We’ve all been there. Funds are limited, but you still have to eat. Most people think of high carb foods like white bread and pasta when funds are low, but it’s important to get plenty of protein, especially in times of stress.
Eggs average $1 a dozen or 17 cents for a 2 egg serving with 140 calories and 14 grams of protein. They are full of healthy fats and vitamins too. With eggs you can make: egg salad; scrambled eggs; fried egg sandwiches; creamed eggs over biscuits; and frittata.
Chicken Legs go on sale at Aldi for $.59 a lb. There are about 3 legs per pound or 20 cents per serving. I dip mine in milk then bread crumbs and bake at 350 for an hour. They can also go in a crock pot with garlic salt for 3-4 hours on high and finished off with some BBQ sauce.
Chicken breasts regularly go on sale for $1.50 a lb and sometimes as low as $1, or 25-38 cents per serving. The thick ones go straight into my slow cooker with garlic salt to be shredded for casseroles, chicken salad, and skillet meals. The thin ones we cut up for homemade chicken nuggets, grilled marinated chicken, grilled chicken salads and other cutlet style dishes.
Canned tuna is around $.70 for a 5 oz can. There are 2 servings per can for 35 cents each. We make ours into tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna melts
and tuna cakes.
Wal-mart carries Jack Mackerel for $1.38 a 15 oz can. There are about 4 servings per can for 35 cents a serving. Salmon is more than twice as expensive ($3 for the same size can) and half as nutritious. We add egg and cracker crumbs to ours for to make yummy Mackerel Patties.
String cheese is about 19 cents per serving and 7g of protein. 1/2 cup of Cottage Cheese is 38 cents per serving and 14g of protein. Skim milk is 13 cents per cup and 8g of protein.
Carbs like quinoa, brown rice and beans also combine to make complete proteins in lesser amounts. By themselves they aren’t good sources of protein but when we use them in a casserole or soup, we can reduce the portion of meat to keep protein around 20 grams per serving.
And just for other math fans like me, here’s a break down of cost per gram of protein and calories per gram of protein. When taking both into account, boneless skinless chicken when the prize.
|Protein Source||Serving Size||$/Serving||g. of Protein||$/g. of protein||Calories/Serving||Calories/g. of protein|
|Canned Tuna||2.5 oz||$0.35||11||$0.032||50||4.54|
|Canned Mackerel||3.75 oz||$0.35||21||$0.017||144||6.86|
|Chicken Leg||5.3 oz||$0.20||14||$0.014||110||7.86|
|Chicken Breast||4 oz||$0.38||23||$0.017||110||4.78|
|1% Cottage Cheese||1/2 cup||$0.38||12||$0.032||80||6.67|
|String Cheese||1 oz||$0.19||7||$0.027||80||11.4|
|Skim Milk||8 oz||$0.13||8||$0.016||80||10|
|Brown Rice||1 cup cooked||$0.11||5||$0.022||216||43.2|
|Pinto Beans||1 cup cooked||$0.30||12||$0.025||206||17.17|
|Quinoa||1 cup cooked||$0.47||8||$0.059||222||27.75|
Looking for budget friendly meal plans? Let me help!