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Stephanie. 25. English Masters Graduate. Looking to gain muscle, strength, and confidence. Ask me about fitness, body image, food; mental health, mental illness, toxic relationships; literature, grammar, Harry Potter; Queer Theory, Gender Studies, Feminism.

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Build Muscle on a Budget: The 10 Cheapest Sources of Protein

You need at least 1g protein per pound of body-weight per day to maintain and build muscle. If you weigh 155lbs, that’s 155g protein per day, minimum. The easiest way to get this amount is to eat whole protein with each meal.

Some of you are on a tight budget, still students, living in expensive cities or just frugal. These can make it hard to get the protein you need to build muscle. The 10 cheapest sources of protein to build muscle.


1. Canned Tuna
. 40g protein/can. Buy tuna in spring water or brine. 

2. Whole Eggs. 7g protein/egg. Lower your body fat rather than throwing the yolk away if you have bad cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol, and the yolk contains half the protein and vitamins A/D/E.

3. Whey. 1 scoop ON whey is 24g protein/30g serving. 

4. Ground Beef. 25g protein/100g. Buy 80% ground beef and rinse the fat if lean beef is too expensive. You can reduce the fat content by as much as 50%. 

5. Milk. 30g protein/liter milk. If you’re skinny, and want to gain weight fast and aren’t concerned with gaining some fat, drink 1 gallon raw milk per day. Don’t worry about the saturated fat. However, stay away from milk if you want to lose fat.

6. Frozen Chicken Breast. 25g protein/100g. Cook the frozen chicken breast on a grill.

7. Cottage Cheese. 12g protein/100g. 

8. Ground Turkey. 25g protein/100g.

9. Canned Mackerel. 23g protein/100g. Canned mackerel is high in omega-3.

10. Calves Liver. 20g protein/100g. Low fat and nutrient dense. 

Bonus Tips. Buy generic food. Buy in bulk to get discounts. Freeze everything. Get a job if you don’t have one. Increase your income if you do. Cut expenses. The following meal plan gets you +200g protein per day.

  • Breakfast: 3 whole eggs with spinach
  • Snack: 200g cottage cheese with apple
  • Lunch: 1 can of tuna with bok choy
  • Snack: 500ml raw milk and banana
  • Post workout: 1 scoop whey with oats & 500ml milk
  • Dinner: 150g chicken breast with pasta & broccoli
  • Pre bed: 200g cottage cheese with berries & flax seeds

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    "Get a job if you don’t have one." currently dying. hahahah
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