T Nation

Cheap Ways of Increasing Protein

As a grad student I’m essentially broke. I’m 5 10 185 and I’m trying to add more protein into my diet. I currently am averaging 3,344 calories per day, and 202 grams of protein for the last month and a half. I’d like to up that by about 50 grams per day, but can’t think of any cheap way to do it.

I can’t stomach any more ground turkey than what I’m already eating. Plus I can’t really afford to be buying more steak or pork than I do currently as my budget is stretched virtually to the max. So what are some cheap ways to add about 50 grams of protein per day?

Actually crunching the numbers, if I added two protein shakes per day it would only cost me one dollar per day extra if I used water in the shakes…that’s not too bad.

Protein shakes are financial, AND time saving miracles.

Also, tuna is a cheap-fix if you need more protein on a low budget.

what’s your BF? do you handle carbs well? You could add in more carbs or fat for extra calories for probably cheaper than most protein sources.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
what’s your BF? do you handle carbs well? You could add in more carbs or fat for extra calories for probably cheaper than most protein sources.
[/quote]

My bodyfat is low, haven’t had it done in a while, but I’d say below 11 right now, and higher than 8.5. I think I could eat raw bacon grease all day for a month and not get past 17% bf.

[quote]Zelazo wrote:
Protein shakes are financial, AND time saving miracles.

Also, tuna is a cheap-fix if you need more protein on a low budget.[/quote]

mmm tuna

Protein shakes are a very cheap source of good protein.

Milk

whole eggs - are about .25/egg ground beef - as low as 1.19/lbs tuna - .69/can if you buy bulk

[quote]ironjoe wrote:
whole eggs - are about .25/egg ground beef - as low as 1.19/lbs tuna - .69/can if you buy bulk
[/quote]

where do you get 1.19/lb ground beef? I think around here extra lean (not even grass-fed) is $4.99/lb

tuna
Canned Salmon if you can stomach it
Protein shakes

Milk, protein powder, $1.39 double cheeseburgers at McDonalds.

You say you are eating steak and ground turkey? No wonder youre having trouble affording more protein. Im getting about 250g a day from:

lean ground beef- $3.50/lb
tyson frozen chicken breasts- $2/lb
bulk protein powder- $5/lb
eggs- 2.5 dozen/$4

Find a local farmer near your and buy a quarter of a cow (I like buffalo personally) and have the meat locker cut it as lean as possible.

Or if you don’t know any local farmers just go to a meat locker and but in bulk some lean sirloin or whatever you like. You can get other game meat as well, even quality chickens and stuff for a good price.

Sure beats the hell out of buying small quantities at the supermarket.

I used to eat a shitload of canned tuna becuase you can get it for dirtcheap at Sams, but then I got worried about mercury and cutback to a few cans a week only for convenience.

I will echo others also and say protein powder, but make sure it is decent quality. I like Metabolic Drive, but realize it is mutually exclusive with a tight budget for most people.

Budgets suck since oftentimes it forces you into quantity over quality.

Canned tuna or protein shakes if you really want to add that 50 grams, but do you really need to be taking in 250 grams a day?

Steal a crock pot and buy 3 pound roasts for like 8 bucks. Mmmm the leaner, the more expensive and the less it just “falls apart”. You can get a 3 lb fat ass chuck roast for like $6 or so… Just finished one off. Makes about 4 or 5 lunches to be microwaved. Can throw in potatoes or whatever.

It just occurred to me that i probably shouldn’t be eating that since I’m cutting…

BJ’s is awesome (the food store too)

I just bought 10lbs of chicken for $21.00 and Turkey Meatballs for less then that. Both awesome and great on protien.

join a reserve component of the Armed Forces, like the Air Force Reserve. My commissary is selling 93% ground beef for 1.29 per pound.

I found ground turkey at meijers (if you are in the northern part of the country) for $1 a lbs, its not good tasting but at that price… cant be beat

[quote]Rocky101 wrote:
tuna
Canned Salmon if you can stomach it
Protein shakes[/quote]

How’s canned salmon? I see it when I buy tuna and I’m too afraid to try it.

Not bad, I eat it everyday.

And its a good source of Omega 3s