Butcher the High Cost of Meats
Cut into these cheaper meat and seafood options that’ll pack on muscle just as well as their better-known (and costlier) counterparts
Buying enough meat to support muscle growth shouldn’t force you to take out a second mortgage. But with the price of beef and poultry ticking ever upward, a bodybuilder could hardly be blamed for deep-sixing his meat consumption. But don’t slap a pale slab of tofu on the grill just yet — you can satisfy your inner carnivore while keeping your grocery bill in check by embracing cheaper, less trendy alternatives. Sure, you may not find these options at fancy-pants steakhouses, but adding them to your shopping list will help you reduce your weekly food budget without sacrificing protein.
Cheap Cut #1: Pork Tenderloin
Standard Choice: Beef tenderloin
Average Price: $14.99/lb.
Alternative: Pork tenderloin
Average price: $5.99/lb.
Beef tenderloin is sliced from the loin of the cow and is widely considered the most tender — but also the most bland — cut of beef. Why pay such a hefty price for protein that doesn’t deliver in the taste department? Pork tenderloin brings plenty of flavor to the table and packs some serious nutrition credentials. Ounce for ounce, it contains about five times less fat (1 gram vs. 5 grams per ounce) than beef tenderloin, not to mention an additional gram (6 vs. 5) of muscle-friendly protein. Pork tenderloin is also a great source of thiamin, a B vitamin necessary for converting carbohydrates into the energy required to lift huge loads at the gym. Look for unseasoned tenderloin whenever possible.
PREP METHOD: Tenderloin should be seared quickly and finished in the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F, then heat 1 tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 6–8 minutes. Transfer skillet to preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Avoid overcooking, since pork can turn dry and tough.