How to Save Money on Protein Shakes

We share some savvy tips on saving money on protein shakes without compromising quality or taste.

Cup of protein powder on white table
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Protein shakes have become a staple in the diets of fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and anyone looking to boost their protein intake. But let's face it, keeping up with this habit can get pricey. If you're nodding in agreement, you're in the right place! I’m here to share some savvy tips on saving money on protein shakes without compromising quality or taste.

Difference Types of Powder

Investing in a higher-quality protein seems counterintuitive when trying to save money. However, better quality often means better absorption and effectiveness, meaning you might need less protein per serving, ultimately saving money in the long run.

Concentrate Protein Powder

Concentrate protein powder is made by extracting protein from whole food sources, typically dairy. The process involves heating the source with acid or enzymes and filtering out the non-protein parts. The product contains 70-80% protein, while the remaining 20-30% comprises carbohydrates and fats.

Benefits:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Besides protein, it retains more natural nutrients in the source food.
  • Better Flavor: Often considered better tasting due to the retained fats and carbs.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive than its isolate and hydrolysate counterparts.

Cons:

  • Higher in Lactose: Not ideal for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Lower Protein Percentage: Contains less protein per scoop than isolate and hydrolysate.

Isolate Protein Powder

Isolate protein powder goes through a more intensive filtering process than concentrate. This extra step removes more fat and carbs, producing a product that’s about 90-95% protein.

Benefits:

  • Higher Protein Content: Great for those looking to maximise their protein intake without the extra calories from fats and carbs.
  • Lower in Lactose: Often better tolerated by those with lactose sensitivity.
  • Less Calories: Ideal for weight management or lean muscle building.

Cons:

  • More Processed: Some argue that the additional processing can strip away some beneficial nutrients.
  • Flavour: Often less flavourful than concentrate due to less fat and carb content.
  • Cost: Generally more expensive than concentrate.

Hydrolysate Protein Powder

Hydrolysate, or hydrolysed protein, undergoes a process where the protein is broken down into smaller chains of amino acids, making it the most ‘pre-digested’ form of protein powder available.

Benefits:

  • Fast Absorption: Easier and faster for the body to absorb and utilise.
  • Less Allergenic: Often recommended for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to dairy.
  • Muscle Recovery: Muscle recovery may enhance recovery post-exercise due to rapid absorption.

Cons:

  • Taste: It can have a bitter taste due to the hydrolysation process.
  • Cost: Typically the most expensive option.
  • Limited Research: More research is needed on the long-term effects of hydrolysed protein compared to other forms.

Homemade Protein Shakes

Protein drink with cacao oats nuts flaxseed and banana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why not make your protein shake from scratch? Ingredients like Greek yoghurt, oats, peanut butter, and milk are protein-rich and more affordable in regular grocery stores. Plus, this allows you to experiment with flavours and ingredients, turning your protein shake routine into a culinary adventure. 

Meal Replacement Protein

The average cost of buying lunch in the city can add up quickly, and meal replacement shakes often work out to be a fraction of the cost per meal. Over time, the savings can be significant; think about what you could do with that extra money!

For example, a meal deal from Tesco is £3.90 without a Clubcard meanwhile, the 17-serving meal replacement powder from yfood works out as £1.76 per meal with the added benefit of 26 vitamins and minerals and a whopping 33g of protein. In my book, it is far better than a ploughman's sandwich in a meal deal.

Also, with MRP shakes, you have complete control over your calorie intake and nutritional balance, which can be a big win if you track your macros or try to maintain a diet. Plus, they come in various flavours, so you're not stuck eating the same thing daily. Check out our article on saving money on lunch for more tips on lunchtime savings at work. 

Buy in Bulk

One of the simplest ways to save is to buy in bulk. Larger containers of protein powder often cost less per serving than smaller tubs. Keep an eye out for sales or discounts on your favourite brands. And don’t worry about the product expiring – most protein powders have a long shelf life, sometimes up to two years. 

Become a Digital Coupon Clipper

Remember when you could clip coupons from newspapers? The digital era has made this process much easier and more rewarding. Sign up for newsletters from your favourite supplement brands and stores. They often send out promotional codes and alerts about upcoming sales. Or take a look here at MyVoucherCodes, where we have a collection of tested and exclusive coupons and discounts for some of the UK’s top sports nutrition brands, such as Warrior, Bulk and MyProtein

Loyalty Programs

Many stores and brands offer loyalty programs where you earn points for each purchase, which can be redeemed for discounts or free products. These points can add significant savings over time if you're a regular buyer. Check out our article for more information on how loyalty programs can save you money

Subscribe & Save

Many online stores offer a subscription model where you can get your favourite protein powder delivered at regular intervals. This ensures you always have enough; subscription services often offer a discount. Plus, you can pause, cancel, or adjust your subscription as needed, giving you both convenience and flexibility. 

Use Only What You Need

Stick to the recommended serving sizes. Using more protein powder than necessary can be a quick way to waste money (and it’s not necessarily better for your muscles). Measure your servings to ensure you’re not overdoing them.

Buy Off-Brand

First off, let's bust a myth: off-brand sometimes means lower quality. Many off-brand protein powders offer the same nutritional benefits as their branded counterparts but at a much more wallet-friendly price. How? They often spend less on marketing and fancy packaging, passing those savings onto you.

Some Great Own Brand Powders

Bulk Powders Pure Whey Protein - Bulk Powders, a UK-based company, offers an excellent alternative to more expensive brands. Their Pure Whey Protein comes in various flavours like Chocolate Peanut, and you can often find it for less than £20 per kilogram. That's a steal, considering the quality and taste it offers!

MyProtein Impact Whey - MyProtein's Impact Whey is another fantastic option. Regularly featuring in sales and discount events, you can grab a bag of this high-quality protein for a fraction of the cost of big-name brands. Keep an eye out for their seasonal sales. That's when you can score some deals.

The Protein Works Whey Protein 80 - The Protein Works offers Whey Protein 80, a great blend that keeps quality high. With a wide range of flavours and regular discounts, it's a solid choice for anyone looking to save. Their loyalty program also allows you to earn points with every purchase, leading to even more savings. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Off-Brand Protein

Check the Ingredients - Always read the label. Ensure the protein content is high, and watch out for added sugars and unnecessary fillers.

Look for Reviews - Before buying, check online reviews and fitness forums. Hearing from others who have tried the product can give you a good idea of its quality and taste.

Sample Packs - Many companies offer sample packs or smaller bags. It’s a low-risk way to try different flavours and brands without committing to a large purchase.

Compare Nutritional Values - Compare the protein content per serving with that of more expensive brands. You might be surprised to find they're similar. 

These strategies let you enjoy protein shakes without feeling the pinch in your pocket. Remember, staying fit and healthy doesn't have to break the bank. With a little bit of planning and some savvy shopping, you can fuel your body for less. Cheers to a healthier you and a fuller wallet! For more tips, check out our article on saving money with healthy eating.

Nathan Walters
Editor

I joined MyVoucherCodes as a Deal Expert, searching the web and sourcing the best deals, discount codes and sales to benefit our readers. I decided to combine these money-saving skills with my love of writing and become an Editor, sharing what I have learned to help you get the most out of your money. As a student for four years, I understand the need to budget and get more for less.  As well as providing budget-friendly advice here at MVC, I have written money-saving works for well-known publications such as The Sun and Pick Me Up!


I love playing video games and later writing reviews at GameReport in my spare time. I also enjoy anything to do with technology and cool gadgets, and I'm constantly adding extras and components to my home gaming computer. Additionally, I love DIY. Having worked in a tool store as a student, I enjoy fixing things, whether my car or home.