≡ Menu

Top 13 Cheap Ass Protein Sources

So your boss is on an ego trip one day and decides to sack your lazy ass.

The first thing on your mind isn’t your mortgage, or your woman giving you a severe wrap across the mouth. It’s, “What are cheapest sources of protein I can get my hands on?” (if the preceding statements actually described you, you need your head examined 😉 )

So I thought I’d put together a list for anyone looking cheap sources of protein.

I came up with 13 from my own experience. If you know of any more, leave a comment below.

13 Cheap Protein Sources

(1) Tuna . You can get Tesco Tuna Flakes for 48p (185g tin). There’s about 35g of protein in there.

(2) Whey. The cheapest source in Europe once again is MyProtein. You can get a massive 5kg/11lb bag for £39.99. A scoop is 25g so that’s 20p per scoop, which gives about 20g of protein. 1p per gram :)  You gotta admit that’s pretty amazing. (my recommendation for US readers here)

(3) Eggs. 6g or 7g per egg, if you eat them whole. And you SHOULD eat them whole! See here for the benefits of whole eggs.

(4) Chicken. Specifically, frozen fillets from Tesco. It’s the cheapest way to get your chicken I’ve found. £3.99 for a 1kg bag of fillets. Always bear in mind that all meat usually delivers about 20-25% protein per weight. So 100g cooked will give about 25g of protein.

(5) Low-fat Natural Greek Yogurt. Now before you flip out because I selected the low-fat version, I did so because there is actually a higher protein content. 89p for a 170g pot, which will give you about 15g of protein. Add some whey and berries and you’re all set. Since it’s both low in carbs and fat, it’ll work with any diet. You can also use this to make my totally frickin awesome Blueberry Protein Pancakes!

(6) Tins of Stewed Steak (tesco). A half a tin of this is all you need in one serving. It’ll deliver about 35g protein. A full tin is about £2, so you’re talking about £1 per serving. Plus it’s tasty as hell! It’s about 5% carbs and 3% fat, so it’ll go well on most diets too.

(7) Tins of Chicken in White Sauce. I found this recently while doing my shopping. £1.28 per tin and you’d only take half a tin per serving, which gives 25g protein. It’s low in carbs (1%) and about 8% fat. A good choice for the MANS diet.

(8) Corned Beef. I love corned beef. A big-ass 340g tin of Princes Corned Beef is only £2.99 and you only need 100g at a time for 25g protein. (There’s a lean version if you prefer).

(9) Pigs Liver. 35p in Tesco!

(10) Sardines. 49p for a tin of sardines, giving 20g protein. A very portable choice if you’re on the go.

(11) Cheese. Should fairly self-explanatory. Cheap, low-carb, high-fat or low-fat, tastes great, goes well with most things.

(12) Nuts and nut butters. Go natural with nut butters. I recently posted on the facebook page that I bought a large tub of natural peanut butter from Myprotein. It’s £4.49 for a 1kg tub. Also try almond nut butter.

(13) Quinoa. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s good as a side. So if you want a good, low GL side to go with your meat, try quinoa. It’s about 14% protein and should be a staple on the GLAD diet.

What cheap protein sources do you use? Share them with the rest of us by leaving your suggestions below.

If you’re from a different part of the world, I definitely want to hear from you. And other readers in your neck of the woods want to hear your tips too!

Stay Motivated!


Related Post

Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rob July 11, 2011, 6:29 pm

    Ah I’d completely forgot about corned beef!!! I used to love that stuff. Will get some again this weekend :)

  • Andrew Mast July 11, 2011, 6:37 pm

    Also, a new brand of yogurt called Chobani! 18 grams of protein per 6 ounces and only 7 carbs!


  • Mark McManus July 11, 2011, 6:40 pm

    @Andrew. Looks good!

  • Zachary July 11, 2011, 6:40 pm

    beans are high in protein and fiber and are inexpensive

  • Mark McManus July 11, 2011, 6:41 pm

    @Zach. True. And a good recommendation for our vegetarian friends.

  • Andrew Mast July 11, 2011, 6:45 pm

    Another one for the US folks, Kashi GoLean, 12 grams of protein, and only 20 grams of net carbs (10 fiber!) http://www.kashi.com/products/nutrition_info/golean_original

    Add to that some unsweetened soy milk and you have a fiberous log GI meal replacement!

  • Tony July 11, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Depends on the Kashi, the GoLean in Canada has 37 grams of carbs per bowl not 20 and also is bland tasting in my opinion. Protein isn’t usually that hard to fill in a diet, eat unprocessed meats, include it with something low-carb and voila. It’s just a matter of having ideas for variety. Great post Mark!

  • Conor July 11, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Ironscience is the cheapest in europe for whey powder at the moment although they are a new company so cant say if its good quality or not but their prices beat the other big 2 companys per kg and delivery is away cheaper!

  • John A Davis July 11, 2011, 7:40 pm

    non-fat Cottage Cheese: 14grs per 1/2 cup, it is casein type protein, good for big gaps like night time and for thickening smoothies. Very hard to find no-sodium.

    Beef Jerky:
    very portable. watch the nitrates

  • John A Davis July 11, 2011, 7:42 pm

    non-fat Greek Yogurt:
    22grs per cup, at Trader Joes (US)
    Great for ff days.

  • Mike July 11, 2011, 8:30 pm

    I have found pork chops to be a good protein source. The fat can be trimmed off and a package of several pork chops is suprisingly cheap.

