How To Build Muscle For $8/Day (HEALTHY MEAL PREP ON A BUDGET)

There’s a common misconception out there that eating healthy (and tasty) on a budget is impossible. But that’s not true. You can, in fact, meal prep on a budget. I’m going to show you exactly how you can build an effective and healthy budget-friendly meal prep plan for just over $8.00/day ($8.39)–complete with budget meals recipes. So, the first thing we need to do to make our meal prep budget friendly is choose the right food sources. I've listed out what the most friendly protein, fats, and carbs options are in the video and you want to use those sources to design your meal prep on a budget.

So, knowing that, let’s put this into practice and dive into our budget meals recipes. The meal plan will consist of 4 main meals with at least 20g of protein within each meal in order to keep our muscle protein synthesis levels elevated throughout the day. The total equates to 2,700 calories and roughly 160g of protein.

Meal #1: Breakfast Smoothie ($1.70)

2 tbsp (30g) Peanut Butter: $0.16
2 cups (500mL) 2% Milk: $0.30
1 banana: $0.16
1/3 cup (30g) Oats: $0.08
1 scoop (35g) Whey Protein: $1.00

766 calories, 55g protein, 78g carbs, 29g fat

Meal #2: Egg Stir Fry ($1.51)

3 whole eggs: $0.42
½ cup (~100g) uncooked brown rice: $0.45
1 chicken stock cube: $0.06
½ (~45g) cup carrots: $0.12
½ (~45g) cup celery: $0.20
½ (~45g) cup cabbage: $0.14
3-4 tbsp soy sauce: $0.08
2 tsp garlic powder: $0.04

602 calories, 27g protein, 81g carbs, 18g fat

Meal #3 Fajita Bowl ($2.84)

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½ cup (~100g) uncooked brown rice: $0.45
1 chicken stock cube: $0.06
4oz (~110g) raw diced chicken breast: $1.10
1 green pepper: $0.48
1 diced sweet onion: $0.28
1 cup (~230g) canned pinto beans: $0.30
¼ cup (~100g) salsa: $0.11
Seasoning: $0.06

782 calories, 48g protein, 130g carbs, 8g fat

Meal #4 Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Dish ($2.34)

4.5 ounces (~125g) raw ground turkey (93/7): $0.76
10oz (280g) raw diced sweet potato: $0.73
1 cup (~150g) fresh green beans: $0.69
1 tbsp (15mL) olive oil: $0.06
Seasoning: $0.10

560 calories, 30g protein, 58g carbs, 24g fat

So now that we’ve gone through the budget-friendly meal prep plan, let’s go over some important information as to how to actually implement it. What I’d recommend is meal prepping the 3 meals but not the smoothie and instead just making that fresh as it takes just 5 minutes to do and will taste a lot better. I’d also recommend prepping these meals to be good for 3 days.

Next, let’s cover how to add some variety to it. Doing this is actually quite simple and can be done by just swapping out some of your protein, carb, or fat sources in your meal for an equivalent amount of another budget friendly food source instead (I have a chart of them in the video). In addition to this, experiment with different seasonings, sauces, and veggies for each dish as well.

Lastly, let’s cover how to tweak the calories and macros of this meal prep plan to better suit you while still being budget friendly. Basically, you want to prioritize aiming for around 1g of protein per lb of your bodyweight and a calorie intake of your bodyweight in lbs multiplied by around 15-17. Once you have these two targets set, you can simply increase or decrease the portions of the meals in this plan as needed.

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Hopefully, you were able to see that eating healthy while at the same time keeping it tasty can indeed be done on a budget. And for a step-by-step program that puts this all together for you by showing you not only how to train to build muscle, but also shows you exactly what to eat, how much to eat, and then how to adjust this overtime so that you can build muscle as efficiently as possible just like several of our members have done with their Built With Science programs, then simply take the analysis quiz to discover which science-based program would be best for you and where your body is currently at below:

BWS Free Fitness Quiz


BWS Budget Muscle Building Meal Plan Free Download

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Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo



0:00 – Budget friendly food sources
2:00 – Budget friendly grocery stores
2:40 – Overview of meal plan
3:00 – Meal #1
3:33 – Meal #2
4:35 – Meal #3
5:33 – Meal #4
6:30 – How to meal prep
7:58 – Food swaps
8:42 – Customizing macros
9:50 – Download meal plan
10:10 – Watch me!

49 thoughts on “How To Build Muscle For $8/Day (HEALTHY MEAL PREP ON A BUDGET)

  1. Jeremy Ethier says:

    Hope you guys enjoyed this one! As mentioned in the vid, here’s a link to the PDF of the meal plan: . ***Note: In the video, the macros for the egg stir fry were accidentally duplicated from the smoothie macros. The correct macros for the egg stir fry are in the PDF and in the description box, which should be: 602 calories, 27g protein, 81g carbs, 18g fat

    • D Pilon says:

      I’m disappointed not to see more plant proteins here. I get about 30 to 35 grams of proteins per dollar with tofu. With dry lentils, I pay about 1$ for 125 grams of proteins.

