Plant based tacos on a round plate.

Plant-based protein on any budget


There are so many economical plant-based foods that can help you stay on budget.

Below are some that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.

Black Beans

One serving (half cup cooked) of black beans contains 7 grams of protein. Black beans are great because they are rich in fiber, low in fat, and often less than a dollar per can. Try adding them to your burrito or make a simple rice and beans dish.

black beans dish


Known as a “superfood,” lentils are rich in protein, iron, magnesium, and folic acid. Half a cup cooked packs in 9 grams of protein. Studies have also shown that lentils reduce inflammation in the body, which can reduce the chance of getting cancer. Lentils are a good addition to chilis and soups.

dish with lentils

Peanut Butter

Two tablespoons of this easy and accessible staple contain 8 grams of protein. You can make a sesame oil and peanut butter sauce to season noodles or a salad with a simple peanut butter and jam sandwich, or just dip carrots and celery into the jar.

crunchy peanut butter on a spoon


Also called “garbanzo beans,” chickpeas supply 7 grams of protein in half a cup. Roast and add them to salad, make hummus with pita chips, or add them to a wrap. Eating chickpeas has also been proven to reduce cholesterol. You can find them in the canned food section, typically for under a dollar.

Hummus dish

Processed plant-based meat alternatives can be an occasional complement to your diet, but you don’t have to rely on them for affordable meals. 

Why? Wholefoods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains can be more affordable and healthier than animal products.

Wholefoods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains can be more affordable and healthier than animal products.

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