Preparing chicken breasts is very time consuming, and also expensive. Is there another alternative that is cheap, easy and quick to make, and has the same amount of protein?
I'm a student so time and money are my primary problems.
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Chicken has per 100g (3.5 oz):
You'll find that what is cheap really depends on what is most common where you live. In other words, if you live in a country or town where seafood is plentiful it may very well be a cheaper form of protein. Unfortunately, some areas of the world it seems that all food is expensive.
Most seafood will have a little more protein per ounce than a chicken breast, and be leaner.. This includes canned tuna. For example from the nutrition for a can of tuna stored in water (165g / 5.8oz):
You'll have to go to the grocery store and look at the labels. You are wanting to compare fat/carbs/protein from one type of meat/seafood to another.
Something to consider in your search is that you can save money if you get your chicken with the skin and bones still attached. You pay for the convenience of having that removed for you. Of course, that does increase your prep time if you don't want that in the final meal.
One of the things that I do to keep prep times down is to cook off a week's worth of chicken and keep it in the refrigerator. In the morning all I have to do is take a serving of chicken out of the fridge and pack it for lunch. At work we have a microwave, and only have to reheat the chicken for 1.5 minutes.
Preparing chicken breasts are probably the fastest thing ever, and I really do not think anything is much cheaper. But other good sources are:
Cottage cheese, skim milk, Skyr, eggs and tuna (stolen from other answers).
From (Berin Loritsch) you could look into local sources of cheap and good protein.
Back to the breasts!
Buy a bunch of breasts.
Wrap them in bacon/thinly sliced ham.
Place them on a baking tray, with some baking paper under.
Cook them for 20 minutes a 180-200 degrees (around 380-400 fahrenheit?).
Cool off, and store in fridge.
It really does not get any cheaper or faster than that. You can slice them open and stuff things like cheese and spices in, to get some variation.
I recommend a low fat, low carb whey protein isolate drink in place of the chicken breast if you are OK with switching to a drink. I work at a health food store and we help many people supplement their diets/lifestyles with whey protein. It is not just used for body builders or people trying to get buff, protein is something your body needs and most people don't get enough or get proteins high in fat (some animal proteins).
I am also a student so for breakfast, I drink a 30 gm protein shake, have a low carb bar (>100 cal) and multivitamins, and stay lean and healthy during the semester to follow. You will also feel better getting protein early in the day and most likely it will carry you through to lunch with your appetite in check.