The Top 23 Cheapest Six-Pack Foods

Getting a six-pack doesn’t have to empty your wallet. Here are the first five budget-friendly foods that’ll help you build muscle without packing on the pounds.

1. Eggs

Average Price: $1.50 per dozen
Eggs are the ultimate cheap muscle-building food. Packed with high-quality protein and essential amino acids, they support muscle repair and growth. Plus, they’re versatile enough to fit into any meal of the day.

2. Canned Tuna

Average Price: $0.80 per can
Canned tuna is a low-cost way to get your protein fix. It’s lean, meaning it’s all muscle-building goodness with very little fat. Just mix it with a bit of low-fat mayo or enjoy it straight out of the can for a quick protein snack.

3. Greek Yogurt

Average Price: $1.00 per serving
Greek yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. It’s a great source of calcium, protein, and probiotics. The high protein content helps in muscle synthesis, and the creaminess can make it feel like a treat.

4. Cottage Cheese

Average Price: $2.50 per pound
Cottage cheese is another muscle-building powerhouse thanks to its high protein content, particularly casein, a slow-digesting protein that’s perfect for nighttime muscle recovery. It’s also incredibly filling, which can help curb other calorie-heavy cravings.

5. Lentils

Average Price: $1.50 per pound
Lentils are not only cheap but also a fantastic plant-based protein source. They pack a punch with fiber, which helps you feel full and satisfied. They’re perfect for stews, salads, or as a beefy filler in meals.

6. Chicken Breast

Average Price: $3.00 per pound
Chicken breast is a staple in the fitness world for good reason. It’s lean, loaded with protein, and has minimal fat. Grill it, bake it, or stir-fry it—chicken is your go-to for a muscle-friendly meal.

7. Oats

Average Price: $0.70 per pound
Oats are a fantastic source of carbs that provide a sustained release of energy, which is vital for fueling long workouts. They’re also high in fiber, helping you stay full and focused on your fitness goals.

8. Quinoa

Average Price: $3.50 per pound
Quinoa might be a bit pricier on this list, but it’s worth it. It’s a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, and it’s gluten-free. Perfect for post-workout meals to help with muscle recovery.

9. Peanut Butter

Average Price: $2.50 per jar
Peanut butter is not only delicious but also a great source of protein and healthy fats. It’s perfect for a quick snack or a post-workout smoothie boost. Just stick to the natural varieties without added sugars.

10. Spinach

Average Price: $2.00 per bunch
Spinach is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a nutrient-dense food that supports muscle recovery and overall health. Toss it in salads, smoothies, or sauté it for a quick side.

11. Sweet Potatoes

Average Price: $0.80 per pound
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, which provide long-lasting energy and help maintain muscle mass. They’re also packed with vitamins A and C for overall health.

12. Black Beans

Average Price: $1.00 per pound
Black beans are not only cheap but also packed with protein and fiber. They help you feel full longer and provide essential nutrients to support muscle growth and recovery. Perfect for salads, soups, or as a side.

13. Brown Rice

Average Price: $1.50 per pound
Brown rice offers a muscle-friendly mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, with a bit of fiber thrown in. It’s the perfect base for a post-workout meal to help replenish muscle glycogen and promote recovery.

14. Almonds

Average Price: $5.00 per pound
Almonds are a bit pricier but are a high-quality source of protein and healthy fats, crucial for muscle repair and growth. They’re also portable, making them an excellent snack for on-the-go protein.

15. Ground Turkey

Average Price: $3.50 per pound
Ground turkey is a lean source of protein that’s lower in fat than most red meats, making it great for muscle maintenance without the extra calories. Use it in chili, burgers, or tacos for a protein-rich meal.

16. Frozen Mixed Berries

Average Price: $3.00 per pound
Frozen berries offer a sweet burst of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. They’re perfect for smoothies or as a natural dessert option. Plus, buying them frozen often saves money compared to their fresh counterparts.

17. Canned Chickpeas

Average Price: $1.00 per can
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making them great for muscle maintenance and digestive health. Use them in salads, homemade hummus, or roasted as a crunchy snack.

18. Skim Milk

Average Price: $0.90 per liter
Skim milk is low in fat but high in protein and calcium, essential for muscle growth and bone health. It’s a great post-workout drink to help repair muscles and replenish nutrients.

19. Whey Protein

Average Price: $0.75 per serving (based on a bulk purchase)
Whey protein is a supplement staple for muscle building. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get high-quality protein with very little fat or carbs. Mix it into shakes or even your morning oatmeal.

20. Tofu

Average Price: $2.00 per pound
Tofu is a plant-based protein powerhouse that’s also low in fat. It’s incredibly versatile, making it easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes from stir-fries to smoothies.

21. Flaxseeds

Average Price: $1.50 per pound
Flaxseeds are tiny but mighty when it comes to nutritional value. They are a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a nutrient boost that supports muscle growth and fat loss.

22. Canned Salmon

Average Price: $2.50 per can
Canned salmon is an affordable and convenient source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for muscle recovery and overall health. It’s great in salads, sandwiches, or even on its own for a quick protein fix.

23. Broccoli

Average Price: $1.50 per pound
Broccoli is not only affordable but also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s a cruciferous vegetable that supports muscle recovery and reduces inflammation. Steam it, stir-fry it, or eat it raw in salads.

And there you have it—the top 23 cheapest foods that are perfect for building muscle without adding unwanted fat. Happy eating and training!