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Old 01-02-2006, 03:19 PM   #1
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So, a lot of people have threads about what to eat, and a lot of threads about how to eat, but no one has a thread about what it actually costs to eat abroad.

I'm planning to go backpack Europe for around a month this summer. (Late May to Late June) I figure if I take the suggestions on this board--lots of rice, tortillas, bread, cheese, peanut butter--I can survive very cheaply, no more than $20/day, not counting time spent in pubs!

Does this seem reasonable? Anyone who's done this before, do you think this is a good estimate?
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:34 PM   #2
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$20 a day is no problem for food only. I probably spent less than that. I ate the hostel breakfast as much as I could and hit up groceries often. You have to have that splurge meal now and then though. The items you listed will be cheap. Peanut butter I am not sure about but I know all the others are. Fruit and salads are always good too. Pre-made sandwiches as well. Plenty out there for the cheap!

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Old 01-02-2006, 04:44 PM   #3
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Peanut Butter was expensive and hard to find in Spain - not sure about other countries. Anyhow, $20 a day will be very easy as Foo said. You'll probably get sick of room temp food after a while and need a hot meal, but even the Gyros stands weren't too expensive (maybe about 5 euro).
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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$20 sounds about right u know, its over budgeting and food is pretty cheap if you are doing the shopping yourself but even eating in resturants is not to bad. Really depends on where in Europe your going. Paris is far more expensive than say Prague.
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot, guys! It sounds like I can survive on $20 a day and get some hot meal once in a while. I really don't know where I'll be--flying by the seat of my pants--but it sounds like it can average out.

Any more thoughts??
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:35 AM   #6
 
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For grocery items, shop at Lidl or Aldi if you see a store in the neighborhood of your hostel.
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thanks Xan, I'll keep that in mind. What countries can I find those stores in, or, in general, what are cheap chains in various countries?
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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I got a good 2-3 days worth of meals from a free sample loaf of bread they were handing out in a square in Glasgow! Peanut butter definitely goes a long way, and you might want to mix it up with Nutella for dessert. But it can get expensive in places like Spain or Italy as mentioned before. If you're looking for somethign fresh, most grocery stores have pre-made sandwiches or salads for 2-4 euros or something. The chains I remember were Tesco in the U.K., Billa (or was it Bipa?) in Austria, and some place with a green sign, or a green triangle or tree or something in France.
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:11 AM   #9
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All Supermarkets in Europe are fairly cheep they have constant price wars with eachother but Xan already mentioned the cheepest two Aldi and Lidl and their everywhere, preaty good quality too. You just have to make sure not to be in there on a friday morning because thats when they get new stock in and it's mayhem.

Tescos are very cheep but their food is muck, they constantly come up as having the highest fat and least meat.

The best place to pick up cheep food is at a farmers market, most citys have them somewhere.


Ireland
Dunnes stores
Supervalue
SuperQuinn

In Ireland I'd buy from Irish shops we tend to stick to our own farms so the foods very fresh and made localy.

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or a green triangle or tree or something in France.
EUROSPAR!! Their everywhere too, there's one in my town.
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Dunnes stores
i love dunnes...reminds me of the good old marks and spencers...which i am a slave to much to the dismay of my bank manager
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:06 AM   #11
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Dunnes desearve respect alright, especially Ben Dunne (owner) who managed to buy a suitcase of Coke off the FBI, on camera! Then get away with it.

I'll be going on a spending spree in dunnes soon we get our christmas bonus in Dunnes vouchers, got €300 to blow. Might buy some kitchen utensils so I don't have to cut my Pizzas with a tablespoon anymore. Then again I might just buy a rake of drink like I did last year.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by futboller@Jan 2 2006, 07:19 PM
So, a lot of people have threads about what to eat, and a lot of threads about how to eat, but no one has a thread about what it actually costs to eat abroad.

I'm planning to go backpack Europe for around a month this summer. (Late May to Late June) I figure if I take the suggestions on this board--lots of rice, tortillas, bread, cheese, peanut butter--I can survive very cheaply, no more than $20/day, not counting time spent in pubs!

Does this seem reasonable? Anyone who's done this before, do you think this is a good estimate?
[snapback]96039[/snapback]
I have been to Europe twice, but each time was with my father so it wasn't the traditional European trip. We were in hotels, I even had a few free meals from work associates of his etc.

