18 Cheap and Healthy Sources of Protein are as follows:

  3. EGGS
  11. OATS
  13. MILK
  18. PORK

Protein is an important macro-nutrient necessary for the ideal growth and functioning of our body. There are many benefits to eating protein-rich food, including increased muscle mass and weight loss. And, deficiency in protein can cause muscle atrophy and even improper functioning of the body.

Many people do understand the importance of including enough protein in their diet. But, various sources of protein are usually costly. You need not be disappointed though as many affordable alternatives are also available.

So, what is the cheapest protein source? You have not one or two but many options like natural peanut butter, eggs, canned tuna, sunflower seeds, plain Greek yogurt, and a lot more, which we shall discover right away.

Natural Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is extremely rich in protein. Also, it is quite affordable, and a 454-gram jar will cost you only about $2.50. If you just consume two-tablespoons of peanut butter every day, you will be enjoying 8-grams of protein.

What is interesting is that peanut butter is not only protein-rich but also versatile. We say this because you can use this creamy butter in so many ways. Just scoop it out of the jar and eat it or add it to your smoothie. You may even spread it on your toast or pair it with oatmeal and fruit. Either way, it will enhance the taste of the dish and make sure your body gets the protein that it needs.

Many studies have proved that those who consumed peanut butter and peanuts on a regular basis had fewer chances of developing a chronic disease like diabetes and heart problems. More reasons to have peanut butter, right?

One thing to remember is that you must ideally opt for natural peanut butter and avoid any added oils and sugar.


If you have so long liked munching on edamame, you will love it even more now. This bright green, delicious bean is a budget-friendly, plant-based source of protein.

Edamame beans basically are immature soybeans. You can get them in the pod and even opt for the shelled version. Owing to the crunch that they offer, people love adding it to stir-fry and also their salad.

Just a single cup (approximately 155 grams) of edamame offers you 17-grams of protein. This certainly is amazing.

Also, if you are a vegetarian, then edamame is a perfect option to meet your protein requirements.

You will love this whole protein source for sure as it contains all the important essential amino acids that your body needs.

What are you waiting for? Head to the freezer section of your nearby grocery store and purchase 240-grams edamame just for $2.


Eggs cost you about $ 2 to $ 4 for a dozen. And, this makes it one of the most affordable and nutrient-rich food that you can eat.

They are rich in healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and also what you are most interested in – protein. One big egg offers about 6 grams.

If you want to eat something delicious, easily-available, increase your protein intake, and also lose some weight then eggs are what you need.

Many studies have proven that if you consume eggs for breakfast, you will not feel hungry soon. So, you will be consuming fewer calories and thus shed some weight.

There are so many different ways to eat eggs. You can have them boiled, poached, scrambled, or make omelets. Keep trying out different ways, and you will never get bored of this amazing source of protein.

Plain Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is inexpensive, easily available, and delicious. You can use it to make a dip for your veggies, add it to your favorite smoothie, or eat it plain.

Yogurt is quite rich in protein, and just a 224-gram serving offers you 17 grams. This is almost double of what plain yogurt provides.

It will be best to opt for brands that have labels reading “active and live culture”. This means the yogurt is rich in probiotics that are beneficial, can help you shed weight, and make your gut health stronger.

Also, remember to opt for the one that contains no added sugar. After all, you intend to be healthier right?

Greek yogurt is anyway inexpensive, and if you opt for big containers, you will be saving more. A 680-grams container will cost you around $5.

Canned Tuna

All of us know fish is an amazing source of protein and you will enjoy the benefits even if you opt for the canned version.

Fresh fish can be expensive for many. And, as we are talking about cheapest protein sources here, canned tuna deserves mention.

A canned version of the fish will cost you nearly $1 for a 142-grams can. You will be glad to learn that just 85-grams of tuna offers 20-grams of protein and only 99 calories.

Tuna is even rich in omega-3 fats that help keep inflammation at bay.

