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Old 07-30-2006, 09:38 PM   #1
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hey everyone!
loving the site and its really helping me plan my trip next year! ok so im wondering cos im gonna be staying in hostels throughout the UK and Europe and trying to save my money by cooking for myself most of the time, so how do u other backpackers do it? what meals do u eat and make yourself when travelling and do u have to bring your own cutlery, plates etc in your backpack? any advice much appreciated!!!!!!!
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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if the hostel has a kitchen they have supplies

you can make whatever you want...if you are seriously poor like me, buy a loaf of bread and a pack of cheese and have grilled cheese every day!

lots of people make pasta and salad and stuff and fresh veggies and fruits from the local markets are always yummy and cheap
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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There are a lot of good cheap food suggestions in the Food and Drink forum, you can get some great ideas there.

In general, bread, rice and pasta are cheap, as are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially at the markets. Meat and fish are costlier, though you could buy a small cured sausage which would last a few days and supplement the bread/cheese/fruit trio that seems to form the basis of most cheap European meals. I prefer a cured sausage, because they stand up to the rigours of backpacking/picnicking better than sliced meats do.

If your hostel serves a big buffet breakfast, be sure to eat some eggs, cheese and meat there - even if it doesn't form the basis of your usual breakfast, it's good to start your day with a little protein, and then you can get away without having to buy any for yourself that day. A lot of times hostel breakfasts are just bread and jam, but if you can get meat or cheese, do take advantage. And if they happen to serve fish, definitely eat that, much cheaper and easier than trying to work fish into your packer diet on your own.

Your best bet for drinks (alcoholic or non) is to pick up a bottle of whatever you prefer at a grocery store (for example, ALDI is a cheap one in Germany) and have that as long as it lasts you. If you're a milk drinker, you can get a litre carton of milk for about 59 Euro cents at ALDI (last time I checked, about two weeks ago), though your choices there are either 3,5% or 1,5%, so if you're a skim only kind of person, you'll be out of luck in many places! The 1,5% is really yummy, though, so try it out.

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Old 07-31-2006, 01:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
do u have to bring your own cutlery, plates etc in your backpack?
Generally not, though some hostels will make you rent those items from them, or give you a set for the duration of your stay for a small deposit. If I'm going on an extended trip and plan to self-cater most of the time, I take a camping set of cutlery and plates, just to be safe.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:19 AM   #5
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I don't know what it's like around the rest of Europe but I found that prober butchers sell meat much cheaper than supermarkets, especialy rashers (bacon) and sausages. My local butcher will sell me half a pound of proper big thick cut bacon for around €2-€3 the supermarket give you crap full of water for twice that price. Buy fruit and veg at a farmers market and you'll have more than you know what to do with it. Try and bring others with you so you can buy in bulk and get it for next to nothing.

Supermarkets are only cheep for package food like buscuts or munchies.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:16 AM   #6
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I always bring my pocket knife and a camping set of fork-butter knife-spoon. I find that silverware goes quickly and is sometimes sparse in hostel kitchens. I figure if I really need a plate or bowl I can buy cheap plastic ones while abroad but that has not happened yet.

And to save more money -- look for the free food shelf!!

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Old 07-31-2006, 09:55 AM   #7
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Well my breakfast consists of a bran muffin and soy milk. So it's pretty cheap for me, Although I'm mad picky when it comes to my nutrition. But sometimes it's a hassle to find or grab a hold of good Organic soy milk & sometimes even harder to find Bran muffins (It's a bitch to get a hold of bran muffins in general I'm not even talking of the good ones) so option 2 is Bran cereal and fresh fruits like Sour apple and if I can find my all american bootleg Apple juice I'm happy.

For lunch I normally make Nagiri sushi, Unagi or Umi which are my fave the fish sometimes gets most of the cost, but it's good I have found out that buying fish from the fishers is the best thing you can do! Fresh and cheap! And by fresh I really mean fRESH!!!! The seaweed comes in packs and it also has a good price, 7 euros at the most! the rice is also the same way, normally I buy the 5 Lbs. Japanese rice bag that doesn't cost a thing maybe 2 extra bucks than reg. Rice, then get some White rice vine! And add whatever else you desire to the mix as a fact that it's mad cheap and if you buy this between a group of people it would have to last for the entire bunch for the fact that as it contains a good amount of rice and the preparation is simple yet sometimes it turns a lil' obnoxious cause of the repeatition, it fills you up gives you what you need and it owns in flavour!
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:13 AM   #8
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Yum, unagi. But it's sometimes tricky to come by eel, I've found. Rice is definitely cheap, but if you're not going to be staying in one place long, and don't find someone to split it with, it can be a bit heavy carting around.

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Old 07-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #9
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annoyingly sometimes its more expensive to be a vegetarian. its a good idea to stick to basics and fresh food, we took around a jar of peanut butter, some cereal and a bottle of ribena most of the time too!
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:23 AM   #10
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ahh food,
food makes the journey. one of the most important part of travelling is opening your mind to new taste sensations including local fare.
europe loves its markets so get there early for fresh fruit and veges, your helpful hostel receptionist should be able to point you in the direction of the nearest one.
most european countries are also big on their specialty shops, eg butchers, bakers, pastry shops, fruiterers and small items. the supermarkets will have a good selection but don't bet on them having everything you are used to at home, strangely enough italians are not big on peanut butter. doritos are just as hard to find.
keep breakfast simple, either the hostel provides a basic set up, you may even be able to smuggle a few extra rolls out in the morning, or pick up fruit along the way.
try a locals breakfast once in a while, baguettes seem to be the staple backpacker meal for lunch for about 90% of the time. Dinner should be the best meal of the day, you've earnt it. try a new dish at least once a week.
keep an eye out for falafel joints, kebab shops ( the ones in germany are the best), backeriis, spas, vendors at markets (not the lone one standing at the back of the carpark and the flies hanging around it).
a swiss army knife is invaluable for spreading your brie cheese on the 1000th baguette and salami as well as cutting up tomatoes. keep a plastic mug handy as ones in hostels tend to go missing or contain a furry new lifeform.
buon apetito!
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