10 Low Cost Protein Rich Foods

10 Low Cost Protein Rich Foods

Whether you’re building muscle mass, trying to lose weight, or looking to stay in shape, it’s important to include protein in your diet. However, most people who want to eat a high protein diet struggle to find foods to match their budgets. Fortunately, cheap sources of protein are not hard to find. The following 10 low cost protein foods will help you to keep your diet in check and budget under control.

1 – Peanut Butter

Average Cost Per 1 Tablespoon Serving = $0.08

Protein Per 1 Tablespoon Serving = 7.5g

Calories Per 1 Tablespoon Serving = 87

Peanut butter is a super tasty snack that can be consumed with sliced bread, sliced fruit or on its own. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter costs only $0.08 and contains an impressive 7.5g of protein. It also packs less than 87 calories which makes it a great snacking option if you’re trying to lose weight.

2 – Whole Milk

Average Cost Per 1 Cup Serving = $0.16

Protein Per 1 Cup Serving = 7.5g

Calories Per 1 Cup Serving = 142

Milk is a great high protein beverage and drinking a cup per day will give you 7.5g of quick, convenient protein. It’s also loaded with vitamins A, D and K which boost your skin, provide your body with antioxidant protection and promote healthy vision. The average price for a gallon of milk is $2.99 which means you can enjoy this wholesome protein source at a cost of $0.16 per cup.

3 – Eggs

Average Cost Per Large Egg = $0.17

Protein Per Large Egg = 6.1g

Calories Per Large Egg = 79

Whether you love them scrambled, fried or boiled, eggs are a healthy and affordable addition to your diet. One large egg provides you with 6.1g of protein plus a wide range of health boosting nutrients and contains only 79 calories. A 12 pack of large eggs usually costs around $2 which equates to just $0.17 per egg.

4 – Turkey Breast

Average Cost Per 4 oz. Serving = $0.50

Protein Per 4 oz. Serving = 34.2g

Calories Per 4 oz. Serving = 154

Turkey breast contains similar amounts of protein to chicken breast but costs significantly less. You can expect to pay around $2 for 1lb of this lean meat which equates to a notable $0.50 per 4 oz. serving. You can eat turkey in many different ways. When cold, it goes great with salads or pasta dishes and when hot it can be consumed with vegetables, rice or as part of a casserole.

5 – Chicken Breast

Average Cost Per 4 oz. Serving = $0.87

Protein Per 4 oz. Serving = 35g

Calories Per 4 oz. Serving = 187

Chicken breasts are many people’s number 1 protein source due to their low cost, versatility and high protein content. They currently cost around $3.50 per pound which equates to an extremely low price of just $0.87 per 4 oz. serving.

6 –Canned Red Kidney Beans

Average Cost Per 1 Cup Serving = $0.94

Protein Per 1 Cup Serving = 15.3g

Calories Per 1 Cup Serving = 225

Red kidney beans are an excellent source of non-animal protein and if you’re a vegetarian they will serve as 1 of your bodybuilding cornerstones. A single cup serving of beans contains 15.3 g of protein along with other health boosting nutrients such as magnesium and phosphorus. In terms of cost, you can expect to pay an average of $2.40 for a 16 oz. can of red kidney beans which works out at $0.94 per 1 cup serving.

7 – Whey Protein Powder

Average Cost Per Scoop (1 oz.) = $1

Protein Per Scoop (1 oz.) = 19.7g

Calories Per Scoop (1 oz.) = 322

Whey protein powder is probably the fastest way to fill up on protein and can be easily consumed while you’re on the move. It’s also great value for money with a single scoop serving costing around $1. This scoop will provide you with 19.7g of high quality protein which gets instantly absorbed by your muscles.

8 – Ground Beef

Average Cost Per 4 oz. Serving = $1.05

Protein Per 4 oz. Serving = 32.3g

Calories Per 4 oz. Serving = 219

Ground beef is a low cost alternative to other cuts of beef and contains an impressive 32.3g of protein per 4 oz. serving. Ground beef also provides you with various nutrients that support your immune system, reduce inflammation and strengthen your vital organs and more. You can enjoy a 4 oz. serving of ground beef for around $1.05.

9 – Canned Tuna

Average Cost Per 4 oz. Serving = $1.12

Protein Per 4 oz. Serving = 28.9g

Calories Per 4 oz. Serving = 131

Canned tuna is another brilliant protein source that is also rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It’s incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed with pasta, rice, vegetables or even straight out of the can as a quick and easy healthy snack. Plus, it’s one of the most economical protein sources out there with a 4 oz. serving costing just $1.12 on average.

10 – Canned Salmon

Average Cost Per 4 oz. Serving = $2

Protein Per 4 oz. Serving = 23.2g

Calories Per 4 oz. = 174

Canned salmon is a great way to enjoy all the nutritional goodness salmon has to offer at a much lower cost than fresh salmon. Not only does salmon provide you with around 23.2g of protein per 4 oz. serving but it’s also a good source of multiple B vitamins and omega 3 essential fatty acids. A 6 oz. can of this nutritious fish costs around $3, so you can fill up on a 4 oz. portion for just $2.


The low cost protein rich foods listed above are a great starting point if you want to start filling up on protein with a limited budget. However, there are lots of other high quality protein sources out there which are great value for money. So once you’ve tried out these 10 foods, do some more research on the topic and experiment with more low cost high protein foods.

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