5 tips to find cheap protein sources
Protein needs to be an essential part of your diet, as you won’t build any muscle without it. Following a strength training programme with a low protein intake, would be counter-productive as your muscles won’t have the ability to maintain the muscle you have, let alone build muscle mass.
A quick search online will show you that high-protein diets are currently all the rage. People who have never lifted a weight in their lives are downing vast amounts of high-protein foods, and over-calculating their protein requirements a few times over, in the hope of building some muscle. A big mistake as let’s face it, most forms of protein are expensive and it’s hard to stop your food bill spiralling out of control.
We take a look at some ways to save money on your quest to build muscle and stay lean.
Buy high-protein foods in bulk
Supermarkets in the past have had restrictions on a number of items on offer that a shopper can buy. It can make for an awkward situation at the till when your checkout assistant refuses to scan your 50 packs of the reduced-priced chicken breasts.
However, with the rise of online meat retailers such as Muscle Food delivering food straight to your door, you can avoid this and buy food in bulk in whatever amounts you can squeeze into your freezer. This is great for someone like me as I hate queuing and don’t want to waste a few hours a month, stuck in a queue doing nothing.
Buying food online in bulk is not only convenient and saves time, it can also save money. Shop around for deals and offers. If ordering your protein foods from Muscle Food, bring the cost of your protein food shopping down by using a Muscle Food discount code which will provide you with a few extra items, completely free of charge or provide a discount on your order.
Keep an eye out for bargains in the evening
Try going shopping in the evening. It’s quieter for one and you may bag some bargains. Supermarkets reduce prices towards the end of the day and get rid of perfectly decent stock, it would otherwise be forced to throw away. Check the fresh poultry and meat aisles.
An easy-to-use and cheap protein source that is always on offer is yoghurt. Some small pots of low-fat yoghurt offer up to 20g of protein per pot and minimal fat. Maybe get a few days’ worth but I don’t recommend stocking up on a few months’ worth of yoghurt past its sell by date!
Fresh is not always best!
This may sound a strange statement to make, but hear us out. Fresh is the best option, if you actually get round to eating it! How many times have you brought home fresh veg, only for it to become soft, wilted, and then chucked in the bin? By doing so, you are literally throwing your money away and frozen would have been the better option for you. Had that produce been frozen, it would still be in your freezer ready for a time where you would actually eat it rather than bin it.
I for one am guilty of throwing away a ridiculous amount of broccoli, carrots, and lettuce which always seem to get lost at the bottom of the fridge. Even the occasional chicken breast has met the bin!
Look for offers on protein supplements
Many people who want to build muscle may consider taking a protein supplement. If you are like me, the only reason you take a supplement is due to ease of the whole process, particularly after a workout where you may not have time for a meal. I find some of the supplements also help satisfy a sweet tooth and stop any cravings for chocolate, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey being our number one choice for this.
Although often overlooked, the cost of the protein per serving in a supplement is actually quite high compared to protein in some foods. This is why you should be taking advantage of deals from supplement companies like Myprotein, who regularly offer discounts and promotions on supplements. You can further save money at Myprotein when an unbeatable offer comes along, by ordering a few months’ worth of supply in one order. Unlike fresh protein foods, these supplements usually have a long expiry date, which is one advantage.
Pay attention to ‘protein per serving’
It’s long been a trick of supplement companies in the past to promise big amounts of “protein per serving” with some stating as high as 50g of protein per serving. However, with closer inspection, you will see that this 50g figure is taken from a 75g serving size, usually around 3 heaped scoops! That’s 25g of other non-protein based ingredients which could potentially be made from filler ingredients. This is normally the case with some “mass building” supplements. This is fine if extra carbs are what you are after, however, if you are strictly after a protein supplement, shop around and read the labels for the best option for you.
There you have it, five practical ways to save money and get your protein intake for less. Now get saving!