    • Arall Skiant says:

      @D Pilon he also call animal products “proteins”… Not the first time he spill his non-sens in nutrition. So much things at stakes in this world yet so much ignorance of what happen outside his biceps…
      Quite insulting/disrespectul to watch…

    • D Pilon says:

      @Arall Skiant Well, that’s a bit rude. I wasn’t trying to insult the man. I think he does a great job at a lot of thing.

      I would have liked a more complete representation of protein sources too, but maybe this is one of those situations where the carrot is more powerful than the stick.

      Thank you for the reply though! I hope you have a lovely day.

    • Arall Skiant says:

      @D Pilon I know you were having a soft approach and that’s ok. Ok but less truthful and truth can be rude yes. As his indifference is rude/disrespectful I was fair on the contrary I believe, I did not insult(I state my belief on his state of knowledge etc not told him to go **** himself etc). It is 2020 how long are we still gonna see these kind of carelessness despite forest burning, zoonose(like covid19), heart disease, billions of sentients suffering just for “proteins” etc.
      You did the carrot I did the stick.
      Also by giving stick I did not assume he lack critical thinking and emphasise the depth of the stake he consistently miss (like many other coach, yet they are supposed to shows the example for other to follow).

      People can sometimes take carrots without even seeing that their ideas are being challenged.

  2. Fulfilledpotential says:

    I’ll always remember what Jeff Cavalier from AthleanX said:
    You can only have 2 out of 3 things when it comes to meal planning: time, money and quality.
    You can buy cheap and make it great quality, but it takes time. You can save time and buy quality food somewhere, but it’s not cheap. You can save time and money by eating fast foods, but it’s low quality.

    • Nikas Belekas says:

      Hey guys, I’m a begginer and I’d like to know what you think about my workout plan at home to get stronger and bigger. I used Jeff’s last video (Mike Tyson’s routine) as a foundation to this routine:
      Workout A:
      Bench dips:10
      Inverted rows: 10
      Shrugs (5kg each hand): 10
      Situps: 20
      Squats: 20
      (10 times a day)

      Workout B:
      Pushups: 10
      Scapular pullups: 10
      Assisted chinups (feet on chair): 10
      Planks: 30s
      Lunges: 20
      (10 times a day)
      I would do this workout 4 days a week (A, B, rest, A, B, rest, rest. Repeat)
      There is so much pulling in this routine basically because I’m trying to work on achieving my first pullup. For nutrition, I have a structured meal plan of clean bulk, but I made it like so I would like the foods I’m eating. Would a routine like that help me to get stronger? Thank you!

  3. Carlos Aquino says:

    Dude, before stumbling into this channel, I had been trying to put up weight and muscle for around 2 years with some results. After following your guides for just six months, I’ve increased my gains by almost 40%. Keep up the good work, dude.

  4. Hewlett Pham says:

    At 4:33 it shows the Breakfast Smoothie macros for the Egg Stir Fry. It should be 602 calories, 27g protein, 81g carbs, 18g fat
    instead according to what Jeremy wrote in the description box.

  5. mugflub says:

    Nice. No need to cook the eggs separately for the stir fry though. Just throw them in at the end and they’ll cook up super quickly. Also will have more flavor and won’t be as overcooked as the ones here.

  6. JRusso says:

    Very cool! Although as a student I was able to spend 3$/day with 160g of protein, 8$ is a lot. I had milk, eggs, cheese, whole bread, oatmeal, pork or fish, olive oil, whey and fruits and vegetables (bananas, kiwis, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, broccoli and spinach). If I needed more calories I just changed the type of milk. It has all the micro and macronutrients needed by a very big margin.

    • JRusso says:

      @Jefferson AP Yeah, sometimes for variety on weekends I cooked rice or pasta, which are very very cheap too. I usually made different combinations, for example bread, meat and cheese with vegetables was a hamburger. I could make fish with vegetables, cheese and eggs, eggs and meat with rice, egg in a hole, toasted sandwiches with vegetables and so on.

    • Destroyer of Corneas says:

      I would add potatoes, chia/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, few spices here and there, and as you said you usually get more than 100% RDA for most if not all micronutrients as you can see on the android app called ”Eaterpad”. And cooking sardines and potatoes in a microwave with only salt and pepper is awesome

    • JRusso says:

      @Destroyer of Corneas yeah!! I had sesame and chia seeds. Potatoes are super cheap, I just didn’t like to cook them. Didn’t know the app, I’m going to check it, I used

    • JRusso says:

      @Ravenna Ramos it was 300g of mackarel or herring per week, 100g per day, the other days I had lean pork, not in the US but I’m sure there may be an affordable non canned option. It actually was the most expensive thing of the diet, but I wanted to avoid omega3 supplementation.

    • David Stryhanyn says:

      Take what he said to us and cut it either a quarter or half, experiment with portion cuz too little isnt healthy as well , you could also just cut the carbs and fats in hal. From what he said and just eat more veggies , our brains are amazing come up with ideas, your body tells you things every time somethings being pushed through your body

  7. Kareem Nour says:

    can we have a moment to thank this dude for all his effort in every aspect of bodybuilding such as working out and nutrition’s intake and every thing else, i really admire his work and i hope he stays well and keep teaching us from his knowledge; keep up the good work my man and thank you from all my heart.

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