Lately I've been buying a lot of local grass fed ground beef: $4.99 a pound. Today I picked up Organic chicken legs for $1.79 a pound at Costco and I've also been buying wild caught Cod if I see it under $5 a pound. Some other protein staples for me are (in addition to eggs) almonds and about once a week a I cook up a batch of Quinoa and mix it with sauteed vegetables and EVO. While the meat is usually conventional, try cube steak. Its a lean cut and cooks pretty quick by frying it in butter.
While not really in the protein category, I also eat a lot of Avocado for some good fat and like making spinach salad with generous amounts of EVO.
In a word: stew!
Any kind of cheap meat cooked in sauce can be spun out a LOT, and then the sauce flavors a lot a veggies and sides. If you're don't have a problem with tofu, you can use textured soy protein to stretch out the meat portion of your stews (it comes dried, looks like corn flakes). I make a great chili with 2/3 cheap ground meat and 1/3 soy protein. You need to add more liquid and spices because the soy re-hydrates and absorbs everything. And finally, search the garage sales for a pressure cooker, they're magic. They turn any kind of tough old meat fork-tender, in about 30 minutes. I cook stews on the weekend, freeze them in small portions, and then pour them over my sides for a fast meal during the week.
US Wellness Meats sells what they call Petburger. It is really fatty beef plus liver and heart. All human quality just at that fat percentage they have to label it "for animal consumption only".
Fortunately, my dog can't read and doesn't know I'm eating all his petburger. It's delicious as a meatloaf, meatballs, marinara, whatever you want. And it's a way to get really good quality grass fed/finished beef without the high price. I'm not on a tight budget but I would actually pay more for this stuff because it tastes so good, never dried out. The fact that it's cheap is a bonus.
Plus this product is a good way to get some offal into yourself if you are not a big fan of eating it straight up.
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