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food and eating while on holiday- save money on restaurantg bills

one way to save money when driving around is like a lot of people do here in europe is to buy a thermos box and get some cheap freezer blocks, many bed and breakfasts etc. have freezers so one can ask them to pop them into their freezers if you ask them.put them in your box and away you go!
then buy food in a supermarket, bread butter sandwich stuff etc you can get daily in any shop or supermarket.
you will then be able to each lunch or evening dinner this way, also many bb have a small kitchenette with a microwave oven so you can get something to heat up instead of sppending a fortune in restaurants.. we did this while we were in the usa also.
theres pleanty of bench- table places around especially in tourist areas.

Posted by
1035 posts

I understand that bringing your own cooking utensils is the way to go. However, not you must not bring camping equipment too.

Or is it the it the other way around.

I remember an old RS show where he recommend eating off cafeteria trays that students hadn't finished. Gross.

Posted by
124 posts

marilyn: I appreciate you posting this topic. It generated some discussion and tips that are really useful. I am renting an apartment in London partly because I hate eating in restaurants all the time. I plan to picnic frequently as well (I will be close to Hyde Park).

Posted by
30 posts

you can buy plastic plates and knives and forks cups cheaply, around 6 dollars... so thats cheap way to eat.
one can also get hot food packed in trays ready to eat at any big supermarket.

Posted by
11798 posts

We picnic a lot but don't do much with ice chests, we just buy enough for one meal at a time.

Posted by
8293 posts

Marilyn, I'll say this as gently as I can, but most of us who want to be frugal when travelling have already thought of all your ideas, even the plastic cutlery. But thanks for thinking of us.

Posted by
20 posts

Wow, that was kind of harsh... To be honest, I hadn't thought of the suggestions Marilyn had made so I was interested.

Posted by
20 posts

One thing I've noticed in researching my upcoming travel assignment to Ireland that the Prix Fixe is truly a good value.

Granted, it's rather pricey at around 25 Euros per person but the meals are large...

My son is going with me and is a finicky eater so finding meals for him will be the adventure. He HAS agreed to walk through the Temple Bar district on the Saturday morning we're in Dublin to look for food at the open air market, but I had to agree to stop in some of the art galleries as we strolled.

Posted by
20 posts

And I believe I misspelled Prix Fixe... Didn't I? I should look that one up again.

Being an American, this is rather a foreign concept here but it's catching on, at least in the finer restaurants in Tucson and only for holidays...

Posted by
9110 posts


Prix Fixe means exactly what it says -- fixed price.

It has nothing to do with courses. You can often substitue one course for another or make changes within a course.

Posted by
9110 posts


Menu at 17 euros – starter or desert plus one main

starter: pick one: weeds or olives

main: pick one: rat or squirrel

desert: ice cream

Menu at 22 euros – starter or desert plus one main

starter pick one: dead fish or big salad

main: pick one: cow or pig

desert: pick one: pie or cheese

Menu at 37 euros – starter and desert plus one main

(the possibilities are endless)


Posted by
811 posts

Ed, I don't care what you or legions of French people say: cheese is not dessert.

Posted by
1170 posts

Angela, I grew up having cheese for dessert, as well as ice cream and a variety of cakes.

I love renting an apartment and going to the grocery or market each day to find something to make for dinner. We did that in 2008 when we stayed near Paris for two weeks, and it was a delight. You meet so many interesting people, and end up trying things that you might not otherwise have come across.

Posted by
9110 posts

Angela, I admit I had to fake the dessert business a bit since I don't eat too much of it. Rat, on the other hand, is a real treat since we eat so much possum around here. And in Spain, salad comes after the main a lot of times. What we really need is a world-standard on grub.

Posted by
780 posts

Cheap food: Eat in hospital cafeterias. Food is decent and very cheap.

Yea didn't think anyone would like that suggestion, but just putting it out there! :)

Posted by
3580 posts

In Italy it is possible to order just one course rather than the full meal. Also, there are places that sell pizza by-the-slice inexpensively.

Some large train stations have food courts with inexpensive meals available. I love the baked (jacket) potato shop at Victoria Station in London.

In France and Italy I have eaten at buffet places, a little like our Sizzler Restaurants.

Posted by
9110 posts

Eat the big meal at lunch when it's cheaper rather than at supper. The problem is finding a place to take an afternoon nap.

Posted by
1838 posts

Thank you, Marilyn, for a clever tip. I find that the more we travel the frugaler we get. It's always nice to hear a new angle on saving a few bucks.