However, in the mornings, I would try to hit up a grocery store with a bakery. A fresh baked loaf of bread is a great breakfast/lunch because it is tasty, filling, and cheap.

Also don't be afraid to try local brands of stuff. I went looking for a chocolate bar in Norway, and stumbled on what is my favorite milk chocolate anywhere, Freias Melkesjokolade.

I am getting ready to head to Spain either this Sunday or next Friday (talk about flying by the seat of your pants!)

--Joey
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joey7F@Jan 9 2006, 01:48 AM
I have been to Europe twice, but each time was with my father so it wasn't the traditional European trip. We were in hotels, I even had a few free meals from work associates of his etc.

However, in the mornings, I would try to hit up a grocery store with a bakery. A fresh baked loaf of bread is a great breakfast/lunch because it is tasty, filling, and cheap.

Also don't be afraid to try local brands of stuff. I went looking for a chocolate bar in Norway, and stumbled on what is my favorite milk chocolate anywhere, Freias Melkesjokolade.

I am getting ready to head to Spain either this Sunday or next Friday (talk about flying by the seat of your pants!)

--Joey
[snapback]97499[/snapback]
Thanks Joe, the bread and local brands sounds like good advice. And I'm jealous you can just pick up and fly out!
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by futboller@Jan 9 2006, 04:11 PM
Thanks Joe, the bread and local brands sounds like good advice. And I'm jealous you can just pick up and fly out!
[snapback]97590[/snapback]
I just graduated from College so I have a little time before I need to get a job. I am a little nervous, I have never been to southern Europe and I have heard a lot of / read a lot of stories about thieves and gypsies.

If I see a gypsy get within 5 feet of me I am just going to turn around and yell at them as loud as I can.

--Joey
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:23 PM   #15
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Food is by far the thing I have the most trouble with as far as wasting money while travelling. I will walk all day long rather than buy a metro pass, but then I cant resist getting some expensive food item. I cant eat bread and cheese everyday, but kudos to you if you can.
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
If I see a gypsy get within 5 feet of me I am just going to turn around and yell at them as loud as I can.
Thats a shame beacuse the Romani's and the Sinti's are some of the nicest people you could ever meet....hopefully you will dispose of your ignorance
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joey7F@Jan 9 2006, 09:59 PM
If I see a gypsy get within 5 feet of me I am just going to turn around and yell at them as loud as I can.
I spent weeks in Eastern Europe and never had problems with them. At the contrary, like Beergal said, the few I came to talk to were absolutely charming and respectful. It is true that the most visible are children-beggars, and sometimes they can be "persistant", but carry a fruit or cookies with you and everyone will be happy. Once, after I had given half of my sandwich to a child as I was waiting for the train, he after prevented the other children from begging to me ! I was under his protection !

Really, no need to worry about them.

Sorry, this was out of topic, but I too, like Beergal, felt it was necessary to unmystified Romani's.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:05 AM   #18
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Thanks atchoum and Beergal for debunking myths wherever they raise their heads.

I survived many a day on a small baguette, bottle of water and a mandatory bar of chocolate, with the odd orange or chunk of cheese for variety. Oranges are great for train rides as they give you food and drink without the weight of several bottles of water (but have one bottle, at least!) And bananas are widely available superfood. Also, at the grocery store delis you can ask for a fairly small amount of sliced meat (as little as 100 g) so you can get a bit of protein in there too. Another discovery I made was the tubes of tomato paste you can pick up most anywhere. About the size of a toothpaste tube, they add some flavour and possibly some nutritional value to a meat/cheese sandwich or piece of bread, and last without refrigeration while you're on the road. PB is always good, but can be bulky to lug around. Nutella rocks, but ditto. If you can find it before you go, consider packing along some instant oatmeal packets - they're a good source of energy if you have to get an early start travelling, and you can usually drum up a cup of hot water for fairly cheap, on a train or in a station. Pack em in ziploc bags, though, in case they tear!

If you're just looking for today's lunch, buy whatever bread is on the bakery's day-old tray. And for a hot meal, a bowl of soup at a cafe is usually a cheap and often delicious option.
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Old 01-30-2006, 05:06 PM   #19
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do they have those noodles in a bucket things in europe? all ya have to do is add hot water and stir for a bit then its done...cost around $1 here...anyone know wat the hell im on about?
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:47 PM   #20
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Cup O' Noodle (or Maruchan Instant Lunch) in North America... "Pot Noodle" in the UK and thereabouts.. they're worldwide!
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