8 Cheap & Healthy High Protein Sources

8 Cheap & Healthy Sources of PROTEIN Found Everywhere

Chicken breast, steak, tuna, egg whites, and whey are all WAYS to get some cheap sources of protein in your diet. Now depending on where you live some of these might be less friendly on the wallet than others. Today we’re gonna dive into some less common sources of protein that may or may not hurt the wallet depending on where you live.

Before we jump into these you should know that eating a bit of soy isn’t gonna make you a soyboy, eating canned fish isn’t gonna give you mercury poisoning, and eating eggs (can you see where this is going?) isn’t gonna give you bad cholesterol levels! Don’t be scared of trying new things if they fit your lifestyle.

Cheap Sources of Protein

Amaranth. This a grain that’s a complete protein. It’s similar to quinoa but has slightly more protein per serving in it. It’s gluten-free, easy to prep with water or broth by itself, and goes great in both sweet or savory recipes like pancakes, cookies, lasagna, stuffed peppers, stews, and way more! A serving of this has 200 calories and 7 grams of protein.

Tempeh. This stuff is certified vegan, it’s mostly made from soybeans, has been around forever, and it can be prepared a multitude of ways. Just 3 ounces has 16 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.

Pork. I know a lot of people don’t eat or care for pork but for those that have dismissed it for no real reason it’s just as cheap if not cheaper than chicken where I live, there’s a ton of delicious ways to prep it, and in pork tenderloin for example, you’ll get around 23 grams of protein for every 4 ounces.

Greek Yogurt. Probably a staple for most people nowadays but this stuff comes in a ton of variations that should be able to satisfy almost any sweet tooth. Seriously, I’ve even seen a Boston cream pie one before. In a regular 150g sized container you should get around 13 grams of protein while only having around 80 calories. Another thing I’m seeing way more of is that they’re using Greek yogurt in other products like cream cheese, dips, and dressings which are not just great for eating but for baking too.

Edamame. One of my favorites to make at home and also get when I go out! It only takes 5-10 minutes to prep and it’s fun to eat. A 1 cup serving has 190 calories and 14 grams of protein in it!

Try it dry roasted!

Pumpkin Seeds. No, it’s not halloween and no, you don’t need a pumpkin to find these but you can make them if have a spare pumpkin lying around. For those that don’t they typically come in bags either shelled or unshelled. A shelled serving of these has 230 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 17 grams of fat. These make for a great snack or even topping. Yes, they’re also packed with healthy fats…keyword…healthy.

Other Canned Items. When you’re buying your tuna don’t forget about the other stuff down that aisle. Canned salmon, crab meat, clams, oysters, anchovies, sardines and much more are all super affordable and no, you don’t have to eat these right out of the can there’s a ton of recipes you can use them with so don’t be afraid to try new things. Canned salmon packs 20 grams of protein for $2.00 and canned chicken packs up to 45 grams of protein for $2.50! Not too bad, right?

Veggie Burgers. What once tasted bland and boring can now be found with a bigger selection than Greek yogurt flavors. The amount of people subscribing to the vegetarian lifestyle continues to multiply and that means there’s a way bigger market for brands to come in with new vegetarian options and these options only keep getting better. All of the macros in these that I’ve seen kind of vary so I won’t shoutout a specific one but generally speaking they’re around 10-20 grams of protein with anywhere from 110-250 calories. I still eat meat but every so often I’ll go for a veggie burger and have no regrets

What is your favorite?

So now that we’ve tackled all of those, let me know below how much some of these things are in your area…I’m always curious to see that kind of thing. Let me also know some of your other favorite sources (like vegetarian sausage) that we didn’t list here and maybe I can do another video like this down the road!

Want to save even more money on groceries? Check out our How To Save Money On Groceries Without Coupons article!

8 Cheap & Healthy High Protein Sources


  1. Beth on June 12, 2022 at 8:39 am

    I will see if Tempeh is available in my grocery store.
    Thank you for the article! I shared it with my son who is a college student.

    • Derek Howes on August 22, 2022 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks Beth! Hope you like it!

  2. Scott Beesley on March 15, 2020 at 12:00 am

    I live in Australia in a smaller town, not a major city and despite our best efforts we simply cannot get our hands on tempeh. I’m really keen to try it, but anyway…
    Great article Derek, as much as I love my chicken breast and whey it’s always good to branch out and explore different foods while staying healthy.

    • Derek Howes on May 27, 2020 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks Scott, I appreciate the kind words and hope you can find some tempeh soon. Cheers!

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