Dublin has a reputation of very expensive city. Of course, the last financial crisis has pushed prices down. Now there are many ways to save money in the Irish capital. Travelling on a budget, you can be surprised with the cheap flights. Once you’re on the ground, you should use special money-saving tips to keep your money in your pocket. Nevertheless, before you go to the shop, try to watch this:
Don’t waste money for transportation
It can be tempting in Dublin just to hop in a taxi, but this is one way to empty your pockets very quickly. Just think, you may use local bus instead of taxi. Dublin Bus is very affordable. It goes to connect all the city parts. Alternatively, you may use Dublin’s bike share program, called Dublin Bikes. This is a cheap and easy way to get around the city. Dublin is very small and manageable on foot, too. If you are going to travel somewhere around, you may hire a car in Dublin and use it all the time you stay. It will be cheaper that hiring a taxi.
Eat your dinner early
There are many gourmet restaurants in the city. They are struggling to stay open in a new economy. One of their strategies is offering heavily discounted breakfasts for the early birds. For example, going to one of the most popular restaurants in Dublin – The Winding Stair, you may have a huge discount as an early bird. A meal here is usually a splurge, but early birds can enjoy an incredible 3-course meal for just €30.95. If you don’t want to spend money for restaurants, you can try to go shopping.
Spending Money for Food
Unfortunately though, having to spend money on food is an unavoidable fact of life. As you don’t want to go over your budget, you should make a smart choice in the shop that will ensure you have enough tasty meals for the whole week. Here are a couple of tricks and helpful hacks you may use on your next trip to the supermarket.
Make a list
This is probably the most important food shopping tip you will ever, ever learn. Impulse buys will always lead to wasting money. Try to plan your meals for the week or a couple of days, and see if you have any tins lurking in cupboards you could use up before buying more.
Eat seasonal products
Eating seasonally means eating cheaper. If you want to eat something exotic or traditional for a new country, you can go to the restaurant. But if you want to eat cheaper even in the restaurant, try to pick dishes made of seasonal products. It makes sense that prices will rise in winter to import such fresh attractions as asparagus and berries to Ireland. How about the Brussels sprout? It can be also found here but for cheaper price.
Avoid pre-sliced foods
This means don’t buy pre-sliced cheese, carrots and other vegetables and fruits. Of course, peeled food is very convenient if you are going somewhere for picnic. But don’t do it if you buy food for cooking. Sure, you may gain a few minutes time, but the prices are really different. Moreover, when you compare the amount of pre-prepped food with the amount you get if you do it yourself, you’ll be sirprised.
Read unit prices
Of course, you can see the price per kg on the price tag. This helps you to compare prices between different brands of the same product. Product packaging can be misleading, and what might seem like the cheapest product could turn out not be if it’s something you can buy in bigger portions.
Buy meat as whole as possible
A whole chicken is much cheaper than pre-sliced chicken parts. It must be also better in taste. Roasting a whole chicken will give you loads of meat once you get used to slicing it properly. What is more, you can cook so many dishes at once from the whole ingredient. Trust it.
Don’t buy product that is too ripe
This situation is often happens. You buy bananas for cheaper price. But they’ve gone too mush before you take it. Food going off before you can eat it is a huge waste of money, so learn how to tell the ripeness of things and you’ll be sorted.
Stick to the edges of the supermarket
Supermarkets often place important and popular products on opposite ends of the store. That is why you have to pass the market territory from side to side to find something. Don’t get distracted. Stay strong!
Don’t fear discounts or generic brands
Most supermarkets have discounted meat, canned food and bakery items that are about to expire. This is the time you can buy food that is still safe, but cheap for good price. The discounts are typically substantial and the food is still safe to eat. And don’t forget generic brands. It is better to learn the name of the food you like and buy it safety.
Stay away from ready meals
You may think it’s an attractive proposal to buy a big portion of meat or vegetable pie for €3.50. But if you decided to cook it on your own, it would be definitely cheaper, and it is much healthier to cook for yourself as you can control the amount of fats and salt and the quality of ingredients you put in.
Grow your own
Right, you may not have space enough to plant spices in the yard, but you still can plant vegetables and herbal spices in the pots. What a great idea to grow you own herbs. Little shop-bought bundles of herbs can be rather expensive if you’re regularly buying a couple of varieties, so having your own fresh supply growing is very handy.
Be smart about sales
Sales are the greatest way to buy something you need and you don’t need for cheap. Such important and widely used ingredients as pasta, sugar, flour, are good for sale. You can buy them a lot and use continuously. Of course, if you are not a tourists! But make sure you only buy what you need – don’t buy unnecessary products just because they’re on sale. You can often meet products by the pieces for sale.