Depending on the countries you decide to travel through, the costs of living and travelling can vary enormously. The two biggest daily expenses that a traveler has to face are food and accommodation (other than fuel). Considering that it’s possible to find free alternatives for sleeping (couchsurfing, friend’s house, free camping, etc), food remains a constant. The best way to optimize your expenditure on meals is to find the cheapest way to provide your body sustenance, and avoid blowing your budget.

Price comparisons for USA in 2014 but can be applied to any country. Photo Credit: Texasfarmbureau.com

Regardless of the fact that being vegetarian or vegan became a “trend” in the past few years, switching to a vegetarian diet while travelling could save you some serious money over the course of a trip.

A great way to save bucks and still provide a good amount of vitamins and minerals to your body, is to buy vegetables and fruit when grocery shopping. Keep in mind that there will be tons of times when people will offer you a meal, and times when you want to try a local dish, either of which could possibly be meat-based meals.

The point of this article is not convincing readers to become vegetarians, but to expose the incontrovertible fact that fruit and vegetables are cheaper to buy than meat and provide a better nutrient/price ratio compared to meat-based products.

Another way to cut on food costs while traveling is to rethink your daily diet; it can in fact be divided and rationalized in a better way than the classic ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ combo, which is probably more suitable for a more conservative work based life.

Everybody is different and has different needs but it’s possible to trim food intake by 25-30%, for purely economic reasons, and include more fruit and vegetables, which are able to provide the body with enough proteins, vitamins and a lot of its water.

Carrying some rice, spelt or barley (pretty much available everywhere and easy to store at any temperature) is ideal for preparing some fulfilling soups. A soup doesn’t require special tools or ingredients to be prepared; it just needs some water, a pot and a fire along with basic ingredients. It’s an ideal meal to prepare on the road.

Fruit are a perfect snack for breaks, instead of processed food. Easy to carry, easy to find, cheap to buy and with minimal ecological footprint.

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