Eating on a Budget & Saving Tips Abroad-
Tales of An Indian Backpacker
Eating On A budget is one of the foremost things as backpacker i look for..
After exploring 15 Countries in a span of 3 years let me share with u some insights from my experience where we can really eat lovely & Delicious foods and save a lot in our food budget...some of it may be already a well known tips..
Booking Hotels/Hostels that offer Free breakfast will save ur breakfast expenses, the breakfast may be simple like bread , omelette with butter,jam,peanut butter, salads, croissants, tea, coffee, corn flakes/chocos etc..
Avoid taking food in Priced Restaurants: I always look for Small shops/Bakery that sell burgers, sandwiches, cakes, bread, the prices will be considerably cheap when compared to a dine in stalls and these restaurants have service charge on their bills.
Don't Crave to Indian Restaurants for Indian Foods abroad- They are really expensive: Try authentic foods of the country rather searching for India Foods.As Indian restaurants Foods are really expensive in western countries/Europe.
I just had a small portion of mushroom Pulav and 3 Piece Chicken Tikka in Madrid ,i ended up paying 14 Euros. Whereas in Malaysia u can really enjoy delicious Indian foods at a reasonable price.
Make use of Take-away: Take away foods are cheaper in some stalls and restaurants compared to dine in as they have additional charges for it. In Venice a slice of take away pizza costed me just 2 Euros whereas for dine-In it costs 4.5 Euros. So make use of take-aways and enjoy ur food in some parks, benches, canal sides, and a lovely place, i always do that.
Cook Your Own food:Cooking is fun ,Some Hostels Offer Free Kitchen facilities where you can cook food and enjoy your food with hostel mates .In Bali i stayed in a hostel where i prepared noodles with veggies and egg, i shared it with my hostel mates they were really delighted after eating my spicy omelette and made good friends.In Jakarta at the last leg of my trip was was left with less IDR , hence i bought 3 Packts of Insta Noodles for jus 6000 IDR and cooked in my hostel.
Hit Super Markets : 24/7 , 7/11 Marts: The moment you check in a hostel , look out out for the nearest supermarket,24/7 , 7/11 Shops.
This is place where u get all ur needs. Everything is cheap in Supermarkets when compared to the other places.Before you start out U can pack ur backpack with fresh cut fruits, ready to eat foods, veggies salads, fruit, bread and have the food on the go and stay energetic.
There are lot of offers in supermarkets to sell out cheap after 7/8 Pm and the prices are really cheap, i saved a lot in Paris by hitting supermarkets at 8 PM Sale. Water bottles & Hydrated drinks, fruit juices are are also cheap in Supermarkets.
Avoid Buying Mineral Water Bottles: In some countries like Singapore Water bottles are really expensive jus a 300 ml Water bottle costs u 2.5$SGD, and in European countries too its the same. Mostly All hostels/ hotels have free water i always fill up two Big bottles with water before i step out of the hostel mostly it ll be sufficient for a day and in case if it gets exhausted i top it up from free water outlets situated in museums, parks , attraction sites or in eateries where i take lunch for the day. U can really save a considerable amount by this.
Use Deals and Coupons for Buffets Lunch\BBQ dinners : Look out for the local websites offering best restaurant combo deals , I Booked Lavish buffets and Dinners for less than 5 USD in Malaysia and in Hong Kong by booking the Deals offers in the local websites, u can really taste exotic lavish spread of continental menus and plethora of cusines.
Beers & Wines Cheaper in Supermarkets : For Beer lovers the best place is to buy is from supermarket shelves 7/11, 24/7 shops , and they are really cheap , than in Bars. U can hit bars if u really wan to enjoy music and the ambience..
Buy Fruits From Street & Roadside Vedors they are really fresh and cheaper but wash it well before eating.
Street Food and Food Courts,Evening Markets: Hitting Evening Street food arena and food courts is the best place to enjoy authentic street foods of the country, especially in SE Asian Countries. You can easily have foods at dead cheap at give away prices , i experienced this in Thailand, the prices are really cheap, fr example i had 4 Grilled King Sized Prawns for just 80 Bhat.
Try Local Eateries and restaurants, apart from being cheap u can really enjoy the authentic taste of the local foods.
Coffee & Tea Milk : U can have Coffee & Tea at 7/11 Shops / 24/& shops and they are really cheap.
Use Vending machines: Look out for Vending machines and Buy Beverages/Drinks/Water/Snacks from the Vending machines that are in Subways, Metros, Museums, Train Stations, airports, Hostel they are really cheaper than supermarkets sometimes. In Madrid i bought a Coke for Just 1 Euro using vending machine in my hostel. I picked an Iced Hydrated Tea Tin Can just for 5000 IDR in vending machine in Sukarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta.
Food courts in malls: In some Food Courts malls food are really cheaper look for the prices,for example i found In Dubai Mall Food Court the prices are really reasonable.
Eating in Airports during layover: Mostly foods in all airports are expensive, so wander around in airports and look for food courts where prices are considerable less though not cheap , for beverages check out for vending machines. For eg In KLIA2 the Taste of India Food Court the prices are really reasonable.
Final Indian Spicy Touch Tip: Indians are always spice lovers, hence I always carry a small container box with Indian Spices Chat masala powder Pre Mixed, in case if i find some foods less spicy or even without spicy , i just sprinkle and top it up to have an indian spicy punch to it...
Travelling is exploring new things and having good food will definitely keep us energized and keep out exploring pace energetic.
Having Said that at some places we need to spend money to really enjoy the ambience and delicious foods in such case lets be open to spend and enjoy it...
I hope my tips will be helpful to all backpackers, feel free to PM/DM me i ll be glad to offer my suggestions and tips..