Food - A budget guide to not starving to death

Eating on the Road

One of the biggest expenses while traveling (and let’s be honest, at home too) is food, especially if you’re trying to avoid fast food. Cara and I are staying a lot of places where we can cook for ourselves, so that is a start. Being able to do more normal grocery shopping is definitely helpful, but what about days when you’re staying in a normal hotel that isn’t self-catering (has a kitchen)? If we can’t cook for ourselves, one thing we try to make sure of is that there is free breakfast, so at least we get one meal out of the day bundled into a cost we are paying anyway.

Groceries in Europe so far have been pretty comparable to the US, and we usually don’t have to spend too much to eat well. As a reference, this week in Ireland, we did some shopping and spent the equivalent of $80 to get enough food for 6 meals, plus extra snacks including fruit, granola bars, and nuts. Typical breakfast for us is a few eggs, and granola with yogurt and berries or just some fruit. We tend to stick to things that are easy to cook for other meals, and lately as we travel around Ireland we do a big breakfast and then our day goes one of two ways. Either we eat a big meal out in the afternoon and have something small for dinner that we make, or we eat something light that we packed (lunch meat, fruit, nuts, etc) and make a bigger meal for ourselves in the evening. Since lunch is typically cheaper than dinner, if you’re going to eat out once a day that is a good choice.

For example, on a night we cook for ourselves we made great dinner with chicken, cut onion and bell peppers, and a jar of salsa all mixed into a 9x13 glass dish and baked. We ate the mix over some greens and had a delicious dinner easy and cheap!

Overall, we try to only eat out once or less per day, and when we buy groceries we go for chicken and pork before steak (most days). You can’t be afraid to try new food, and if you can handle cooking at home, you can do it on the road too!