We all know that travelling can be expensive so saving money wherever possible is important. As a backpacker you try and live as cheaply as possible to make sure you have enough money to do all the awesome things you came away to do. I know that I would rather spend my money on Skydiving, snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef and visiting other amazing places. Sadly though we have to spend money on places to stay and also one of the major expenses when traveling is your food budget.
Your food budget doesn't have to be huge though, and there are many ways to reduce the amount you spend whilst ensuring you still get regular, delicious daily meals. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your food budget:
Share the Cost with friends - In hostels you are never alone and will constantly be meeting new people. Cooking with people is great for many reasons. Firstly you can split the cost between you making it cheaper for everyone. Sharing with friends is also a great way to get new ideas on what to make. I know I often get stuck on what to make and end up making the same things over and over. People from different countries may have different and exciting dishes for you to try.
Eat the daily specials - Many hostels or local bars will offer daily specials which are usually very cheap. Some hostels will also provide deals such as "buy a drink and get a free meal" (or the other way round). This option is great because not only is it cheap, you don't have to worry about the cooking and washing up.
Free stuff - Make sure you are up to date and aware of what is going on in your hostel. Hostels may offer Free Breakfast, great for saving those $$$. The free food shelf in most kitchens are also brilliant. People will donate stuff they are not using or need any more (usually if they are flying somewhere and can't carry it). Sometimes there will be nothing, but other times it's like finding gold!
Go to markets - Instead of going to the supermarket it's cheaper to go to local markets. Not only is this cheaper but it's usually fresher and great to get amongst the locals. Most cities will have weekly markets so make sure you find out the details and stock up on what you need.
Cheap/easy food - If you look around any backpacker kitchen you will see the same sort of thing in every persons bag. Cheap food like instant noodles, rice and pasta are very popular as it is cheap and can add anything to create different dishes. Make sure that you keep it varied but these sorts of food are great when on a budget.
These are just some very basic tips of how to eat on a budget and I am sure that you will develop your own throughout your travels. Remember though that although it's great to save money, make sure you eat well and treat yourself to something extra delicious every now and again.