How Many Meals Can I Make for $25

By Alex C


The goal of this new series is to save you a ton of money in the kitchen and the concept is pretty simple. I'm going to be picking one cuisine, in today’s video, it’s Indian food. Next, I'll pick 10 common ingredients totaling $25 that I think represents that cuisine well. I’ll take these ingredients and really see how far I can possibly push them. Using all of my cooking skills and most importantly, a ton of creativity, we’re going to figure out how many Indian inspired dishes I can make for under $25. 

Now, of course India is a massive country so there's no possible way to pick 10 ingredients that represents a place with over a billion people. But what I tried to do was pick ingredients that are all inexpensive and that anyone can find at any store. You won’t be seeing any specialty ingredients in my list but you will see ingredients that have shown up in a lot of the Indian inspired dishes that I've cooked over the years. 

Here are the 10 ingredients I choose: 

  1. 2 small to medium onions 
  2. 1 bunch of fresh cilantro 
  3. 1 pound of potatoes 
  4. Ginger & Garlic Puree
  5. 1-32 oz can of tomatoes 
  6. 1 pound of jasmine rice 
  7. 1 pound of dried chickpeas 
  8. 1 can of full fat coconut milk 
  9. 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs, skin & bone in 
  10. Garam Masala


There's three ingredients that I won't be counting on this list that almost everyone already has in their pantry which is: ghee, any kind of neutral oil, and salt to season our food. With only $25 I bought these 10 ingredients and managed to make 12 delicious meals! Homemade chickpea and rice dosa, chicken curry over rice, falafel, chana masala and much more. 

Towards the last final bits of my ingredients, it became hard to come up with meals but the lesson here is knowing how to cook and being able to break free of recipes. Letting go of any attachments or judgements you have about cooking and using up what you have to make a meal. Getting creative with what you have will ultimately save you money and maximize the ingredients and tools in your kitchen. Let me know if there's another cuisine you want to see me try in this series and that's about it. Click here to see the full video!