Cost of Canned Fish

We have all heard the buzz about omega-3 fatty acids and their health benefits. Furthermore, most of us know that the most common place to find omega-3 fatty acids is in fish. However, fish is not always affordable or readily available.

There are several choices for buying packaged tuna and salmon. You can find it:

  • in a can or in a pouch
  • in water or in oil
  • marinated or plain

What is the healthier and cheaper option? Packaged fish is higher in sodium, but fairly low in calories and fat. Both tuna and salmon are similar in calories and fat, but what is added can add calories. For example, oil-packed fish is higher in calories and fat. Both fish are healthy options, but the salmon is going to provide more omega-3 fatty acids than the tuna. Both are similar in price, so it may be beneficial to choose the salmon if you are concerned with intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Packaging
Foil-packed fish is often more expensive, so choosing the canned fish is a better buy. The 5-ounce cans sold individually are going to be the cheapest option for buying tuna; and, the 14.5-ounce cans sold individually are the cheapest option for buying salmon. Marinating, and other special processes add to the cost.

  Product     Cost per ounce  
Tuna canned in water, 3 3-ounce cans/package $2.59/9 =  $.29
Tuna canned in water, 5-ounce can           $.69/5 = $.14
Tuna canned in oil, 5-ounce can $.69/5 = $.14
Tuna canned in water, 12-ounce can $2.39/12 = $.20
Marinated flavored tuna in foil package, 4.5-ounce $1.69/4.5 = $.38
Albacore tuna in foil packages, 2.6- and 6.4-ounce $1.69/2.6 = $.65
$2.99/6.4 = $.47
Red Sockeye salmon, 14.5-ounce can $3.79/14.5 = $.26
Chum salmon, 14.5-ounce can $1.50/14.5 = $.10
Smoked Alaskan Pacific Wild Caught salmon, foil package, 3-ounce $2.59/3 = $.86
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