When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role. While premium protein sources can often come with a hefty price tag, there’s no need to break the bank to meet your protein needs. Check out these ideas for cheap protein to add to your diet.

cheap protein to add to your diet

In this guide, we will explore a variety of budget-friendly protein options that can be easily incorporated into your meals. Whether you’re a student on a tight budget or simply looking to cut down on grocery expenses since they are out of this world right now, these affordable protein sources will help you stay on track with your nutrition goals without compromising your wallet. Here are some ideas for Healthy Lunches with Protein.

Cheap proteins

Adding protein to your diet doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several affordable sources of protein that can be incorporated into your meals. Here are some budget-friendly options:

  • Eggs: Eggs are a low-cost protein source that can be prepared in numerous ways, including boiled, scrambled, fried, or poached. They are versatile and can be included in breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes.
  • Tofu: Tofu is an affordable plant-based protein option. It absorbs the flavors of the dishes it’s cooked in, making it suitable for a wide range of recipes, from stir-fries to sandwiches.
  • Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a relatively inexpensive source of protein and healthy fats. It can be spread on whole-grain bread, added to smoothies, or used as a dip for fruits and vegetables. Other nut butters can be a great source of protein as well (although most are higher priced than peanut butter)
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a dairy product that is higher in protein compared to regular yogurt. It can be eaten on its own, mixed with fruits and honey, or used as a creamy base for smoothies.
  • Oats: While not a high-protein food on their own, oats can be a base for high-protein meals. You can add nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, or nut butter to your oatmeal to increase its protein content.
  • Affordable Meats: Pork and certain cuts of beef, like chuck or round, can be more budget-friendly than premium cuts. Ground meat can also be a cost-effective choice for many recipes.
canned tuna fish in a bowl

Cheap protein food

  • Beans and Lentils: Beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas, as well as lentils, are excellent sources of protein. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used in a variety of dishes like soups, stews, salads, and veggie burgers. If you buy dried beans and cook them rather than using canned, they are even less expensive. It’s not that hard and you can make a big batch and freeze some for later. But canned are still a money saver over most protein sources. Here are some ideas for some meals made with beans:
  • Canned Fish: Canned fish like tuna and salmon are affordable sources of protein. They can be used in sandwiches, salads, or mixed with pasta. Check out these ideas for using canned tuna:
  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is another dairy product that’s relatively low in cost and high in protein. It can be enjoyed as a snack, in salads, or as a topping for baked potatoes.
  • Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks: Chicken thighs and drumsticks are often more affordable than chicken breasts and contain good amounts of protein. They can be roasted, grilled, or used in various recipes. Check out some great chicken thigh and drumstick recipes here:
ground beef

Remember that the cost of these protein sources can vary depending on your location and where you shop. Buying in bulk, looking for sales and discounts, and opting for store brands or generic products can help you save money while adding protein to your diet. Additionally, consider planning your meals and recipes in advance to make the most of your budget and reduce food waste. Once you get started, you’ll get even more inspiration to try new things and save more money while still getting good protein in your diet. I’m rooting for you!