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The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a diet that aims to reduce autoimmune illnesses by eliminating food elements that might cause inflammation. A robust immune system and the healing of damaged tissues depend on protein, one of the main components of the AIP.

However, finding high-quality protein sources on a tight budget can be challenging if you follow the AIP, which forbids many cheap protein options like beans, lentils, and grains. In this article will discuss various low-cost methods for improving your AIP protein consumption.

Buy in bulk

AIP Protein may be purchased in large amounts to save costs. A whole or half animal may be bought from your local farmer, or you can look for discounts on vast cuts of meat. Even though this might necessitate additional out-of-pocket expenses, like purchasing a freezer, it can result in significant savings over time.

You could save money buying vast amounts of frozen seafood rather than fresh fish from the market. Frozen wild-caught fish is a fantastic choice for AIP dieters since it is often less costly than other seafood.

Choose cheaper cuts of meat.

The AIP advises against eating meat grain-fed meat or grown on pasture because of its high cost. Instead of more costly cuts of meat, consider purchasing chicken thighs, pig shoulders, or ground beef. These cutbacks may be more affordable while maintaining the same level of health as thinner ones.

Purchasing whole chickens and learning the proper butchering techniques may be more economical.

Use organ meats

Despite having a higher protein content than other cuts of meat, some organ meat can be less expensive. For instance, due to the large amount of vitamins and minerals it contains, the liver is a highly nutrient-dense food. The meat may be used in burgers, meatloaf, sautéed meals, and other recipes.

It is possible to substitute less expensive cuts of beef with meat from other organs like the heart and the tongue. If you're not used to eating organ meats, ease into it by consuming a small amount first and then increasing your intake afterward.

Shop at farmers' markets

If you're on a budget but still want to eat healthy, check out your local farmer's market. Grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, eggs, and even seafood are available from many local, small-scale producers. In many cases, you may save money by bypassing the supermarket and buying straight from the farmer.

Try shopping for seasonal proteins, which may be on sale because of increased availability and lower costs.

Consider canned fish

Protein sources that are affordable and accessible include tuna and salmon, both canned. Wild-caught options packed in water or olive oil are the best choice if you want to stay away from added sweeteners and vegetable oils.

Canned fish is an excellent addition to many recipes, including salads, soups, and casseroles. Always check the label to be sure a product is AIP-friendly and devoid of potentially harmful ingredients, such as soy or wheat.

Make bone broth

A cheap superfood, bone broth, is made using leftover vegetables, water, and bones. It is high in protein. Making your bone broth at home is far more affordable than purchasing it from a specialist store.

Making bone broth is as simple as cooking animal bones in water with flavorful vegetables and herbs for a few hours. Many different dishes, including soups and stews, can be made with the resulting broth.

Buy in-season produce

It is advised only to buy food when it is in season to lower the total cost of the AIP. Because of this, products that are eaten during their prime tend to be less expensive overall.

Try purchasing directly from a farmer or enrolling in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program if you want fresh, in-season veggies at a lower cost than what you would pay at the grocery store.

Cook in bulk

Preparing meals in bulk might save time and money. Cooking in bulk and consuming meals rich in protein will help you save money and have meals ready for the whole week.

Large batches of soups, stews, and casseroles may be prepared and cooked in a slow cooker. These recipes may be made in advance, frozen, and then reheated.

Use discount codes and coupons.

While purchasing high-quality AIP protein sources online, where many retailers offer discounts and coupons, can help you save money, they may be more expensive. Look for savings on proteins, seafood, and vitamins produced on grass and in pastures.

By subscribing to their newsletters or following them on social media, you can stay updated on the newest discounts and exclusive deals from your favourite AIP-friendly companies.

Plan your meals

Making a meal plan ahead of time might help you cut down on food waste and grocery costs. You may save time and money by purchasing what you need and organizing your meals in advance.

The best protein sources for meals should be pastured chicken, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed cattle. Organ meats, canned salmon, and bone broth are all excellent low-cost protein sources.


The AIP diet might make finding affordable, high-quality protein options challenging. But if you stick to these guidelines and plan your meals carefully, you can eat well without breaking the bank. When budgeting, it's essential to focus on purchasing and preparing foods high in nutrients, cooking in bulk, and using coupons and sales.


What are some affordable protein sources that are AIP-friendly?

Ground beef, organ meats, bone broth, and canned fish (such as sardines and salmon) are all excellent sources of affordable, AIP-compliant protein. These affordable protein sources are adaptable and may be incorporated into various dishes.

Is it necessary to always buy grass-fed and pasture-raised meats when following the AIP diet?

The AIP advises grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, albeit they could be expensive. If you don't want to, you don't have to spend money on these meats continually. Examples of more economical protein sources that may be used to improve your diet include canned salmon and organic meats.

How can I save money on high-quality protein sources?

You can save money on premium protein sources by buying in bulk. Look for savings on vitamins, grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, and wild-caught seafood. Another option is joining a CSA program or directly purchasing from nearby farms.

How can I incorporate cheaper protein sources into my meals?

Fillers are an excellent way to include more reasonably priced protein sources. Canned fish is a fantastic addition to salads and soups to boost the protein content. Consider having some cooked and mashed sweet potato to stretch ground beef further.