Chicken, steak or pork? It seems we're always contemplating what meat to center our meals around. But if you're on a budget, you should try to forgo the meat; it doesn't have to be the main protein source at every meal. If you cook vegetarian meals, not only will you see the added health benefits of eating more vegetables, you'll see significant cost savings. Other sources of protein like beans, nuts, lentils and cheese are much more affordable than meat, and sometimes have more protein.
Beans are a great source of protein, and they're very inexpensive whether they're dried or canned. Whole grains are also a great way to add substance to your meals in a cost-effective way. A side of brown rice or whole wheat pasta can help fill you up and take your focus off meat as the central dish at dinner.
If think you just can't live without meat, try cutting back on your serving sizes or buying the less expensive cuts. These are usually tougher, but you can always stew, braise or marinate them to help make them more enjoyable.