Dive in and dig in. Ways to eat cheap on the road.
So you’re traveling with no money or next to it; you were robbed or just run out of cash – either way you need to stay alive. While you’re waiting for a money transfer from home or maybe just a miracle, you’ve got to do something to keep that growling stomach quiet.
What money you do have should be invested in eating well. Don’t short-change yourself when it comes to eating good, healthy food. Not only will a happy stomach keep your spirits up in the most dismal circumstances but it will keep you strong and alert. If you skimp on nutrition then you can end up sick and that makes things a whole load more complicated.
Vegetarians won’t be happy to hear this but a bit of meat will give you far more strength and long-term energy than a bowl of tofu. Traveling requires more energy than in normal circumstances and you may need to adapt accordingly. If this is still a moral no-go zone then at least stock up on almonds and cashew nuts.
The cheapest food you can buy will often be at the big supermarkets. Here you can buy whole wheat bread, tins of tuna , cheese and apples. Throw in a cucumber and a tomato and you have all the nutrition you need for a day on the road.
Local markets can often be incredibly cheap too with all the fruit on its legs. Wait around to when the market closes and you can pick up some good stuff from the floor. Never eat anything that’s burst open, rotted or has insect holes inside it unless you want to get worms and amoebas.
Many big supermarkets have skips around the back where perfectly good food is thrown away. Known in the US as dumpster-diving this can be an excellent way to eat for free.
If you’re bold enough you can always ask at the bakers what they do with yesterday’s bread. They may be happy to let you walk off with some slightly stale loaves.
Along the same lines many restaurants have plenty of food left over in the kitchen and won’t begrudge you a plate. You’re be advised to offer your services as a dishwasher for an hour though.
If you’re in rural areas then there’s nothing wrong with helping yourself to a few pieces of fruit from an orchard. The farmer may not see it that way but even in the Talmud the rabbis decided it was justifiable if hungry on the road.
You can hang around some cafes with a cup of tea and dive on the remains left by other people. This can’t be recommended for obvious health reasons but in extremis…
There are many organizations that dedicate themselves to feeding people. Many major cities will have a branch of the Hare Krishnas. Go along, sing the name of God and you’ll soon have a hot meal. Again, it’s nice to offer to help out if you can. Otherwise ask those who live on the street where the Christians give out food – ten to one there’ll be a soup line somewhere.