I track every penny I spend because this is the only way I can effectively travel on a budget. As I mentioned in my three-part post, The secret to living as a nomad, minimising expenses and managing your money are necessary if you want to travel this way.
I want to show you how much I spend on food while travelling through Europe to give you a better perspective about the cost of healthy whole foods. You’ll notice that I don’t travel as if I’m on holiday. I don’t drink alcohol or coffee and I try to avoid eating out (very easy to avoid it as a raw fruit vegan!) because eating out is expensive and the portions are small.
All of my meals are ‘prepared’ at home, meaning I rinse and cut the fruit as needed. Healthy eating is my priority no matter where I am so I will pay whatever costs necessary. Fortunately, eating primarily fruits and veggies while travelling is affordable! Being vegan isn’t expensive.
Please check out my previous post about food expenses for the month of August. I spent a few days in Barcelona, two weeks in Paris, a week in Ljubljana, and a week in Rijeka. This will give you a better idea how much food costs in each location.
At the end of this post, I include a summary of how much I spent per week in every location I’ve visited since I left the States.
My food expenses for September.
September included a week spent in Zagreb (Sep. 1-8), two weeks in Split (Sep. 8-22), and a week in Korčula (Sep. 22-30).
I spent 2444 kunas on groceries (~£284, €325, or $365).
These are the foods I purchased followed by a number representing how many times I purchased that item. Sometimes I purchased bags of peaches in one go, so the number doesn’t represent how many peaches I bought, instead it represents how many times I purchased them. I hope that makes sense! This is to show you which foods I ate the most.
Of course, fruits and veggies were my main staples. I’m surprised grapes narrowly beat out watermelon for the most-purchased food in September!
- grapes 20
- watermelon 18
- juice / smoothie 11
- melons 9
- bananas 8
- grapefruit 5
- kiwi 4
- peaches 4
- oranges 3
- apples 2
- lemon 2
- limes 2
- pears 2
- prunes 2
- dried cranberries 1
- raisins 1
- broccoli 11
- tomato 10
- mushrooms 8
- corn 3
- cucumber 2
- peppers 2
- avocado 1
- carrot 1
- green beans 1
- potato 1
- zucchini 1
- tomato sauce 1
- gluten-free pasta 1
I ate gluten-free pasta once at the end of my first month of being raw. (And I did not feel well after eating it!) Since then I’ve eaten mainly fruit with the exception of steamed veggies (usually broccoli and mushrooms) every few days. I tried avocado for the first time in ages but hated it! I also tried boiled potatoes once I settled in Korčula and quickly realised these are definitely not for me. I can’t believe I’m not into potatoes anymore because I was obsessed with potatoes in Scotland! I also find myself less and less interested in steamed veggies. Nothing compares to the taste of fresh fruit.
I realise now that I’m still purchasing juice with abandon. Going forward, I will try to keep this expense to a minimum. Not only is juice more expensive than whole fruits, it’s not the healthiest option because it’s devoid of fiber. Consuming fruits whole is the best because the fiber moderates the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. Also, purchasing juice means I’m creating unnecessary waste because it comes in a container, whether it be a carton or bottle. I want to minimise that as much as possible.
I only ate out once in September (a raw vegan-friendly restaurant in Zagreb) and purchased two fresh-squeezed juices from a juice bar (also in Zagreb), so I included those in the total as well. I spent a total of 118 kunas (~£14, €16, or $18). This is more than I spent last month but still reasonable. I don’t plan on eating out at a proper restaurant again because I didn’t feel well after my meal. It was raw vegan and tasty but too high in fat for me. My head felt congested immediately after finishing it.
For October, my goals are to drink less juice and to focus on fruit over steamed veggies.
Total money spent on food for September = 2562 kunas (~£297, €340, or $382).
How does this compare to food expenses elsewhere?
This is approximately how much I spent on food per week in all the locations I’ve visited since I left the States:
- Scotland -£100 (€119) including eating out (lattes) occasionally.
- Berlin – €128. Around €24 of this total was for eating out.
- Poland – 120 zloty (€48.14). My boyfriend and I would spend around 60 zloty per day on food for both of us, so this is an estimation.
- Spain – €92.87 including eating out (lots of vegan ice cream!). I spent four weeks in Spain, two in Palma and two in Barcelona. I spent €371.46 total.
- Paris – €106.33. I spent two weeks in Paris and spent €212.65 total. I didn’t eat out at all!
- Ljubljana, Slovenia – €78.98. I spent one week in Ljubljana and didn’t eat out.
- Rijeka, Croatia – 480 kunas (€64). I spent one week in Rijeka and ate out once (a smoothie).
- Zagreb, Croatia – 651 kunas (€87) including eating out once and two fresh-squeezed juices from the juice bar that week.
- Split, Croatia – 569 kunas (€76). I spent two weeks in Split and spent 1138 kunas total. I didn’t eat out a single time!
- Korčula, Croatia – 773 kunas (€103) spent during my first week in Korčula. Only groceries, no eating out.
So far Poland and the Balkan countries have been the cheapest when it comes to fruits and vegetables. The local markets in Ljubljana, and all the cities I’ve visited so far in Croatia had top quality produce for reasonable prices. I’d much rather be on the mainland just for the markets, but I can’t beat the island’s scenery and chill vibes.
I’m surprised to find out that I’m spending more money in Croatia than I initially planned. Comparing weekly averages, I spent more in Zagreb, Split, and Korčula than I did in Rijeka. But why?
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia so perhaps food is more expensive there because it’s a larger city. Markets make a difference in food costs as well. Most of my food in Zagreb came from a shop, unlike my food in Split since I visited the market daily for watermelon. None of my food in Korčula came from a market. Also, produce on the island of Korčula happens to be more expensive because most (if not all) of it is imported from the mainland.
It’s worth mentioning that I still had two days’ worth of fruit stocked up at the end of the month. I didn’t need to venture out to purchase more food until October 3rd.
How much do you spend on food while travelling?