Even though I did my research in the past and I realized that in terms of supermarket prices, Romania is not less expensive than Spain, for example, there is certainly an area where the country rules: fresh products from farmer markets. Extremely cheap. $1 for a lettuce, a bunch of onion and a bunch of radishes-cheap.
I’ve also read recently an article about a Romanian family of three who has a budget of just $100/100 Euros per month. Per MONTH! Indeed, they don’t have the most varied meals you can think of, but it’s still cheap. In our case, for example, with eating extremely varied foods, a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits and even some organic products (but not that much in terms of meat), we spent last year an average of $344 / 318 Euros per month for a family of three. Yup, even toddlers raise the costs of food.
But I’ve decided to create a weekly menu for ONE PERSON living in Romania based on the prices in Spring 2015 (during the summer/fall they drop even more in the case of fruits and vegetables) to show you that you can have a nice, varied diet here for a really, really low price. So let’s get this started:
Breakfast #1: 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, one slice of bread – 0.35 Eur
Breakfast #2: 1 low fat jar of yogurt, 2 slices of toast & cheese – 0.80 Eur
Breakfast #3: Fresh cheese, green onions, radishes, olives & 2 slices of ham – 0.84 Eur
Breakfast #4: Cup of tea and two slices of toast with Romanian jam – 0.35 Eur
Breakfast 5, 6, 7: Mix and repeat
Lunch #1: Grilled chicken breast & Mexican vegetables: 1.10 Eur
Lunch #2: Delicious Romanian bean stew with smoked pork meat: 1.05 Eur
Lunch #3: Baked potatoes with cheese and green salad: 0.60 Eur
Lunch #4: Mac & Romanian cheese: 0.90 Eur
Lunch #5: Sarmale & Mamaliga (learn more about traditional Romanian foods here): 0.90 Eur
Lunch 6 & 7: Mix and repeat
Extra soup: Since we’ve recently heard that Romanians love to eat soup, we can add a bowl that would last about three days for the price of 1.10 Eur (for three days)
Dinner #1: Grilled pork & Vegetables: 1.45 Eur
Dinner #2: Big salad (green onions, lettuce, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes and cheese): 1.10 Eur
Dinner #3: Baked chicken leg with mashed potatoes: 1 Eur
Dinner #4: Cheese & ham sandwiches with a jar of yogurt: 1 Eur
Dinner 5, 6, 7: Mix and repeat
Dessert 1: home made Romanian pancakes with Romanian jam: 0.80 Eur
Dessert 2: apples: 0.25 Eur (that would be about 500 grams, you would probably eat less)
Dessert 3: Apple Pie for two days: 1.50 Eur
TOTAL for 7 days: 21.82 Euros
Note 1: Romanians eat most of their food at home, cooking everything from scratch. If you can’t do this, you will have to pay more. But if you live like a Romanian, you can even beat the prices above!
Note 2: I did not include in the prices above the prices of gas or electricity for cooking the food and some ingredients (like oil, salt, sugar and so on) but these would not add too much to the overall value.
This would total for 93 Euros per month – let’s round it up to 100 to include other ingredients that you would need. This is completely doable and I am sure that it could be done for an even lower price. So if you’re really on a budget, you could really make it work for a low price here. And have in mind that I did not add pasta and rice which would reduce the overall costs even more.