13 Affordable Cheapest Fish Options for Budget Shoppers

A list of 13 affordable fish options for budget shoppers includes tilapia, sardines, herring, and more that are nutritious, delicious, and won’t break the bank.

cheapest fish to buy 13 Affordable Cheapest Fish Options for Budget Shoppers

Love seafood but worried about the cost? Don’t stress, we have a list of the 13 cheapest fish options for you. From tilapia to sardines and catfish, these affordable choices will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. Fish is a nutritious meat, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin D. It benefits your body and brain, reducing heart attacks and strokes while boosting brain health. So, get ready to enjoy delicious and affordable fish that won’t break your budget!

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Herring is a type of fish with a reputation of being overlooked, but it is a very affordable option for seafood lovers on a budget. This oily fish is packed with nutrients and has a strong flavor that pairs well with bolder flavors. Herring can be fresh, smoked, or canned, making it a versatile option for many recipes. 



Sardines are a type of small, oily fish that is mostly found in the Mediterranean Sea. They are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron. Sardines are typically canned in olive oil or water.

Sardines are a cheap and nutritious option for those on a budget. A can of sardines costs around $1-$2 and contains around 10-12 grams of protein. Sardines are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for a healthy heart.

One can of sardines provides around 20% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium and 10% of the RDI for iron. Sardines are a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap and healthy option.  


Pan fried tilapia

Tilapia is a versatile, affordable fish, perfect for those on a budget. This type of fish is typically sold frozen, making it a convenient option for busy weeknight dinners.

When cooked properly, tilapia has a delicate flavor with a flaky texture, that makes it a popular choice among seafood lovers.


Fried anchovies

Anchovies is a fish that works well if you’re on a budget. They are small, oily fish often used as a flavoring agent for other dishes. You can find Anchovies in the canned fish aisle of most grocery stores.  


Pacific cod

Cod is a versatile fish that can be cooked various ways and used with different dishes. It is a whitefish with a mild taste that is popular in many cultures. Cod is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also low in mercury.

It can be purchased at your local store, fresh or frozen. Fresh cod is more expensive than frozen cod, but the flavor is better. Be sure to thaw frozen cod before cooking. You can bake, broil, or fry this fish or use it to make fishcakes or chowder.

When buying cod, look for firm flesh with no browning or bruising. The skin should be intact, and the eyes should be clear. Fresh cod should have a mild ocean smell. Frozen cod should be free of ice crystals and smell fresh when thawed. 

Rainbow Trout

rainbow Trout fishing at evening

Rainbow trout is a relatively inexpensive fish to buy on a budget. This type of fish is typically found in the wild and caught using different methods, making it a great option for those looking for a cheap source of protein. Rainbow trout is also relatively easy to prepare for those who don’t like to cook or who don’t have time to cook. 

Canned Tuna

StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Oil, 5 Oz, Pack of 12

Canned tuna is one of the most affordable fish you can buy. It’s a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and cooked a number of ways to make for a delicious meal.

When shopping for canned tuna look for brands packed in water or olive oil. Avoid brands packed in soybean oil, as this type of oil is high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids.

Canned tuna can be a healthy and affordable addition to your diet. With some creativity, you can use canned tuna to create various delicious and nutritious meals. 


Fresh Fillet of Sockeye Salmon with parsley
Fresh Fillet of Sockeye Salmon with parsley

Salmon is another versatile, delicious, healthy fish, perfect for budget-minded cooks. And it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other fish, making it a top-of-the-line choice for those on a tight budget.

There are many different ways to cook salmon, so you can always find a new way to enjoy this tasty fish. Whether you grill, bake or fry your salmon, you’re sure to enjoy its taste and health benefits. 


what does mahi mahi fish taste like

Mahi-mahi is a type of fish that is relatively cheap to buy. It is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and can be fried, baked, or broiled to make for a wonderful. Mahi-mahi is commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean but can also be found floating around in the Pacific Ocean. 

Atlantic Mackerel

Fresh mackerel on wooden board served with lemon and herbs

Atlantic mackerel is a type of fish found in the Atlantic Ocean. This type of fish is known for its oil content, making it an excellent healthy choice for those concerned about their budget and health. Atlantic mackerel is also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.


Fresh raw grouper fish on plate with herbs and spices for cooked food seafood steamed fish

If you’re on a budget, grouper is a perfect option. This type of fish is relatively inexpensive, and it’s a versatile option for cooking. You can bake, fry, or grill grouper.

It also pairs well with different sides. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a more elaborate meal for entertaining, grouper gets a thumbs up.

Striped Bass

Striped Bass

Striped bass is one of the cheapest fish to buy on a budget. This type of fish is usually sold by the pound, and you can buy them at most supermarkets.

Like most fish, striped bass is a versatile fish that can be broiled, baked, or fried. It’s a good option for those looking to save money on their grocery bill. 


taste of red snapper 13 Affordable Cheapest Fish Options for Budget Shoppers

If you’re looking for a cheap, delicious fish to add to your repertoire, look no further than snapper. This versatile seafood is perfect for everything from grilling to baking, and its mild flavor means it pairs well with sauces and spices. Plus, at just $5-7 per pound, a snapper is a terrific value for your money.

