If this makes any sense, the hardest and the easiest way to save money is on food. In a lot of ways all it takes is some simple common sense to save you a ton of money on food.
But in other ways, why would you want to skimp out on great food? This food guide will show you what I do.
In my travels, the one thing I enjoy and have no problem splurging on is food, and GOOD FOOD at that. But there is a time and a place for that, and not EVERY time.
This guide is designed to help you not only SAVE on food, but also show you how you can find REALLY good restaurants. I also enjoy showing you how you can make reservations.
Ways to Save on Food When Traveling
Eat where the locals eat! This seems like common sense, but it could be the single best piece of advice you will get. If you follow the touristy signs, or go to the place that advertise ‘English Speaking’ you are almost guaranteed to pay double the price! Generally the touristy parts of town are the most expensive. Go outside the beaten path for better prices and better food!
Use sites like groupon and restaurant.com to get really awesome food for ridiculously cheap prices! Monitor sites such as those so you can see what restaurants are available for the places you are traveling to. I have used this to eat at amazing restaurants for 50 – 75% off.
Check to see if the city or place you are going to participates in restaurant week, and see if it coincides with when you are going to be there! This can be an awesome way to eat really really cheap!
If you are staying at a place that has a kitchen or a refrigerator get groceries at local grocery store! That will save you a ton over having to go out for every meal.
Street food. This can come in the form of food trucks, or just stand outside vendors. Some of the time, this food can be AWESOME! And ridiculously cheap. Depends on where you will be.
Make your big meal of the day lunch. A lot of cities and restaurants offer lunch specials. Most of the time, lunch is MUCH cheaper then dinner. And in a lot of instances, it is the exact same food!
Buy a big bottle of water at a local grocery store. This works awesome in Europe! You can buy a huge size bottle of water at a local mart or grocery store for a 3rd of the price of a restaurant. Then carry it around with you the rest of the day.
Use the airline dining programs. This isn’t necessarily a way to save money, but you can at least build up your frequent flyer accounts by going to certain restaurants and using your credit card to purchase your meal.
Where to Eat When Traveling and Making Reservations
A few of my favorite sites for reviewing restaurants are listed below.
Zagat – If your a registered for a free Google+ account you have access to all the restaurants zagat reviews. This is a very professional company that reviews restaurants all around the world. They are very detailed, and give very honest, impartial reviews of all the top restaurants.
Chowhound – I really enjoy this site because of the community atmosphere. You can really get some awesome ideas of great restaurants in different places that you are visiting.
Yelp – No food review is complete without this site. Very similar to chowhound in the respect of the community atmosphere. Seems like ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE has been reviewed on this site. You can find some really awesome hidden gems on this site.
Bookatable – This site allows you to make reservations all over Europe and the bigger cities in the United States as well. Very convenient especially if you are overseas, and want to see some local reviews.
Opentable – This site is designed specifically for traveling throughout the United States. It offers a lot more restaurants throughout the United States then Bookatable, but it does not provide any international restaurant reservations.
These are just a few suggestions on how to not only eat GOOD, but save BIG too. Remember skimp on some of the other parts of travel once in a while, but SPLURGE once in a while on good food. Good food leaves long-lasting memories of a particular place you visit! Trust me I know 🙂
What are you favorite ways of eating GREAT without breaking the bank? Post in the comments below!