One thing you, however, need to note is that canned tuna may come with high amounts of mercury. So, it will be best not to have more than a few servings each week.

You anyway have so many other delicious options, so why limit your intake to just one?

Black Beans

Yet another delicious option for the vegetarians, black beans, are affordable and an easily available plant-source of protein. A 445-gram of black beans will cost you only $1, and a 172-grams serving offers 15 grams of protein.

Not only are these beans high in protein, they even offer you a good amount of fibers – a 172-gram serving has nearly 15 grams.

As suggested by many health organizations, men should eat 28 grams of fiber and women 25 grams per day.

Since black beans are rich in fiber and protein, they will keep you feeling full for long and thus supports weight loss.

There are so many ways to include black beans in your diet, including salads, soups, and more. People who think healthy food is boring must try various recipes that include black beans, and you will fall in love with them for sure.

Sunflower Seeds

Do not go by their size alone. The tiny sunflower seeds contain a good amount of protein. Even if you have just around 28 grams of these seeds, your body will get 6 grams of protein.

What is amazing is that sunflower seeds also taste great and are even rich in magnesium and vitamin E. Furthermore, they are inexpensive. A 545-grams pack will cost you around $2.

You can add these wonderful seeds to your yogurt parfaits, salads, and as an interesting topping on many dishes.

Whey Protein Powder

The liquid part of the milk that remains after you make cottage cheese is what helps make whey protein powder.

If you are looking for an affordable and easy way to add protein to your diet, then whey protein powder is your answer. An average serving of this source of protein will cost you only $ 0.40.

Consuming whey protein on a regular basis will help you lose weight and increase strength and muscle mass.

Just about 28 grams (one scoop) of whey protein powder provides you 20 grams of protein. Impressive, is it not?

There are various ways to use this protein-rich powder. You can add it to baked goods, smoothies, and many other simple recipes.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a dairy-based, low-calorie product that is also a great source of protein.

210-grams of cottage cheese (full-fat) offers only 206 calories and 23-grams of protein.

Since cottage cheese does not have any strong flavor of its own, you can use it in many recipes. It can be used as a topping for pizza, use it in sandwiches, or make delicious desserts with it.

The great amount of protein that cottage cheese contains makes it a great option for those who desire to build more muscle mass.

Cottage cheese can help you feel for longer and aid in weight loss. And, you will enjoy all these benefits just for $3 a 452-grams tub.


Not many of you love sardines. But, if you are looking for an affordable and great source of protein, then this makes an impressive choice.

A 92-grams can of sardines offers nearly 23 grams of greatly absorbable protein. Besides, it provides essential nutrients like Vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

As you need to consume the whole sardine, along with the bones, it serves as a good source of calcium as well. One single can offers you nearly 35 percent of your ideal calcium intake.

Though most fresh seafood is costly, sardines are an option for those who are looking for budget-friendly choices. A 92-grams can of sardines will just cost you $2.


Oats are inexpensive, just around $1.30 for a 453-grams pack. Perhaps this is the reason why you already have oats for breakfast.

But do you know, oats contain a lot more protein compared to the other grains? A 78-grams serving will offer you nearly 13-grams of protein. Also, oats are rich in minerals and vitamins and contain a soluble fiber known as beta-glucan.

Many studies have shown that foods that contain beta-glucan can help keep cholesterol levels in check.

So, if you already have oats for breakfast, you need to be happy about it. And if not, start having it right away.


Lentils are highly affordable. If you buy it from a bulk section of grocery stores, it will cost you just around $1.50 for a 453-grams pack. Not only is it cheap, but it is also rich in protein.

What is great is that you can cook and consume lentils in so many ways. You can make curries, stews, and even delicious lentil soup.

Just consuming 198 grams of lentil will offer you 18 grams of protein.

Lentils indeed is a delicious way to add protein to your diet, And at the same time, you get to enjoy some B vitamins, potassium, and iron as well.


Most people love drinking milk, and now you will enjoy it even more. After all, it is an amazing source of protein and also affordable.