What is the cheapest fish to buy at the grocery store?

The cheapest fish at most grocery stores often varies by region and season, but tilapia and catfish are commonly known for their affordability and wide availability.

Which fish offers the cheapest price per pound?

Typically, fish like tilapia, swai, and certain types of catfish offer the cheapest price per pound, striking a balance between cost and quality for budget-conscious consumers.

What is the cheapest white fish available?

When looking for the cheapest white fish, species such as haddock, pollock, and whiting often come up as cost-effective options, especially when purchased frozen.

Which cheap fatty fish can you recommend?

Mackerel and certain types of sardines are excellent options for cheap fatty fish, offering a wealth of omega-3 fatty acids without breaking the bank.

What is the cheapest fish to eat?

The cheapest fish to eat can vary, but generally, tilapia, mackerel, and canned tuna are among the most budget-friendly choices that are both tasty and readily available.

What is considered the best cheap fish?

Many would argue that the best cheap fish is tilapia due to its mild flavor, versatility in recipes, and consistent low price.

What is the cheapest fatty fish available?

Canned sardines and mackerel are some of the cheapest fatty fish available, providing a good source of omega-3s and protein at a low cost.

What is the least expensive fish to purchase?

The least expensive fish to purchase is often farm-raised tilapia or catfish, as they are frequently cultivated in large quantities and have a stable market price.

What is the cheapest fish you can buy to eat?

The cheapest fish one can buy to eat often includes freshwater species like tilapia, carp, and catfish, which are typically less expensive than their oceanic counterparts.

What are some cheap healthy fish options?

Cheap healthy fish options include tilapia, mackerel, and certain types of canned tuna, which are all rich in protein while being low on the wallet.

Where can I find the cheapest fish fillet?

The cheapest fish fillet is often found in the frozen section, with species like tilapia, swai, and pollock being the most economical choices.

What is the cheapest seafood per pound?

The cheapest seafood per pound is often small shellfish like mussels or certain types of clams, which are not only affordable but also nutritious and flavorful.

Can you suggest some cheap fish to eat?

For those seeking cheap fish to eat, tilapia, canned light tuna, and pollock are excellent options that offer good taste and nutritional value at a lower cost.

What is the cheapest fish you can buy?

The cheapest fish one can buy is typically a type of white fish like tilapia, swai, or pollock, especially when they are purchased frozen or in bulk.

What are some cheap fish to buy?

Cheap fish to buy include tilapia, catfish, and mackerel, which are often available at lower prices due to their abundant farming and harvesting practices.

What is the cheapest fish to buy?

The cheapest fish to buy is usually tilapia, which is widely farmed and sold at a competitive price point, making it a go-to option for budget meals.

Where can I find cheap fish fillets?

Cheap fish fillets can be found in the frozen section of most supermarkets, with tilapia, swai, and pollock being among the most cost-effective and versatile choices.

What are some cheap fish options for a tight budget?

For those on a tight budget, cheap fish options include canned tuna, tilapia, and catfish, which are all affordable without sacrificing nutritional value.

Which is the cheapest healthy fish to consider?

The cheapest healthy fish to consider would be species like mackerel and tilapia, which are not only economical but also high in essential nutrients.

What is the cheapest type of fish?

The cheapest type of fish could be tilapia, cod, mackerel, and sardines, which, despite being less popular, are more affordable and highly nutritious.

Why is tilapia so cheap?

Tilapia is inexpensive due to its suitability for farming, as it can tolerate high population densities, exhibits rapid growth, and thrives on an affordable plant-based diet. These characteristics contribute to its relatively low cost compared to other seafood options.

What fish is cheaper than salmon?

A fish that is cheaper than salmon is Arctic char. Although it has slightly less protein than salmon, it is still an excellent source of omega-3 and is comparatively more affordable than salmon, considering its similar fat content. It is worth noting that char, scientifically known as Salvelinus, belongs to the trout and salmon family and is a freshwater fish (according to Britannica).

What cheap fish is like salmon?

Fillets of affordable fish such as pollack, hake, halibut, and cod have a firm flesh, mild flavor, and a forgiving nature. They can be prepared in similar ways to salmon, such as searing, slow-roasting, or poaching. You can determine if it’s cooked by checking if the flesh is opaque and easily flakes.

Is it cheaper to buy a whole fish?

It is more cost-effective to purchase a whole fish because it is similar to buying in bulk, resulting in a lower price per pound.

Is tilapia a real fish?

Tilapia is indeed a real fish. Contrary to a common misconception, the species is not “man-made” but rather native to the Middle East and Africa. Although Tilapia is often bred in fish farms worldwide, references to and depictions of this fish can be traced back to ancient Egypt.

What is the least tasting fish?

The least tasting fish is tilapia, which can be considered the mildest flavored fish available. It lacks any fishy taste and instead has a gentle sweetness. Tilapia is simple to cook and pairs well with various flavor combinations. Another fish with a similar mild flavor is cod, which also has a slight sweetness resembling tilapia.

