Why can’t you afford a protein powder? Granted, Metabolic Drive is a pretty expensive protein powder (and rightfully so from what I can gather), but Biotest’s Grow! Whey is very modestly priced. 5 pounds for 30 bucks.
You’ve already acknowledged that you’re looking for types of foods where you can “fill in the gaps” so to speak. You should concentrate as much as you can on getting clean whole foods into your system, but I don’t know if you’ll find much cheaper than Grow! Whey.
As a comparison, $30 worth of skinless chicken breasts may give you 8-10 pounds if you’re not concerned too much with getting a high quality chicken breast. That’s approximately 30-40 small servings of chicken, compared to about 70 servings of whey protein that you’d get for the same amount of money.
Others have suggested canned tuna and eggs, both of which are good, inexpensive suggestions. I’d really consider getting a protein powder, though. Maybe you live overseas and are figuring shipping costs.
I can afford a protein powder, but it would be financially inconvenient for me.
I think I’m going to get it anyways, I’m really serious about this because well… the body underneath my fat is made of pure iron. I can feel the muscles and I know they’re there… Now it’s going cosmetic
The issue is that if you’re going to alter your diet, anything is going to be financially inconvenient. You’re not consuming enough protein, so the cost of any protein sources that you add are going to have to come out of your wallet. I’m on a tight budget myself, and have to stick with really cheap chicken breast, whey protein, ground beef, turkey, etc.
One tip I’d have is to buy whole turkey breasts (bone-in), cook them, and cut off the meat yourself. You can buy de-boned turkey breasts but they’ll be much, much more expensive. I think I get my turkey breast for $2.99 per pound. I cook a giant breast, cut it up, and keep it in tupperware in the fridge.