Post number 2 on eating cheaply, predominantly at home, and I’m out of the country. This complicates things.
But I’ve decided to compile a little list on spending food money wisely when you’re away from home. I think the assumption is that when you’re on holiday you’re probably going to eat out more often than you would at home, and I certainly haven’t failed to live up to that. As I’ve been with family, it’s been a little easier to save and not eat out for every meal; we’ll do a bit of a grocery shop whenever we move into a new place, and take turns to shout the meals we do eat out. But even so, money has a sneaky way of walking out of your pocket if you don’t keep a close eye on it. Here’s some things I did and some things I learnt:
1) CHOOSE WISELY. There will always be cheaper options on any given menu, and if you’re looking to hang on to some of your hard-earned cash, it’s up to you to figure out the best way to achieve a full stomach without emptying your wallet. Instead of a starter, a main and a drink, why not stick with water and ditch the starter? Or take it a step further and buy something on a street corner? See how cheap you can go. Just see.
2) YOU CAN STILL COOK ‘AT HOME’ WHEN YOU’RE ON HOLIDAY. Just because you’re not in your usual kitchen, doesn’t mean you have to ignore it completely. Obviously if you’re staying in a hostel or camping it may not always be that simple, but if you’re renting a house/apartment for a week, why not make the most of the facilities? The more meals you cook yourself, the more money you’ll have to dine out later, or to buy a big collection of specific city-themed snow globes, if that’s the kind of traveller you are.
3) ASK ABOUT LOCAL MARKETS. Depending on where you’re travelling you’ll probably be able to suss out some kind of food market or at the very least a reasonably-priced grocer. Make the most of these! Buying food straight from the source is not only healthier and more sustainable, but it’s cheaper too! Plus you’ll feel good about supporting the farmer rather than a corporation.
4) IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO. Sure, you’re travelling with your friends or your family and you’re having a great time and everyone is getting pretty keen to enjoy a delicious restaurant experience, but you know you can’t afford to keep doing this and you’re not even feeling that hungry…it’s okay to say no this time! I’m sure your travel companions aren’t going to ditch you then and there just because you opt out of a few meals. Or you can even go a step further and encourage them to cook with you at the place you’re staying. Lure them into a magical den of culinary fun!
Travelling can be expensive but there are always ways to cut corners and save your dollars. Says the girl with the empty pocket. Oops.
Stay cheap x