Buying ingredients necessary to make healthy, well-balanced meals can oftentimes lead to an expensive grocery bill. Fresh produce and protein options tend to be more expensive than processed items, so reaching optimal fruit, vegetable, and protein intake can be even more difficult on a low budget. We’ve compiled a list of protein on a budget that won’t break the bank while ensuring you reach your daily protein goals.

Eggs are a great source of protein you can cook in many different ways. Hard-boiled is always great on the go and a dozen eggs usually cost just a few dollars!

Beans are an excellent source of protein when paired with grain. If you buy canned beans look for low sodium options and make sure to rinse and drain before use.  Beans are also a good source of fiber and can be used in many recipes. Try adding them to burritos, make bean soup with bread, or pasta salad with beans.   

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is cheap and easy. Get creative and try incorporating peanut butter into pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, and more. Also, make sure to pair peanut butter with a grain to make a complete protein. 

Canned Tuna
Look for low sodium or sodium-free tuna. This is not only an excellent source of protein but you are also getting some omega-3 fatty acids. Some examples of how to use tuna include a tuna salad sandwich, tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna patties and in soups.

Cottage Cheese
Buy cottage cheese in bulk to save more. Cottage cheese is great by itself, with fruit, in smoothies, on a salad, in your pancakes and much more! 

Greek Yogurt
Buy Greek yogurt in bulk instead of single portion sized cups. Greek yogurt has many uses such as by itself, with fruit, in smoothies, in mashed potatoes or on a baked sweet potato, in muffins or in granola bars.  

Tempeh is a good source of probiotics and is considered a complete plant source of protein. Tempeh is great in many recipes such as stir-fry, on salad, in tacos and as substitute for meat in recipes.