Inexpensive Indian Eating: Four Frugal Tips for Feeding Your Family Delicious Indian Meals for Less

A mouth-watering curry is something to relish and linger over, eaten in the company of friends and family over laughter and great music. When the purse strings tighten and your food budget is reduced, Indian food is the ideal way to make your meal money stretch further than ever, without losing the enjoyment in your diet. For inexpensive Indian eating, check out these four frugal tips for feeding your family delicious Indian meals for less.

Don't underestimate the pulse

Legumes, beans and pulses are excellent sources of iron, potassium, antioxidants, fibre and plant-based protein. They also happen to be amongst the most affordable sources of protein, making them a frugal family's best friend at meal time. It's great to use red lentils to bulk out a soup, or sneak them into your spaghetti bolognaise to stretch your dollar further. To truly embrace the beauty and frugality of pulses, whip up an Indian culinary delight for your family tonight! A delicious, healthy dal can be prepared out of simple pantry staples, feeding your family without a trip to the supermarket or expensive ingredients. Served with some naan, chutney, rice and raita, you have a fabulous banquet meal that's quick to prepare, easy to customise to your family's tastes, and freezer-friendly for a quick weeknight meal in the future.

Build and store your spice library

Spending $100 on spices that you will use once for a specific recipe definitively isn't the frugal way! Slowly building up your spice library, however, and storing them correctly to extend their shelf life, will help you stick to your food budget while expanding the flavour possibilities of your family meals. Start small, purchasing smaller quantities of the spices and herbs that you know are family favourites- think turmeric, cumin, cardamom and cayenne. Shopping at your local Indian grocer or ordering online is a great way to get more for less! Slowly build up your spice library as you need to and can afford, and store in glass jars or the freezer to keep them fresh for longer.

Go meatless, Monday or otherwise

Meat can easily be the most expensive part of your food budget, so minimising meat consumption in your family is a fantastically frugal challenge. Thankfully, Indian cuisine embraces vegetarian food options, substituting lentils, vegetables and Indian cheese for protein-packed meat alternatives. For a tasty and frugal meat-free meal for your family, try making your own paneer to replace the meat in your favourite curry- it's easy, cheap, quick and a luscious substitute that will have the kids coming back for seconds!

For a frugal, fun family meal, sample some delicious Indian cuisine at your local Indian restaurant tonight!