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Saving money on food in NL?

Hello,

I'll be in NL for a few weeks in September.

I'd like if anyone could share tips on how to save money on food. I can't afford to dine out three times a day.

I'll be taking advantage of my hotel's breakfast, but was wondering about other options, such as supermarkets and such.

Thanks!

Posted by
8945 posts

As far as Amsterdam goes, it's probably the fast food capital of the world, (I don't mean that in a bad way), so you won't have problems finding cheap food. Not all of it is burger based. There is a fast food vegetarian chain called Maoz. A noodle chain called Wok to Walk. On Muntsplien there is a new Marks & Spenser with lots of sandwiches, and frozen meals. A bit more expensive than the chains listed above but cheaper than a formal restaurant are La Place at the V&D Department store (across from M&S), and Vapiano on Rembrantplien. Both have an upscale cafeteria type format with dishes prepared in front of you while you wait. Vapiano is pizza/pasta, La Place has a bit of everything. There is also a chain called FEBO, which is dirt cheap but probably uses a lot of "mystery meat";)

Posted by
16860 posts

Supermarkets should not be hard to find, especially with the advice of hotel or hostel staff, and often have deli sections with sandwiches and salads, and probably some things that you don't see in home supermarkets. Rick's guidebook mentions the Albert Heijn store locations in Amsterdam and Haarlem, as an example. Bring cash, since this brand of store doesn't take US credit cards.

Posted by
2081 posts

Daniel,

there are tons of fast food places in AMS if you care to dine american style.

There are donar kabab places too.

If you look around you can find food to go. i had some sausage that was like a "wiener wrap" but much better.

FEBO is one place i always make a stop. Others may not like it but for the cost and what you get you could do worse.

Theres ab Albert Heijn store in AMS. you can find some decent sandwiches in there. One is a couple blocks N? of Dam square. There are other convenience stores around too.

happy trails.

Posted by
34 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. What kind of food would be good to buy the grocery store that are nonperishable that could be kept in my hotel room?

I was thinking maybe a couple jars of olives, granola bars, and other food like that. I'm also interested in authentic Dutch cuisine , if that existed Amsterdam. Any suggestions on that?

Basically, I don't know what to buy at the grocery store to save money on food. I guess it would echo that which I buy at home, but I don't know what's popular over there. It also needs to be nonperishable.

Posted by
658 posts

Jumbo grocery stores also have good take away options.

Posted by
25742 posts

authentic Dutch cuisine
.
FEBO.
.
.
Don't forget to get some sprinkles.
.
Unfortunately the old Koeken van 1870 has died and gone to meet its maker.

.

Pop into an eetcafe.

Posted by
12040 posts

Pataten with pindasaus. Basically, the Dutch version of Belgian fries, with a peanut satay sauce. Delicious, filling (if not exactly healthy) and it will only run you €2-3.

Posted by
1539 posts

Very Dutch is “stamppot” = hotchpotch, like “zuurkool met worst” are cheap, fills well and pretty well nutricious, but not directly food to fancy about. Many supermarkets sell them in a lot off varieties as ready to eat meals. You have only to heat them up in a microwave, most budget sleeping places has at least one you can use. Best is a combi microwave for baking a frozen pizza and things like that.
*
Cheaper grocery chaines are Aldi and Lidl, the latter has a good reputation for decent budget food. In The Netherlands there is always a label on the package with info about what ingredients are used and seperate from that a perishable date. You can use that for how long to store it in a fridge.
*
Many restaurants, especially Chinese and Greek, have a take away. Some meals are good for two days and so good for the budget. Popular nowadays are Chinese Wok-restaurants with plenty food options and an All-you-can-eat formula.
*
Other typical Dutch food: "kroket" and "bitterbal" , FEBO sells them. Healthy is "Hollandse Nieuwe" , raw herring topped with onion.

Posted by
2081 posts

@ daniel,

" What kind of food would be good to buy the grocery store that are nonperishable that could be kept in my hotel room?
I was thinking maybe a couple jars of olives, granola bars, and other food like that. "

Thats up to you. what do you buy at home that are non perishables? They have just about the same stuff there too.

" I'm also interested in authentic Dutch cuisine , if that existed Amsterdam. Any suggestions on that?"

One of the hotels directed me to an "authentic Dutch cuisine" place near the Leidseplein. I forget the name but im sure the locals would know. From what the hotel told me, its about the only place in town that is close to where i was staying.

just a comment. if you have space in your luggage you may want to consider bringing food from home. it will probably save you some $$$. look at beef jerky and things like that.

i know for breakfast they like the nutella with the chocolate sprinkles on their toast/bread.

happy trails.

Posted by
1539 posts

"Drop" , liquorice is very Dutch, you will like it or totally not. "Poffertjes" are little 2" diameter lens shaped pancakes and in winter "erwtensoep met rookworst", pea-soup with smoked saucage are typical Dutch.

Posted by
2081 posts

@ Daniel,

i forgot the old standby.

Peanut butter and bread

happy trails.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Drop" , liquorice is very Dutch, you will like it or totally not.

Actually, that's a great money saver. After trying one of the varities, which tasted like salty ammonia to me, I didn't want to eat anything for the rest of the day. My wife grew up eating the stuff and loves it, I didn't, and can barely tolerate it.

Posted by
1539 posts

That’s what I want to say Tom! Also very Dutch is “Beschuit met muisjes” what is a rusk with “little mice”, actually aniseed sprinkles with a sugared and colored outer layer, some butter keeps it all together. Usually eaten to celeberate a birth, colored orange if it’s a “new” member of the Royal Family.
Ofcourse peanut butter, brush your teeth afterwards unless you adore the odour coming out of your mouth for a long while:)

Exploring groceries is a fun way to discover all kinds of our daily food.

Posted by
2081 posts

" Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
03/30/14 09:46 AM
9026 posts

"Drop" , liquorice is very Dutch, you will like it or totally not.
Actually, that's a great money saver. After trying one of the varities, which tasted like salty ammonia to me, I didn't want to eat anything for the rest of the day. My wife grew up eating the stuff and loves it, I didn't, and can barely tolerate it."

when i first tried it, i thought and tasted the same but wasnt sure if it was me or the liquorice. to me i can take or leave it, but when i was over there, i tried alot of different candies too.

happy trails.

Posted by
12040 posts

To be fair, not every variety tastes like salty ammonia. Some also taste like salty battery acid.

But in all seriousness, I do enjoy some types of drop. To my American-influenced taste, the best are the ones that are ... well, ehem... shaped like women's breasts. Ignoring what they look like, they have a nice sweet and mild licorice flavour.