How to Supplement Effectively on a Budget

How to Supplement Effectively on a Budget!
Supplementing on a Budget

Working at Protein King, I can tell you first-hand about how expensive it can be to try and add every attractive supplement to my cabinet – even at staff prices. While a $20 creatine and a $40 pre-workout don’t seem like a huge amount of money, when you add a protein powder, carb powder, BCAA, night-time protein and a multi-vitamin to the mix – you’re running up a big tab. So, we thought it might be a good idea to write this article for students, or others on tight budget, who still want to supplement for optimal results.

Creatine – Friend to Your Muscles and Your Wallet

One of those most well-researched and most-effective supplements on the market also happens to be the cheapest – creatine. Now there are several forms of creatine, such as monohydrate, HCl, kre-alkalyn, magnesium creatine chelate etc – but most people don’t need anything aside from regular monohydrate for great results.

Creatine, of course, has been shown in research to be a strength enhancer, muscle builder, power booster and endurance magnifier – all great for those looking for gains.

Best of all (at today’s prices), creatine will set you back only 18 cents per 5 gram serve! It’s well worth the investment.

Buy in Bulk to Save Big

The initial spend on a bulk purchase can be a little daunting - $200 for a bag of protein seems like a big outlay – and it is. But when you do the maths, you’ll see you’re far better off in the long run. Many 900g protein powder tubs are in the $50+ range, which blows out to over $250 when you reach 4.5kg worth – usually the largest purchase size. At one serve per day, you’ll save roughly $16 a month by purchasing a 4.5kg bag straight up at around the $170 mark (Optimum Gold Standard Whey for instance). Also, the environment will love you a little more for saving those five plastic bottles.

This rule applies to almost every supplement category – buy in bulk and save over the longer term.

Consider an ‘All-in-One’ Pre-Workout

To save time and money, it might be worthwhile to consider getting the bulk of your supplements in one ready-to-consume pre-workout powder, such as JYM Pre Jym or Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged. These contain full doses of several supplements, including BCAA’s, creatine and beta-alanine – reducing your need to purchase those items separately. While they may be costlier than other pre-workouts on the market, by fully-dosing each serve, they work out to be well worth the extra spend.

Take Advantage of Sales, Discontinued and Short-Dated Products

Protein King, having a huge stock range, often discounts products to cost (or below!) if they are discontinued, approaching their expiry dates, or for general sales and overstocks. Check out these links below:

Specials – These are the sales currently running, and many of them include some popular and effective products from top brands.

Short Dated/Clearance – With the products on this page expiring soon, you can get absolute bargains! As a side note – any products that show ‘Exp’ or ‘Best Before’ can be safely sold and consumed after the date – and we use many of these products ourselves with no issue. Products displaying ‘Use By’ cannot be sold and should not be used after the date.

Putting These Tips Together to Save

All the theory is good, but how about applying these tips in practice? Well, here are a few examples of how you can save big on a supplement stack, at today’s prices. Please note these prices don’t include shipping – so you’ll need to factor that in!

Stack One – Extreme Budget

This stack is a simple one – a protein powder and a creatine supplement. It’s effective and cheap, and will last you a full month.

Protein – Musashi 100% Whey 1kg $34.95 (33 serves)
Creatine – Gen-Tec Creatine 200g $17.95 (40 serves)

Total cost = $52.90
Cost per day (33 days) = $1.60
Leftover: 7 serves of creatine

Stack Two – Bulk Buy Savings

Let’s look at a bulk stack that includes a protein powder, creatine, pre-workout, multi-vitamin and BCAA. Obviously with the extra items, it works out more expensive than the previous stack – but it’s also more comprehensive!

Protein – Dymatize Elite Whey 4.5kg $159.95 (140 serves)
Creatine – Musashi Creatine Monohydrate 1kg $34.95 (200 serves)
Pre-Workout – Optimum Gold Standard Pre-Workout 600g x 2 tubs $109.90 (120 serves)
Multi-Vitamin – Body Science Multi-Vitamin 30 tabs x 4 bottles $47.80 (120 serves)
BCAA’s – Dymatize BCAA Complex 5050 x 2 tubs $77.90 (116 serves)

Total cost = $430.50
Cost per day (116 days) = $3.71
Leftover: 24 serves of protein, 84 serves of creatine, 4 serves each of pre-workout and multi-vitamin

Stack Three – All-In-One’s

Finally, let’s look at what we can do when we incorporate some ‘all-in-one’ supplements into the mix. The stack below includes protein, BCAA’s, pre-workout, post-workout, glutamine, electrolytes and antoxidants!

Protein – Optimum Gold Standard Whey 2.3kg $79.95 (70 serves)
Pre-Workout/BCAA/Creatine/Electrolytes – GAT Jetfuse $77.95 (52 serves)
Post-Workout/BCAA/Creatine/Electrolytes/Glutamine/Antioxidants – GAT Jetmass $77.95 (40 serves)

Total cost = $235.85
Cost per day (40 days) = $5.90
Leftover: 30 serves of protein, 12 serves of Jetfuse

So, there you have a few examples of how you can supplement effectively on a budget. From the examples above, you can build an elite athlete’s supplement stack for under $6 per day – which is what many of us spend on take-away coffees! Don’t forget – you can do even better by shopping Specials and Short Dated/Clearance items. The take-away point here is that no matter your budget, if you’re serious about getting the most from your training, there’s something out there for you!

Happy training.