  • Steve Barfield July 11, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Tesco Millet Seed (cook in the same way as Quinoa), 99p for 500g. 100g gives 11g protein and is also a natural source of amino acids (so I’ve read).

    Tesco Natural Fromage Frais. 83p for a 500g tub. 100g gives 7.8g protein with only 0.2g fat and 3g of carbs.

  • Andrew Mast July 11, 2011, 8:44 pm

    @Mike, I’m surprised to see Pork Tenderloin as cheap as it is, tasty, and more lean than other cuts. It’s not very chewy either!

  • Dan Cravens July 11, 2011, 9:11 pm

    Rump roast is cheap and when fixed in a crockpot delicious! Not a lean cut of meat, but I find it a good source of fat to get needed calories as well.

  • Rhys July 11, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Just tried quinoa for the first time last week. It tastes great and would be a good staple in anyone’s diet. Great list, I would have added skim milk to it as it is inexpensive and very versatile.

  • mike July 11, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Mark, i was wondering, if you had to pick 1 of your programs to do forever, which one would it be???

  • krs July 11, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Tesco Light Choices Beef Mince Steak 500G
    Cooked dried fried

    cals 183
    pro 30.9g
    carb 0
    fat 6.6
    sat fat 2.5

  • Jonathan Ginsberg July 11, 2011, 9:59 pm

    I also eat Chobani, which is a Greek style yogurt. Very high in protein, not too sweet and good for the digestive system. Plus, my dog gets to lick the pull-off foil wrapper, which makes him very happy.

  • krs July 11, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Forgot to mention the above is for 100 grams cooked not raw.

  • Mike Huber July 12, 2011, 12:40 am

    A good read Mark. Those are some cheap ass prices!! Ha,Ha,Ha!! Thanks Again!!!

  • Rob July 12, 2011, 12:47 am

    The cheapest flavored protein I’ve found is nutrisport 90+ its available for £44.99 for 5Kg – chocolate is best but doesn’t taste great though its a blend of whey iso and micro casein for a good balance.

    Tesco Haricot beans are the lowest in carbs per 100g with a very high fibre content (Fibre helps keep hunger at bay on TSPA)

    Thanks for all your hard work Mark ! Things are going well.

  • Dan Cravens July 12, 2011, 1:02 am

    canned salmon chum w/ bones, 1 can has ~91 grams protein, paid $2.95, just made 4 patties w/ 1 egg, 1/2 cup oatmeal & 1/2 cup salsa, each patty should have 11 g fat, 6 g carbs, 24.5 g protein

  • John A Davis July 12, 2011, 5:14 am

    Isn’t chum fish bait? Where did you get this stuff? If it’s not fish bait, it sure sounds pretty cheap and good.

    Everyone should watch the sodium in their meat sources especially if they are cutting. You need some, but it can bloat you up like whale if you over do it. no?

  • Mr. Lowe July 12, 2011, 5:44 am

    I’m in the USA! I go to Costco (a wholesale warehouse place) and get a huge bag of chicken breasts for about $16US. I eat 3 egg whites and a 4-6 oz. skinless breast in the morning before work. I get like 2g fat, -1g carbs, and almost 30-40g protein from that alone.

    – Bulk Chicken Breasts (Costco Wholesale Warehouse)
    – Eggs
    – Optimum Nutrition Whey – Natural (Amazon.com)
    – Optimum Nutrition Casein – Natural (Amazon.com)
    – Optimum Nutrition Oats & Whey – Natural (Amazon.com)
    – Peruvian/Mexican Rotisserie Chicken – 2 cooked breasts (any Peruvian Chicken restaurant/carry-out in the city)

  • Tom July 12, 2011, 10:26 am


    As been said already Pork Chops & Chicken.
    At Farmfoods 3 * 1kg bags of both for £10
    The Chops are 10 Loin Chops at 18g per chop, so thats 30 chops for a Tenner.
    I have 1 everyday.
    OH and theyt cook from frozen under the grill in 10 mins.
    Which is great as i’m always forgetting to take stuff out the freezer, LOL

  • Dan Cravens July 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    I’m in Texas and I buy the canned salmon at HEB. It’s a generic brand, says pink salmon on the can. It does look like fish chum, ground up chunks w/ bones, but it’s for people and I use the recipe on the back of the can, substituting oats for the cracker crumbs. I find it around where the tuna is sold. Scooby’s Workshop had a recipe where you fix a big batch of lentils & mix w/ salmon. I tried it and thought it was pretty gross, especially after eating it a few times. The salmon patties are actually good, it was hard not to eat more than one yesterday.

  • DaveSix July 12, 2011, 8:15 pm

    I get 5 lbs of skinless chicken breasts for about $10. Dice up a chicken breast or two. Brown them in a pan. Add a low carb/low fat sauce. And eat it in a wrap or in a salad or pair with a vegetable dish. Cheap, easy, healthy, and delicious.

  • Grant Nicholson July 13, 2011, 8:04 am

    Thanks for your protein report Im buying up and go shakes for protein boost I have a active job and when I get home I workout 3 days a week I did a rough calculation to find out how much protein I should be taking Im 11.5 stone and 511tall my workout is pushups dumbell curls upward rows hammer curls Im on my feet alday so legs dont really need it ,any advice on diet is welcome thanks.

  • Mark McManus July 13, 2011, 8:39 am

    @mike. Tough one since the idea is to switch between the cycles. I like THT Volume 2 and also THT HIT in the 6-8 rep range (with those killer burn-out sets!).
    @Grant. You’d need around 160g protein per day. Your legs won’t grow without direct, very intense work. See the GLAD diet