How to save money on foods in Japan

Posted: January 24, 2011 by InfinityZer0 in Misc

When i just reached Tokyo…i always spend about 500-700 yen per meal for both Lunch and Dinner..that’s abit overkill right there…i used to spend around 1200 to 1500 yen per day just for meals.

I often eat at Sukiya, for around 700 yen per meal

But after few weeks of staying in Japan, i’ve come into senses to start saving on meals. Yes it is possible…even though most foods in japan cost at least 500 yen per meal…there is still way to save money…providing…if you are up to it! LOL πŸ˜€

Here are my tips and tricks.

Drink plain water please…one bottle of coke or other drinks can cost you up to 150 yen per bottle. I stayed in New Koyo, and downstairs they provide cold and hot water…i always refill my water from there.

Else, you can buy mineral water from combini (7 Eleven, Lawson, etc). One water bottle (of 2 litres) can cost as much as 178 yen, but in 7 Eleven i saw the cheapest one being 128 yen…and other supermarket can cost you as little as 98 yen…there is this supermarket just right outside the Minami Senju JR station, i recommend you buy the waters from there if you want to save money.

Foods for Lunch/Dinner:

Now we’ve come into the most important of all…Meals in Tokyo. It is not cheap to eat out in Tokyo, but it is still possible. πŸ˜›

Option #1
For Lunch and dinner…you can always find those stall with 250-280 yen menu…the serving is rather small, but hey…its cheap. If you cannot find them, just go to Yoshinoya, and buy the cheapest meal there. It is also around 280 yen per meal.

Yoshinoya is famous for its (small) and cheap meals

Option #2
Mcdonalds…yes…you must be asking me…“I’ve come all the way here to Tokyo just to eat…Mcdonalds???” Yes. That is right. If you want to save up money, then you have no choice πŸ˜› If you feel like spending though, you can always eat at Lotteria or First Kitchen with one set of menu can cost you up to 800 yen per meal…lol.

Now for the tips…of course Mcdonalds meal is also rather expensive. But they have some cheap burgers, such as “Hamburger” and “McPork” for 100 yen each. and 20 cent for cheese and you get yourself a CheeseBurger, at 120 yen. Buy 2 of this, should be enough to fill your stomach (unless you are a big eater!! then go buy 3 of them !! Still cheap).

Eat McD even in japan ??!?! Yes, if you want to save up !

Option #3
Worst case… can always eat Cup Noodles LOL XD πŸ˜€ But i must warn you, cup noodles in Japan is not really cheap either…they can cost you around 120-140 yen for a 80G one…although sometimes there are a bigger one, called “BIG Cup Noodles”, which i frequiently buy, for around 200 yen. I always buy the Curry flavor πŸ˜€

My Favorite Cup Noodles!


To be honest…sometimes i just skipped breakfast and call it “Brunch”. But for late nite snacks…i must admit sometimes i am hungry at nite,but just lazy to go out to the 7 eleven to buy snacks…which will cost more money also lol. πŸ˜€

If you want to save up, you can always go the traditional way…EAT BREAD. Yes…lol. Plain bread can cost you from 98 yen to 168 yen. The cheapest plain bread i’ve found is the 98 one,i buy them from the Supermarket outside Minami Senju JR Station.

Now, you won’t be eating these plain braid just like that right? I suggest you to buy some Strawberry Jam or other flavors. They can cost you around 200 yen per small bottle. Or if you feeling rich, buy Skippy or Nuttela, but they’re of course more expensive at 400 yen per small bottle…lol. You can also buy those Cheese Cubes, i bought one at 128 yen for 4 cubes…again, from the Minami Senju JR supermarket.

Plain Bread with Cheese Cubes for snacks

As for other snacks…Potato chips over here is rather expensive as well…at least 100-150 yen for one bag of chips (60 G only). There are cheap ice cream at around 70 yen one though, which i always buy from 7 eleven. Other normal ice cream can cost you from 100 to 200 yen.

If you want to buy cheap snacks, you can also go to those 100 yen store, or Daiso and stock up your snacks from there. Also, in Nakano Broadway, there are some cheap snacks shop also. It’s just near the Nakano Broadway entrance, you just can’t miss it.

Well, that’s about it i guess….Foods here are expensive, but it depends whether you want to save money or not πŸ˜€ But of course…for your 1st time in Japan…i wont recommend you to go for budget straight away… Be sure to try some nice foods over there also. But if you are staying here for long term (me for example, for around 3 weeks), every yen counts, and you really need to start saving up…

Just put it this way, the money you save on foods, can be used to shop around, be it for idol goods, anime stuffs or souvenirs for your cousins. And that should be the end of it…i hope this article/post helps you to plan your budget next time, if you are coming to Japan ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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