T Nation

More Protein on my Budget as a Vegetarian


I made a thread about dieting on a budget using lots of beans and rice and the cheapest cuts of protein available to me.

for less than £5.00 I was able to find a diet plan to get:

Pork fillet 500g
Basmati rice uncooked 300g
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1.5tbsp olive oil
Birseye frozen bag broccoli and carrot 160g
herbs and spices


Total fat - 58g (15 saturates)
Total carb - 312g (15 sugars)
Totl fiber - 36g
Total protein - 177g

Yet using bulk protein powders and using the exact same meals apart from removing the meat and adding more olive oil and very minimally reducing the rice while spending less per day I get these macros:


Total fat - 55g (8 saturates)
Total carb - 280g (17 sugars)
Totl fiber - 43g
Total protein - 210

The vegetarian option is quite alot higher in protein and almost exactly the same in everything else.

It is also quite a bitch cheaper which is odd considering it is so much higher in protein.

Other than not having the tastiness of meat is there anything wrong with eating like this?


Just ensure you are getting all essential amino acids in your plant based diet. Protein is a little more than just the end gram count. Also keep your minerals in mind. Iron, etc. Otherwise, if you can maintain it and it helps you reach your goals, go for it.


I am thinking about maybe spending a little more and buying half the meat ammount i would and half the whey i would on the vegetarian option.

That would keep me sane and make sure I don't get any b12 or other deficiencies. Bit dearer than I would want to spend, around £169.00 a month on just food. But I am sick of yo yoing and never having a good nutritional plan.


The mixed meat + whey diet plan would be as said above around £160 as opposed to around 20-30 pound less for the vegetarian option and lower in protein but still higher than the meat only option:


Total fat - 50g(12g saturates)
Total carb - 296(17g sugars)
Totl fiber - 48g
Total protein - 199g


So the meat only version with no whey comes in at:

meat only no whey template - 172g protein a day and £153.00 a month

whey only no meat template - 210g protein a day and £132.00 a month

Meat and whey template - 199g protein a day and £160.00 a month


Where I live pork fillet is pork tenderloin. How is that the cheapest cut of meat for you?


£6.50 per kg with 22g of protein per 100g.

Chicken breast here is £8.50 per kg at around 19g of protein per 100g unless you buy in bulk its so overpriced.

I can get bulk chicken from a bulk supplier here for £23.00 for 5kg, but its not great quality, it always seems to go off really quick and I can't stomach frozen chicken. I tried it last month and on both occasions trying it I felt really sick.

Frying steak here is the same price as prok fillet but its way higher in fat and a few grams lower in protein.

Pork loin here is the best value kg for kg than any other choice. Plus I actually love it and it seems pretty good quality.


How much are chicken thighs? Or buying an entire chicken? Have you looked at lean ground beef? Have you looked at fish? What about more exotic meats like bison/kangaroo?


Lean mince is �£4.00 for a small pack and �£6.50 for a big pack, however a whole pack only has about 250g or 450g for a big pack and the protein content is a few grams less per 100g, so really it becomes way more expensive to get the same amount of protein.

Fish is insanely expensive, it is �£15.00 for a kg of the cheap fish and the salmon is �£22.00 a kg.

Pork fillet is the cheapest source of protein I can afford. Apart from tuna and eggs. I am sick off eggs as I have been eating around 10 a day for 3 months and quite frankly am just not receptive to them until I have a month or so off them, they also take up alot of calories and I find im hungry five minutes later.

I will probably add them back in in a few months.

Tuna is the other cheaper option but to get any decent ammount of protein per week from it you have to eat way too many cans, which is not great mercury wise.

Chicken thighs are only a tiny bit cheaper than breast, a whole chicken can be gotten for cheap but my goal is 2500kcal a day and to get the same ammount of protein from a chicken as from the pork fillet I have to eat way more calories, also once I spatchcock a chicken and remove the bones the actual flesh is way less than the weight I paid for.

I spent a couple hours last week marking up all prices and pork fillet came in tops.


mate you can get a 500g pack of mince from Tesco for £2. You can get half a kilo of beef frying steak for £3.


Mince is £8.00 a kg from my tesco. Some are dearer if its really lean and good quality. I can get some tesco valu mince for a tiny bit cheaper but only the 20% fat one, this makes it far more expensive for the same protein content.

The frying steaks is the exact same price as the Pork fillet, same potein content as well, but its higher in fat and calories, shrinks like a bitch and it being the same price and protein content, pork fillet is just my preference.

I am looking for the cheapest cut which per 100g has the highest protein and is cheapest per kg


Is it just a little Tesco then? Because the big ones all sell the 80/20 for £2 for 500g


No its a really big one. We have stuff like this for £4.00 a kg for £2.00 a pack


But its full of fat. The ammount of calories for the same ammount of protein is quite large so really it isn't that cheap when you consider that to reach my protein goals I would have to eat other low calorie high protein foods to compemsate, making my shopping bill higher.

For example if I ate a KG of that mince I would have my calories for the day all taken up. Where as if I eat a KG of pork fillet its almost all protein.


Sounds like you have a really tight budget there dude. I thought I did ok for budget shopping and I still spend £8 a day on food.


Yeah I am it sucks. I walk past fillet steaks and sometimes my eyelids .. they get moist.


There are online suppliers of frozen chicken breast in the UK you know, not sure if i'm allowed to say names but they're easy to find on Google. £25 for 5kg of breasts. What I do is get the same deal from my butchers, a 1kg pork joint and mix the meats together for lunches etc (250g of chicken with 100g pork etc.).

so it's not just boring chicken and it's still tasty without having the amount of fat from just eating pork which I'm wary of. Throw in the huge bags of cheap oats and rice from ASDA or Costco with some eggs and some frozen veg and your laughing. You just need to make a investment to start with to save money over a longer period.


I can get 5kg of chicken from makro for £23.00 but it tastes like dogshit. I can't stomach it. I have found most bulk foods taste awful, at least in my experience.

and 5kg is too much to eat in a few days so you end up having to freeze it. This in turn makes it taste even worse.

It almost seems to have a gone of egg smell to it.


Firstly dont shop at tesco, its expensive. Asda aldi and lidl are cheaper and most butchers even more so. Buy quark from asda per 250g tub it has 30 protein 10 carbs and 0 fat for 87P, a great cheap source of casein protein.


Has anyone ever bought pre cooked frozen chicken portions?

They sell those at macro too and I haven't tried them. Same price ad the fresh ones but already cooked and frozen in exact single portions. I think a 5kg bag is like £20.00.

Are you supposed to wash raw chicken before freezing it, I am wondering if me not doing so is why the bulk chicken always seems to smell.


My butchers is way more expensive than tesco. For 1.2gkg of frying steak from the butchers it is £15.00. He is going out of buisness because everyone knows he is a rip off.