In order to make a three and a half month trip to Europe affordable, we have decided to only choose a few destinations and rent apartments on Airbnb for between one week to one month at a time. This allows us to save a HUGE amount on accommodation (we are averaging just over $50 CAD per night) and allows us to cook our own food in our apartments. Slow travel is a great fit for our family. We like to travel deep instead of wide. Slow traveling allows us to visit countries we might not be able to afford otherwise.
Our family of four is staying in Barcelona for an entire month. We have rented an apartment here for about a 60% discount over the nightly rate because we are staying so long. The neighborhood we are in is well outside the tourist zones which means it has a lovely local feel and local prices.
We have the option of three grocery stores in our immediate vicinity, two fruit and vegetable stores, countless bakeries, and a few butcher shops. These are all within a five-minute walk of us. Shopping for groceries in a foreign country is super fun and we love the mom-and-pop feel of all of the specialty stores in Barcelona. We can pop out our door to fulfill our cravings of croissants and fruit or hit up the patisserie for a fresh baguette to make our picnic lunches.
We have been pleasantly surprised with the cost of groceries here in Barcelona. Most food here is much cheaper than it is in our home country of Canada and we have been very impressed with the quality. One thing we have discovered, however, is that the closer you get to the tourist zones the more expensive the groceries become. We made the mistake once of deciding to grab some groceries while in the Gothic District and were shocked that everything we bought was double or more than what we would expect to pay at the grocery stores in our neighborhood!
Here is a sample of what different foods are costing us.
1 Liter of almond milk – 1€
1 pack of sliced cheese (Gouda, Edam, Emmental – enough for double cheese on four sandwiches) – 1€
1 pack of specialty gourmet cheese – 4.10€
1 pack of lunch meat (enough for double meat on four sandwiches) – 1€
1 box of muesli – 2.45€
1 dozen eggs – 1€
1 package of fresh hummus – 1.49€
1 package of beef filets – 3.76€
1 four fresh hamburger patties from the butcher – 3.40€
1 baguette – 1€
Extra tall beer – 0.70€ each
1 head of broccoli – 1€
6 avocados – 3€
Our favorite parts of shopping for food in Barcelona have been the numerous mom-and-pop type shops. Small business is alive and well in Barcelona! We have especially been enjoying the numerous bakeries. Seriously. They are everywhere and the baguettes, croissants, and pastries are AMAZING! We have also really been enjoying sampling the numerous cheeses. Yum. Yum. Yum.