Tired of noodles and rice?? I was. For the same budget, find your local fresh market and get loads of fruits and vegetables instead. Check out what days and times the markets are open until, then capitalise on it! If they’re closed on Mondays, then go Sunday during their last few hours, all products are typically at bottom-low prices.

Although it may seem like a bit more effort to chop and cook the veggies – and we’re talking 15 minutes max – your immune system and waist line will thank you for it! Not to mention fruits and veggies are more filling than noodles and carbs. Keeping you fuller, longer. Some markets even have butchers, selling non-processed and often locally grown, and fresh meats. Mmmm protein.

Best part is you can utilise the fruits even in the end. Instead of wasting fruits and veg about to go off, try baking with them, or blend ’em up! My favourite thing is to get loads of fruits about to go bad, add some yogurt, milk/soy, and blend it all up in a smoothie. Have some now and save the rest for later (if possible). Make sure you have a few containers too. Much easier and cheaper to cook in bulk, than meal by meal. Less hassle too in the long run.

Lastly, check out lentils in your area! Several places are popping up that cook all vegan or vegetarian foods to share with those who have ‘minimal funds.’ Use good deeds to your benefit. And lets be honest, backpackers certainly fit into this category!

Scope out places, for example churches, seminaries, and abbots that provide these meals. Go and enjoy, then give what you think the meal is worth, or what you can afford. Any and all donations are appreciated, but not required. Don’t take advantage though! Use that $1.50 you were going to spend on noodles and give to a better, healthier cause.

Check out the massive Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Just a 2 minute walk behind our hostel, Nomads Melbourne 🙂 Loads of finds there.

Happy eating!!

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