Frugal Foodie: Bulk up, save up money

For those of us who are interested in gaining both strength and weight during the school year, bulking up with a high calorie, high protein diet might prove to be as taxing on the wallet as it is on the appetite. Here’s what an average day of bulking might look like on a tight budget:

Breakfast (600-700 calories):


One cup oats

Two eggs (beaten)


One banana


In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add a pinch of salt if desired. Add oats and cinnamon. In a frying pan or skillet, heat the butter or cooking oil and then scramble the eggs as desired. Eat the banana as a side to the eggs.

Lunch (650 calories):

Protein and Rice:

One cup (about 150 grams) chicken breast, chopped

Two eggs

One cup brown rice

2 ½ cups water

One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

1 ½ tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce

½ cup spinach

½ cup onions, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Boil water—1 ½ cups per one cup of rice—with a few pinches of added salt. Add the salt after water begins to boil and occasionally stir for 12 minutes.

Cut desired amount of raw chicken into small cubes and spread a pinch of salt over each piece. Put olive oil in a large pan or skillet and place it on the stove at medium heat. Using tongs, add chicken to the pan or skillet and wait until each individual piece of chicken is cooked halfway through. Then, flip each piece over onto the pan or skillet and add more salt.

Add the cooked rice, teriyaki sauce, sriracha sauce, spinach and onions to the pan or skillet. Heat the ingredients together until all of the food is evenly cooked.

Dinner (400 calories):

Protein Salad:

One pound chicken breast, chopped or one can of tuna

One bowl romaine lettuce

Cucumber, chopped

Green or red peppers

½ cup cottage cheese

1/3 avocado

A handful almonds

Two tablespoons ranch dressing


Place pre-cooked chicken breast into a large bowl with chopped romaine lettuce, a handful of almonds and your desired amount of cottage cheese. Chop cucumber, red/green peppers and avocado and add them into the mix. After adding your choice of dressing, toss the ingredients thoroughly with a pair of tongs until the salad is mixed. Cook a second dinner with different proteins and different spices.

Final Meal (450 calories):


16 ounces of milk

3 eggs

1 ½ tablespoons of salsa


Mozzarella cheese



Scramble three eggs in a pan coated with olive oil. Once the eggs are scrambled, add 1 ½ tablespoons of salsa, a handful of broccoli, some mozzarella cheese and spinach into the pan and wait until all the food is cooked evenly.

Estimated daily cost: Less than $15