans, to create various meals,” advised another user

Get Reward Cards

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Buy from stores that offer rewards, “Find a grocery store that you like, get a rewards card, then use that in conjunction with Rakuten and buy what’s on sale and usually you can have a steady supply of protein.”

Weigh Your Scoops

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When using protein powder, “If you’re going to use any kind of powdered protein, make sure you weigh your scoops. A lot of scoopers give more than one serving of powder per level scoop.”

12 Frugal Hacks That Make All The Difference

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A Reddit user who started the frugal journey with his wife a couple of years ago wanted to know the frugal hacks people had that made all the difference.

According to the OP, shopping grocery sales every week and planning their meals helped cut their bill from $250 to $100 per week. Other users shared their stories about frugal hacks they had that made some difference in their lives. Here are some of the best ones.

12 Frugal Hacks That Make All The Difference 

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List

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Frugal people are known to spend their money wisely. They live within their means and don’t spend a lot of money. According to a thread on Quora, here are some common things frugal people never buy.

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude from Their Shopping List

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

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Have you ever wanted to make a lot of money from a side hustle and quit your 9 to 5? You may know about the typical side hustles, but I bet you never even heard of these lucrative side hustles!

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

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Not everything is frugal! I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For

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It seems like every day there is a new scam popping up, promising to make you rich or solve all of your problems. Yet, despite the prevalence of scams and the numerous warnings about them, people still fall for them.

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.