A huge part of a travel budget goes on food which, when you're travelling, can be over priced and tasteless. But there are great ways to save money and eat well when you're on the road.
If it does, eat only what's included. Don't be sucked into ordering a room service breakfast if your stay only includes the breakfast buffet, or a ‘continental' (read: cold) breakfast. If your accommodation doesn't include breakfast – go out. It's always cheaper to pick up a pastry and a coffee than it is to pay for a hotel breakfast. Better still, buy cereal at a supermarket and make your own breakfast.
The only food more expensive than airport food is airline food. If you're flying with a budget airline – where you pay for your food – bring it from home. It's going to be better quality and much, much cheaper, than the bad food on the plane.
You can't take your own water through security, but you can take your own bottle. Make it a good quality bottle and it will last your whole journey. Ask the air steward to fill your bottle up at the beginning of the flight and sip away. Fill it up in your hotel (boil the kettle or use water purifying tablets if you're worried about water quality) and you'll save heaps on bottled water.
If you want to try a great restaurant but your budget is stretched; try eating there at lunchtime. You can often get a restaurant meal at lunch for much less than the same meal costs at dinner.
Avoid cafes and restaurants adjacent to tourist traps, but don't avoid touristy restaurant strips as some tourist menus, particularly in Europe, can offer great value if you're very hungry. Avoid restaurants inside tourist destinations - they are almost always bad quality and expensive. But many restaurants close to hotel districts will offer a three course tourist menu for a little more than the cost of one course. If you've skimped on lunch, a big dinner can set you up for the next day.
Everything at airports is overpriced and food is no exception. Bring food from home, or stop at a good takeaway outlet on the way to the airport.
One of the best things about travelling is checking out how the locals live. Find out where the closest supermarket is to your hotel and visit there after you've checked in. Buy in breakfast goodies, snacks, tea and good coffee. You'll save a packet on snacks during the day if you've bought from a supermarket rather than a snack shop. You can even buy full meals at the supermarket, but if eating cold food in your hotel room seems a bit depressing, choose a local park and have a picnic instead. Romantic and cheap!
You'll often drive a better bargain if you buy a range of things from the same seller and negotiate a bundled price.
After a big lunch, you can often snack through dinner pretty cheaply. In many European countries you pay less to eat at the bar than if you eat the same food at a table. A few choice bar snacks will come to just a few dollars, and you get to chat up the bar staff!