Used: 2008

I read a lot on how expensive things are in Sydney, especially how expensive it is to eat. I don’t know if it is because I grew up in Los Angeles or came from Auckland before coming to Australia, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Also may have been what I chose to eat. I am the worst eater in that I can eat the same thing for days on end and I don’t really care. I am not a cook, so I survive on the microwave. When grocery shopping, I always took note on the sales and when they ended, so I filled up on my stock items when they were on sale. I never bought that much at one time. I only drank basic juices and tap water. The big thing was I rarely drink alcohol, so that saved a lot but when I did drink, I would drink locally, which brings the price down a bit. I loved farmers markets.

And one of my big finds, which I am surprised more people haven’t mentioned, especially for tourists staying in the CBD of the major cities, are the end of day food sales. Food courts cover downtown Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where lots of office workers buy their lunches on a daily basis. At the end of the day, these places sell their left over food for deep deep discounts. What they were selling for $10+ at noon are now $5 or less at 5 and 6pm. Just wonder the food courts at the end of the business day and while the choices might not be as great (lots of pastas, asian food, pizza and salads), the discounts are deep. These are great for backpackers looking for cheap meals at the end of long days who don’t want to cook (perfect for singles) or even locals looking to pick up something sort of fresh (hey, it was made that day, how bad could it be?) for dinner that night. Not all eatery’s do this, but enough do to make it worth stopping by.

Moral: In Sydney, Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street was one of my favorite places as they have a huge eating hall and a good amount of cheap food as well as Centrepoint across the street. There are too many food halls in Melbourne to name. Do you have any favorite places to eat cheap like this in Australia? Not everything is Australia is outrageously expensive as people say. There are deals to be found for everything.