DON’T LET RISING COSTS LIMIT YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE! THIS HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN IS NOT ONLY CUSTOMIZABLE TO YOUR NUTRITION NEEDS AND VERSATILE IN THE KITCHEN, BUT IT’S ALSO PRICE FRIENDLY! SAVE A FEW DOLLARS ON THIS WEEK’S GROCERY BILL BY GRABBING GROUND MEAT!

Too often, eating “healthy” gets a bad reputation because it’s “expensive,” or at least costlier than eating processed crap that is laden with more man-made chemicals than natural nutrients. And if there’s one “healthy” nutrient that’s sure to break the bank it’s protein. Depending on the cut of meat you buy and how much you need, you won’t be surprised to find that over 50 percent (closer to 75 percent in my personal experience) of your grocery bill is related to protein. And this can pose a major problem when you have four other mouths to feed or are shopping on a college budget.

Fortunately, ground meat is one of the most inexpensive types of protein you can purchase. Even more, is ground meat offers a variety of flavors (different types of meat), is highly customizable to your nutrition goals, and extremely versatile in the kitchen.

If you’re looking to pull back on protein costs, make ground meat the bulk of your protein!

COMPLETE CUSTOMIZATION

Beef is the standard cut of meat when you think of ground meat. But ground chicken and turkey are also wildly popular (and delicious) along with a host of other proteins. Any protein can be ground. In addition to having the option to customize your flavor, you can customize the nutrition content of your ground meat. You’ll find a range of different fat contents amongst each cut of meat, typically be ranging from 70/30 to 99/1 (protein to fat). This varied offering will ensure you’re able to enjoy this high-quality protein no matter if you’re dieting, maintaining, or massing.

HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN

The ground meat examples referenced above are all excellent sources of protein. They’re complete proteins (provide all nine essential amino acids) and rich in the branched chain amino acids, particularly leucine, which is the single most important amino acids for maximizing the muscle growth and repair response from protein.

Additionally, each option described above is rich in many other essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, beef is an excellent source of iron, zinc, and creatine. Yes, creatine is found in red meat. Chicken is an excellent source of vitamin B-6 and magnesium and turkey an excellent source of vitamins B-6 and B-12.

HIGHLY VERSATILE

One you purchase your ideal, high-quality, ground meat, you have virtually limitless methods to prepare and enjoy it. At its simplest, you can throw the meat on a hot frying pan and cook it on the stovetop. This option makes it a great pair to rice or sautéed vegetables – with some salt and pepper, of course – and a nice addition to tacos, quesadillas, and eggs. If you want to go one step further, you can use it to make burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf.

My favorite method to use ground meat…

I like to sauté ground turkey (93/7) with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper, chili powder,

and …

…cinnamon. Yes, lots of cinnamon. The cinnamon provides an unmatchable depth of flavor. Once I sauté this thoroughly, I’ll add it atop a freshly backed sweet potato and enjoy. With veggies on the side, of course.

CUTTING COSTS

I cannot speak to your specific grocery store, but in most areas, you can find 90/10 ground meat for near two dollars per pound. This means you can get upwards of five pounds of high-quality protein for right around $10 dollars.

The leaner the cut of meat you purchase, the more expensive it’s going to be. That’s because you’re now paying more for the labor required to trim the fat. For example, I just ran a quick Google Search and found 73/28 ground beef priced at $2.97 per pound 99/1 priced at $5.27 per pound (Colorado Walmart).

The very lean cut was 177 percent more!

I recommend striving for 90/10 ground meat (or leaner). This option provides just enough fat to maintain juiciness and flavor and errs on the side of very affordable when you get to the checkout counter.