Build Muscle on a Budget: The 10 Cheapest Sources of Protein

Cheap Protein to Build Muscle
Image credit: Danh TX

You need at least 1g protein per pound of body-weight per day to maintain and build muscle. If you weigh 70kg/155lbs, that’s 155g protein per day. The easiest way to get this amount is to eat whole protein with each meal.

Some of you are on a tight budget, still student, living in expensive cities or just frugal. These can make it hard to get the protein you need to build muscle. This post will help you “” the 10 cheapest sources of protein to build muscle.


1. Canned Tuna
. 40g protein/can. Buy tuna in spring water or brine. Don’t worry about the mercury: 1 can chunk light tuna per day is safe, read this.


2. Whole Eggs.
7g protein/egg. Lower your body fat rather than throwing the yolk away if you have bad cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol, and the yolk contains half the protein and vitamins A/D/E.


3. Whey.
1 scoop ON whey is 24g protein/30g serving. At 2 scoops/day, a 10lbs bag will last 10 weeks for 84,99$. You don’t get cheaper than this. But don’t rely on whey only because it’s cheaper. Vary your protein intake.


4. Ground Beef
. 25g protein/100g. Buy 80% ground beef and rinse the fat if lean beef is too expensive. You can reduce the fat content by as much as 50%. Read this free pdf on how to rinse ground beef.


5. Milk.
30g protein/liter milk. If you’re a skinny guy, want to gain weight fast and don’t bother gaining some fat, drink 1 gallon raw milk per day. Don’t worry about the saturated fat. Stay away from milk if you want to lose fat.


6. Frozen Chicken Breast.
25g protein/100g. Cook the frozen chicken breast using a George Foreman Grill. Consume the chicken breast within 2 months of freezing for optimal tenderness & taste.


7. Cottage Cheese.
12g protein/100g. Cottage cheese is more expensive in Europe than in the US. We buy Quark cheese: 10g protein per 100g, cheaper than cottage cheese and a better taste.


8. Ground Turkey.
25g protein/100g. Expensive cuts are made from turkey breast. Cheaper cuts can contain skin, which increases the fat content. Rinse the fat like for ground beef using this method.


9. Canned Mackerel.
23g protein/100g. Canned mackerel is high in omega-3, contains less mercury than canned tuna, and tastes a lot better too.


10. Calves Liver.
20g protein/100g. Low fat and nutrient dense. Contrary to what you might believe, liver is safe. Try one of these recipes.


Bonus Tips.
Buy generic food. Buy in bulk to get discounts. Freeze everything. Get a job if you don’t have one. Increase your income if you do. Cut expenses. The following meal plan gets you +200g protein per day.

  • Breakfast: 3 whole eggs with spinach
  • Snack: 200g cottage cheese with apple
  • Lunch: 1 can of tuna with bok choy
  • Snack: 500ml raw milk and banana
  • Post workout: 1 scoop whey with oats & 500ml milk
  • Dinner: 150g chicken breast with pasta & broccoli
  • Pre bed: 200g cottage cheese with berries & flax seeds

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