Trying to eat well on a budget? It’s easy to find cheap fat and cheap carbs, but cheap protein is more of a challenge! Here’s a calculator to help you figure it all out:
- Which gives you more protein for your dollar: $5/lb chicken breast (very lean, but more expensive) or $2/lb pork shoulder (less protein per pound, but cheaper)?
- Bone-in meat is cheaper per pound, but do you actually save money once you take out the bone?
- Which is more economical: canned or fresh fish?
To use the calculator, just plug in the meat you’re thinking about, and the price you pay for it as sold in the store. The calculator will automatically subtract any bones or other waste, and give you the cost per gram of protein for the edible portion of that meat.
When you’re using the calculator, please bear in mind that these are averages. Just to take one example, “chicken drumsticks” vary hugely from chicken to chicken – pastured birds will produce smaller drumsticks, but with more protein per pound, while factory-farmed birds will produce larger drumsticks, with less protein per pound. The “serving size” for each meat will also be affected by the amount of water loss, which depends on which particular cooking method you use. The calculator gives you ballpark estimations, not absolutely precise figures.
Want to know about a meat you don’t see in the calculator? Let us know!