115-grams (half a gallon) of milk will cost you about $2.50, and you can expect to pay around $4 for whole organic milk. Just 244 grams of this loved drink will offer more than 8-grams of easily absorbable protein. And, also it provides minerals and vitamins.

It is particularly rich in phosphorus and calcium that helps keep your bones healthy and strong.

You can drink plain simple milk or use it as a base for your favorite smoothies.

Since whole milk is rich in calories, it makes a perfect source of protein for those who also want to increase muscle mass and gain weight.


You may or may not have had amaranth ever, but now you surely will since it is one of the most economical sources of protein.

246-grams of this gluten-free grain offers more than 9-grams of protein. Furthermore, it is rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and folate.

This nutty-flavored grain is easy to cook, and you can add them to various dishes. Amarnath is also a great protein source for those who are gluten intolerant.

Even if you opt for the organic version of this grain, it is still budget-friendly. A 453-grams pack will cost you nearly $0.65.

You need to cook amaranth just like rice or quinoa. You can use it to make surfed peppers, a grain salad, or even a delicious bowl of porridge.

Ground Turkey

Ground turkey is very nutritive and also a more budget-friendly option if compared to turkey breasts. 448-grams of nutritious ground turkey will cost you around $3 to $7.

Though turkey meat is low in calorie, it is rich in protein. Just 28-grams of turkey will offer you about 23-grams of protein and only 195 calories.

Furthermore, turkey is rich in selenium and B vitamins, which serves as a great antioxidant in your body, and promotes the reduction of inflammation.

There are many different ways you can use ground turkey, so do include it to your regular diet and meet the protein requirements of your body.

Canned Salmon

Canned salmon is among the richest source of protein that must find a place in everyone’s diet.

Though fresh salmon can be expensive, you can opt for the canned version. This way, you will be able to enjoy the benefits that it offers while still sticking to your budget.

A 168-grams of canned salmon will easily be available at any store for around $3.60. And, a 112-grams serving will offer you 26-grams of protein. Also, it includes many minerals and vitamins like selenium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Canned salmon, without a doubt, is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to increase your protein intake. You can add it to your burger, salad, or even eat it plain as a snack.

Pumpkin Seeds

Feel like munching something? Before anything unhealthy attracts your attention, grab your bottle of pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds offer a whole lot of nutrients. Only 28-grams of these little seeds offer about 7-grams of protein. And, you can buy a 448-grams pack for only $3, thus making it an amazing budget-friendly option.

Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants like vitamin E. It even contains phenolic acids that promote the reduction of inflammation in the body.

Though you can have these seeds alone as a snack whenever you feel hungry, you can also add them to your homemade granola, salads, or oatmeal.


Pork is cheaper compared to the other kinds of meat, and around 453 grams costs you only $3 to $4, thus making it one of the cheapest source of protein.

Just around 85 grams of pork offers 22 grams of protein. Also, you get to enjoy a good amount of selenium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, and B Vitamins.

The amazing combination of minerals, vitamins, and protein in pork may also aid in muscle maintenance and growth. Furthermore, it improves exercise performance.

Make sure you opt for unprocessed pork to enjoy the many benefits. Also, do not forget to cook pork really well.

There are many ways to introduce pork to your regular diet. You can add pork to your tacos or sandwich. Also, you may make pork chops or pork wraps. Either way, it is going to taste super delicious, while of course also meeting your much-needed requirements of protein.

Protein Takeway:
What is the cheapest protein

Protein is a significant building block of skin, cartilage, blood, muscles, and bones. Your body uses protein to repair and build tissues. So, if you always want to be healthy and stay in good shape, adding enough protein to your diet is immensely important. And now that you know what is the cheapest protein or so to say what are the cheapest sources of protein, you must start including them to your diet right away.

Since you have so many choices and different ways you can use each, you will always have a fun way to add protein not only to your diet but also to that of your family. Everyone will enjoy eating these varied protein-rich meals and pave the way to a healthy today and a healthier tomorrow.


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