Eating in Ubud on $5 per day, is this even possible? YES! I’ve eaten cheap in Ubud on several occasions, for many different reasons. The catch is you have to know where to look first, I’ve found some diamonds in the rough (and some lemons). Here are my tried and tested rules to keep budgets low on your extended Bali vacation.


  1. Eat where the locals eat. Don’t saddle up the the glitziest part of town looking for your cheap meal. It aint gonna happen. Opt for a bit off the beaten track, side streets and homelier looking places are your best bet. I’m not talking run down but you won’t find a cheap meal at a place with a water fountain and a lovely rice paddy view. The best way to find these is to walk around on the side streets. Look for people eating, especially locals. An empty restaurant doesn’t mean good things.

  2. Eat what the locals eat. Ever wonder why a plate of fries are so expensive in foreign countries? Because only the tourists are eating them and they can and WILL pay more for them. Bali is easy food to adapt to. Everything is mild in flavour and nothing is too fancy or crazy. So tuck in! My favorite is nasi goreng and it’s usually the cheapest too! Why are you trying to eat sushi or french fries in Bali anyways?

  3. Skip the fancy drinks. You may think you need that exotic chilled tumeric and unicorn wheatgrass juice but you don’t. Stick to the basics, tea, water, coffee.

  4. Realise you CAN’T make food cheaper than you can buy it for the most part in Bali (besides instant noodles..) so why waste your time. Trust me I tried.

  5. Go vegetarian! Or at least part of the time. The veggie food in Ubud is amazing and a portion of the cost of a meat dish most of the time.

  6. Capitalise on your homestay FREE BREAKFAST. That’s one less meal you have to buy out each day!

  7. Start shrinking your portion size. Western plates are huge and unnecessary especially in such a warm climate.

  8. Realize that a $10 budget will let you feed like a king 🙂


Check out part 2 for the where’s, how to’s and addresses!

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