A challenge for many people new to a healthy diet is the need to consume what they consider to be a lot of protein.Â You should be eating protein at every meal but the cost can be an issue.
Depending on your financial status the cost of protein alone can be prohibitive, after all meat isnâ€™t cheap in the supermarkets, so it can quickly add up.
Students in particular suffer as they have little disposable income and if they live with their parents they have little say in how the food budget is spent.Â You try telling a cash-strapped parent that you want them to buy $50.00 worth of meat each week and see what kind of response you get!
Rather than allow this is cause you to completely abandon the diet at the first hurdle, allow me to present the most economical protein sources and tips that slash the cost of meat!
The Cheapest Protein Sources
Put in price order
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Tuna in Spring water
A 165g tin of tuna in spring water contains approximately 33g of protein, 0g carbs, 1g fat and around 140 calories, this costs between Â£1.20 – Â£1.50 ($1.88 – $2.36) at the time of writing.
Larger sizes only cost marginally more (approx Â£1.70/$2.68) and after draining you get around 300g of tuna which gives you 60g protein, 0g carbs, 2g fat which clocks up a mere 255 calories.
If you 2 buy the big tins you get 120 grams of protein for just Â£3.40 ($5.35), if you bought the equivalent meat it would cost you in excess of Â£5.00 ($7.88).
You can also buy tuna in brine, mayo or oil but I prefer spring water as you donâ€™t get tag along carbs and fat.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Quark/Cottage Cheese
Quark is a fat-free cream cheese similar to ricotta and a 250g tub costs only 70p ($1.10) and gives you 33 grams protein, 9g carbs, 1g fat and 173 calories.
250g Low fat cottage cheese on the other hand offers 31g protein, 7g carbs, 3g fat and 180 calories.Â A 250g tub will cost around the same.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Eggs
Eggs are another readily available cheap protein source.Â If you go free range youâ€™ll pay more, if you go battery hen youâ€™ll pay less.Â Thereâ€™s discussion to suggest free range eggs are more nutritious and I believe that but the choice is yours.
A box of 16 standard budget eggs will cost you Â£1.50 ($2.36), I tend to try to buy them in bulk where I can and I often get 30 for around Â£2.50 ($3.93).
A single medium egg contains 6g protein, 0g carbs, 4g fat and 63 calories.Â Cut the yolk and the egg white still gives you the 6g protein but without the fat and for only 17 calories.
Sure, itâ€™s low protein on its own but when you make an omelette or scrambled egg with say 10 egg whites the numbers soon shoot up:
10 egg whites = 60g protein, 5g carbs, 0g fat, 170 calories.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Protein Powder
Whey protein powders appear expensive at first glance, Â£30-Â£35 ($47 – 55) for a 5 pound tub but when you work out the cost per serving itâ€™s often one of the cheapest sources of protein despite the initial outlay.
A standard 5 pound tub offers around 90 servings, with each serving delivering 20g protein.Â If we use Â£32.50 ($51) as the cost of the tub this equates to just 36p ($0.57) per serving.
Sounds much better now doesnâ€™t it?
Most protein manufacturers also offer discounts if you buy in bulk and you can often find voucher codes and special offers that reduce the cost substantially.Â Follow them on Twitter and Facebook as this is where they usually announce such offers.