What do you mean stay away from protein powder do to cost?
I buy a 10 lb bag for 75$ thats 50 cents a serving (1/3cup servings.) The only thing that compares cost wise to that is 4oz can of tuna, everything else chicken, tuna, beef is much more expensive per serving, or per ~20ish grams of protein.
Also post workout whey is almost your only option. Bloodflow is still dominated by your muscles post-workout and you only have a 2 hour window to maximize your recovery, this is why bodybuilders reach for whey protein, because it is "pre-digested" and can be absorbed rapidly. Also for post workout meals don't eat any fat, it slows digestion. Then you should eat a full meal 1-2 hours after your post workout meal, this one being all real food.
It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali
You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.