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produce grocery store fruit colorful europe supermarketEvery Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our newsletter.

As a student backpacking across Europe, I lived on convenience store sandwiches, fruit, nuts and baguettes. (Oh, and gelato. Lots of gelato.) Fancy sit-down restaurants were for older, wealthier travelers; I rarely paid more than five bucks for a meal.

Nearly a decade later, my travel partner and I often find ourselves blowing $100 a day on restaurant meals during a trip. We’re gainfully employed and a little more grown up than that cash-strapped college kid I used to be, but I’m still a budget-conscious traveler. Surely I can enjoy great food without the painful price tag?

Writes Caroline Costello, “Especially in European destinations, where many decent restaurants are expensive and authentic local food can be purchased at affordable prices, getting your food from a local grocer is a great idea. Grab a fresh baguette and some cheese in Paris, bring them to the Tuileries Garden for an outdoor lunch, and you’ve got an authentic yet affordable Parisian meal with one of the best views in town.”

Picnics aside, grocery stores are also a great place to stock up on everyday needs such as water (I like to pick up a gallon jug and refill my smaller bottles each morning) and snacks. If your hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast, skip the $14 waffles and pick up some fresh bread and fruit at the local grocer’s; it’ll only cost you a couple of bucks.

See more ways to save on your next trip in Backpackers’ Secrets: Top Tips for Cheap Travel.

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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2 Responses to “Travel Tip of the Week: Finding Great Eats — for Less”

  1. BarbC says:

    When I spent five days in London, I was more interested in what I could see during the time I would be there than what I could eat. My hotel served a breakfast fit for a king so I had a healthy breakfast every day. The rest of my meals were usually at the London equivilent of Starbucks – they serve very healthy sandwiches, fresh salads – both lettuce based and fresh fruit, and soups. A 5-pound note covered my food and a tip in the jar, and a bit of change in my palm. My choices were healthy and tasty and all freshly made. One has to decide if his/her priority is seeing the sights or spending a lot of time in a sit-down restaurant.

  2. Natalie Holt says:

    I was in the Bahamas recently, staying in a nice little villa on the sea. We were on a tight budget and didn’t want to splurge on restaurants and some friends had recommended Food Store 2 Go so that we wouldn’t have to hire a taxi and go through it ourselves. There was only a $9 delivery fee and the nice young gentlemen who delivered them packed the groceries away for us and everything. The quality of the products were excellent. Definitely worth a try if you’re ever in Nassau!

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