T Nation

Rate My Protein Source


Hi, all. Thanks for reading this.

I've been scouring the supermarkers for protein sources I can afford.

I've discarded all the really good ones like ground beef and most other meats as being too expensive for me (college student living off student loans in a very expensive country) and so I've made a list of protein sources I can afford.

  1. Chicken peas. Canned. Do those have any hormone related issues like soy? I've been reading about them and they have some isoflavones and stuff but I'm not into it that much to tell.

  2. Cottage cheese. I dont particularily like this, but my wallet says I have to eat it.

  3. Milk. I know what this site generally thinks about milk and its a protein/carb thing, but its just so cheap.

  4. Eggs. A bit worried about cholesterol levels and throwing away the yolk seems kinda wasteful so I use them whole.

  5. Sausages. AKA "dirt meat" :wink:. It tastes okey and gives some protein but a bit high on the fat.

  6. Kidney beans. Canned. Those are pretty cheap and can be very tasty.

  7. Quinoa. Its not exactly cheap, but its not as expensive as most meats. High carb, high protein and great taste and easy to cook. 1/3 the price of ground beef / uncooked weight.

  8. Tuna. I like this in salads but not much else. Working my way up slowly as advised by the tuna article a while back.

So, will these protein sources be enough? Should I skip any of them for any reason?

Thanks all.


Some of the stuff you mention here isn't really what would be generally called a protein source, even if there is protein in it.

Eggs, Cottage Cheese and Tuna are all good protein sources. Eggs and cottage cheese being probably the most useful. Cottage cheese for example has whats referred to as 'slow release' protein which is Caseinates and is good for eating at night, but you can eat it any time you like.

Eggs, higher biological value than Cottage Cheese, also rich in fats, zinc and lots of other bits and pieces. Boiled eggs are 'transportable' which means, cook them and put them in your pocket and eat at will. Sausage is not a good protein source, I read lots of stuff about people eating sausage on here, and I say its shit and don't eat it.

Canned veg and beans are not very cool. Fresh veg is always better. Baked beans are ok when consumed with some milk or other complete protein source, a can gives you about 20g of protein and a lot of fibre. Cottage cheese and cold baked beans is a good bedtime meal if you like the sloppy taste. Chuck some olive oil in it and you have the perfect bedtime meal.

Milk is a good, but filtered and organic milks which have not been homogenized are better, but you pay more. I drink Gold Top jersey Milk which is richer in fats than whole milk and has mroe calories and isn't homogenized, just make sure its pasteurised, brucelosis and other pathogens are present in raw milk.

Stuff like sausage and similar isn't that cheap over here, unless you buy some really crap brand and they are full of quite nasty ingredients. The price of a packed of posh sausages would get you some lean mined beef or lamb anyway.

If you really are skint (broke) then buying skimmed milk powder in bulk from a cash and carry food wholesaler is the cheapest way to get some extra protein in your diet. Skim Milk is spray dried and although lots of heat is involved in the process the protein isn't actually much worse than regular milk. UHT Milk (sterilised) in the paper cartons that doesn't have to be refrigerated, strangely has a lower biological value than normal milk or skim milk powder.

I'd personally eat a clean diet high in fibre veg and decent protein sources, milk, eggs, cot cheese and buy some protein powder which would save you on food protein sources in the long run.


Ground beef/chicken/turkey is pretty damn cheap. I can find it for about 2 bucks a pound or less sometimes


Lean turkey,perdue chicken breasts,cottage cheese,whey,......all great sources.



Look into gizzards, livers, beef hearts, etc, Great protein and DIRT cheap.

Along with the tuna and milk.

A grade at least B+


I pay $7 for a pound of ground beef. Chicken goes for about 10 and turkey, since it has to be imported, goes for around 15.

Those are not exactly cheap. Considering that I have $64/week to make a living. Thats 9 pounds of beef / week if I eat nothing else.

Thanks everyone for some good tips though. On my list, cottage cheese is the most expensive source so I can only have about 1500g (1 1/2 pounds) per week.

But I guess milk will be my primary souce then, along with cottage cheese and eggs.

I might look into kidneys and hearts and such, but I gotta say, taste is pretty important also :slight_smile:


That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I bought 8 pounds of chicken breast today for $1.75 a pound. They have specials like that all of the time. Do you live on an island? Besides those, buying a big ass tub of whey protein is real cheap. You're sacrificing quality but some places over the net sell 10 lb bags of protein for 45 bucks. Real cheap protein source there.