What is a cheaper fish like cod?

A cheaper fish similar to cod is tilapia, which is often used as a substitute for cod due to its popularity and wide availability. With its light and mild flavor, tilapia is a versatile fish that can be used as an excellent alternative to cod in numerous dishes. Moreover, its firm and flaky texture allows for various cooking methods to be applied.

Is lobster or crab cheaper?

Lobster is usually more costly compared to crab; however, there are instances when king crab legs can be sold at a higher price than a whole lobster. This is because king crab legs are highly desired for their abundant white meat and typically offer more meat per pound than whole lobsters.

What is the least fishy tasting seafood?

The least fishy tasting seafood is tilapia, which is widely considered to be the mildest fish in terms of flavor. It lacks any fishy taste and instead has a subtle sweetness. Tilapia is versatile in cooking and pairs well with various flavor combinations. Another option is cod, which also has a mild taste similar to tilapia, with a slight sweetness.

What is the least cruel seafood?

The least cruel seafood option is clams, cockles, and mussels because they do not rely on other fish for their diet and are not as active as other farmed seafood. Additionally, they are versatile ingredients that can enhance various dishes such as pastas, soups, and paellas, making them a reliable choice for seafood lovers.

What is the most loved seafood?

The most loved seafood is shrimp, followed by salmon, tuna, tilapia, pollock, pangasius or basa, and cod, according to America’s Top 10.

Is frozen seafood cheaper than fresh?

Frozen seafood is indeed more affordable than fresh seafood, costing approximately 20 percent less. Additionally, freezing seafood allows for an extended season, enabling us to enjoy the deliciousness of summer-caught fish even in the midst of winter.

Which crab is cheapest?

The cheapest crab among the options is snow crab, Dungeness, and blue crabs, while king crab legs are considered to be more expensive. To reduce costs, one can consider having crab legs delivered to their doorstep.

Is canned salmon good?

Canned salmon is indeed good as it is just as nutritious as fresh salmon. It is packed with essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamins B & D, and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fats are particularly important for promoting healthy brain development in infants and potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

How can I save money buying fish?

To save money when buying fish, consider shopping at local warehouse stores where you can find fish in bulk and pay a fraction of the cost compared to traditional grocery stores. These stores offer a wide variety of fish, such as tilapia, clams, and catfish, allowing you to stock up and save.

Is it better to buy whole fish or fillets?

It is recommended to purchase whole fish as they generally result in fresher fillets. Additionally, if you intend to grill the fish, a whole fish is more forgiving as the skin and bones help retain the juices and provide insulation for the meat during grilling.

What is the cheapest fish for fish and chips?

The cheapest fish for fish and chips is usually cod, as it is readily accessible, affordable, and pairs excellently with this oven fried fish and chips recipe.

What is the easiest and cheapest fish?

The easiest and cheapest fish is the barb group, which consists of a wide variety of species displaying stunning colors and patterns. Tetras are also a great option as they are visually appealing and require minimal maintenance. Swordtails, molly fish, algae eaters, bettas, and danios are other affordable and low-maintenance fish that can be considered for your home aquarium.

What fish is inexpensive for frying?

The fish that is affordable for frying is tilapia. It is widely available in almost every grocery store worldwide. With its gentle taste, flaky texture, and moistness, tilapia is commonly fried to achieve a delightful golden crust.

What is the healthiest and cheapest fish?

The healthiest and cheapest fish is cod, trout, sardines, crab, haddock, tuna, mussels, and prawns. Cod is a nutritious and affordable option, while trout, sardines, and crab also offer health benefits at a reasonable price. Haddock and tuna are additional choices that provide both health and affordability. Mussels are a cost-effective and sustainable seafood option that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Lastly, prawns are a low-calorie seafood with high protein content, making them a healthy and budget-friendly choice.

Is cod a cheap fish?

Cod is considered to be an affordable fish, typically priced at around $10 per pound or less, whereas the cost of black cod can vary depending on factors such as sourcing and season, but generally ranges around $20 per pound.

What is a cheap white fish?

An inexpensive white fish is typically a mildly flavored, quick-cooking fish that is generally not very costly. Varieties such as tilapia, cod, bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, and snapper are popular examples of white fish, which can be used for frying, searing, soups and chowders, and baking due to their versatility and affordability.

Is tilapia the cheapest fish?

Tilapia is not the cheapest fish available, but it is a popular choice due to its affordability and mild taste. It is the fourth most commonly consumed seafood in the United States, favored by many for its relatively low price and lack of strong fish flavor.

What fish is cheaper than cod?

A fish that is cheaper than cod is pollock, which is a type of whitefish commonly used as a more affordable alternative.

Is catfish a cheap fish?

Catfish is indeed an inexpensive fish compared to other seafood options like salmon or shrimp, making it a cost-effective choice when dining out.

What is the best tasting fish for fish and chips?

The best tasting fish for fish and chips, according to most chefs, is haddock. While it may not have the same flaky or tender texture as cod, haddock has a more flavorful meat. It has a subtle sweetness that complements the buttery taste of the batter, making it a delicious choice, especially when paired with a curry sauce.

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