Here’s how we eat well on a moderate budget as digital nomads.
Getting gourmet food while balancing convenience and cost.
I buy pizzas from Wholefoods. Now, because they’re from Wholefoods, they’re wickedly expensive. There are two things I do to keep the costs down. One – I mostly buy them on Thursdays, which is $10 pizza day. Where we are staying currently, we have a freezer and microwave but no oven. I’ll stick the excess pizza in the freezer to eat throughout the week. Usually I get two pizzas on $10 Thursdays. However if I’m not buying my pizzas on the cheap day, I get just a plain vegan cheese one and add my own toppings. I buy baked tofu, tomato and basil plants at Trader Joes and add them to my pizza. It costs $2.99 to buy a whole basil plant, instead of the $2 Wholefoods would charge me to put 8 leaves of basil on one pizza!
We use this trick all the time for balancing convenience foods/working with lack of a stove, and price. We don’t deprive ourselves by trying to keep to a very tiny food budget but we keep things in check with strategies like the one above.
Topping up with vitamins.
We top up with vitamins because travel stress can take it toll, and it’s not always possible to eat as varied a diet as we would at home. When you move around a lot, you tend to be conscious of not buying too much stuff, so naturally your diet becomes less varied because of this. Trader Joes sell cheap, vegan labelled vitamins here in the US.
Buying appliances on the road.
There are times as a digital nomad you’ll find you buy the odd small appliance and leave it at your location when you move on. This will allow you to take advantage of cheaper rates on apartments that might not be optimally furnished, vs pay top dollar for something that is fully kitted out with everything you could possibly need. Sometimes you might choose to get a microwave, a toaster, or a blender if you like smoothies and don’t want to pay smoothie bar rates. The weirdest thing I’ve ever bought has been a cheap hand mixer (under $10 from walmart) when I wanted to bake. Being vegan, getting to eat vegan baked goods often means making them myself in many parts of the world. I may or may not to omit to traveling with a cupcake tray in my bag on occasion.
I’ve also bought a pasta pot when I was going through a pasta eating phase and didn’t have an appropriate pot.
There’s always someone you’ll be able to give these items to when you move on.
For the first time in my life, I’ve been buying bottled water. Not the small bottles but the 1 gallon ones that go in the fridge and from which I refill my glass or bottle. I’d like to find a refillable solution but since it’s over 40C here on Las Vegas currently this temporary measure has stopped issues with dehydration headaches. I’m drinking more water than I’ve ever drunk in my life! I’m in good habits now of filling up my water bottle before heading out anywhere.