Spending Money on Food in Madrid

Spending Money on Food in Madrid

More Money, More Problems Food:

All About Spending Euros on Comida in Madrid


If you are a foodie…or just a normal human being who needs to survive off of food and you are worried that spending euros in Madrid will cost you more than what you normally spend in dollars, fret not!

People often think because the euros is slightly stronger than the USD that you are going to be spending a fortune. That’s definitely not the case! I am here to tell you about how much cheaper life in Madrid is when it comes to food in particular, although it is just as cheap transportation wise and shopping wise. Below we will touch on what typical meals cost when you eat out and what a sample of how much 30 euros will get you in groceries. You will be living in a city where a glass of healthy red wine is cheaper  than a diet coke. But don't worries, water is FREE!

Not only is the food cheap in Madrid, but also clothes are on sale (rebajas) practically the whole summer and after New Years! You will have to find a way to not go on some crazy spending spree with all of these things practically begging to be purchased. You will still want to budget those euros for trips on the weekends, any unexpected expenses, and of course buying souvenirs for yourself and maybe some special people back home. I am going to give you the inside scoop on how much I spent on going out to eat, basic groceries, how long my food lasted me for, and how much you should be expected to spend while in Madrid.

Your budget all depends well, on you and how long you will be in Madrid. Some programs are 2 weeks others are 2 months.  So you should aim to set a budget for food, travel, activities, clothing and miscellaneous/emergency purchases. If I were you, (which is what I did for the first half of my trip with the exception of weekends) would be to challenge yourself to not spend more than 100€ a week. It is not going to be easy, especially when you may just be tempted to go to your nearest coffeehouse and splurge on a cafécito and breakfast every morning or buy those super cute shoes you saw on Calle Preciados on your way back home, but with discipline, it can be done!

Eating Out:

Breakfast: In Spain, breakfast is the lightest meal of the day! Its normally a coffee or hot chocolate and some type of bread. Bread in the form of croissant, danish, baguette, churros. Or my personal favorite 'tortilla española' which is a delicious Spanish omelette, the best way to describe it is a fusion of a frittata and crust-less quiche. Made of egg and potato. Breakfast prices range from 1 to 3 euros. Breakfast is served from 6am to 1pm, on average.

Lunch: In Spain, lunch is definitely your bigger meal of the day. It's often common to have a "menu del día". The 'menu of the day' is normally 10 euros. You might be thinking..."hmm ok that is an average lunch price" or even "umm that's pricey". Let me stop you there! The menu of the day has THREE courses, drink and bread included. In most places your can ask for "media menu" 'half a menu of the day' for about 6 euros and that includes main dish, dessert, drink and bread. Final point to mention: THERE IS NO TIPPING IN SPAIN! I mean personally I leave 1 euro for my big meals and that is now more customary. Lunch is served from 1pm to 4pm, on average.

Dinner: In Spain, dinner is often a tool that bring friends together in the evening. Dinner is definitely the curve ball in your dining budget but not in a bad way. Dinner can be as simple or as extravagant as you would like, but it doesn't have to break the bank! Some nights I would grab some tapas and spend 5-10 euros or sit down meals can range from 10-20 euros. Dinner is served from 8pm to midnight.

Now that we have covered our dining out budgets, let's hit the grocery store. How about we start with a GREAT fact that it helps to maintain a healthy diet. Healthier foods are actually cheaper in Europe than they are here at home. So instead of splurging on treats like ice cream, potato chips, or any other junk food often, stock up on veggies, fruits, and protein-based foods. One more tip that will help you save even more money on food is the obvious: prepare home-cooked meals! 

How much did I spend, you ask? I do not have all of my original receipts, but I can tell you that every time I went to the supermarket I was amazed at how little I spent on so much. Every time I was at the register, I would try to guess (in my head) how much I would end up paying before the cashier told me my total, I was always off by a lot! With the only four receipts I found laying around from my grocery trips to our local market, Día, the very rough average I spent on groceries every week was 14 euros. Yes, 14 euros, thats about $15.50. Trust me, I felt surprised every time. I would buy almost all of the following items weekly: cereal, ham, tuna, oranges, chicken, pork, eggs, plantains, lettuce, cheese, orange juice, rice, beans, pasta, Oikos vanilla yogurt, mixed frozen vegetables, and potatoes among other snacks, beverages, and other foods in general. To be honest, seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. were mostly found in the residence that was left behind by previous residents and we all shared it so this definitely helped us all out a lot.

These are the prices (in euros) for some food items I spent on during my time in Madrid:


Basic Food Items
Breakfast Price in € Quantity (Approximately)
Bread (Whole wheat) € 1.32 450 g
Eggs (Brown) € 1.29 1 dozen
Cereal (Corn Flakes) € 1.99 500 g
Ham € 1.00 130 g
Cheese (Gouda) € 1.15 200 g
Oatmeal (Cereal form) € 1.00 500 g
Bananas € 0.21 170 g
Oranges € 0.32 295 g
Apples (Red) € 0.45 250 g
Yogurt (Greek) € 2.29 Pack of 12, 125 g
Regular (Vanilla) Yogurt € 0.95 Pack of 4 , 125 g

Lunch & Dinner

Chicken € 3.74 Whole, 1800 g
Rice (Long) € 0.69 1 kg
Pasta (Spaghetti) € 0.55 500 g
Frozen Veggies € 0.76 1 kg
Potatoes € 1.00 1 kg
Beans € 3.69 1 kg
Lettuce € 1.99 6 units
Tuna € 4.35 6 cans x 52 g
Total € 28.74

The total of almost 29 euros is roughly $32! Look at all you get for that price!!!

To get more detailed info on how much groceries in general cost or how much particular foods you eat cost in Madrid, visit these popular go-to supermarkets that you will most likely find near your future residence:


http://supermercado.elcorteingles.es/supermercado/sm2/login/portada.jsp http://www.carrefouronline.carrefour.es/supermercado/Bienvenida.aspx?utm_source=carrefour&utm_medium=home&utm_content=MenuSup_Alimentacion

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Updated on March 21, 2017 By: Anna Whetzle

Lisette Miranda

Written by Lisette Miranda

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