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Cost per meal from market


Rotagivan

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6 hours ago, sqwakvfr said:

100 Baht per complete meal is realistic.  One plate at 30-40 Baht anywhere in Thailand probably will not be enough.  I often eat at the Tops Market food stands and they have meals(fried rice or some kind of curry and they range from 55 to 70 Baht) but the portions are bigger.  A bottle of water is 10 Baht and if you have smoothie after it is about 30 to 35 Baht.  Even if I spend 100 Baht it beats anything I can get in the US.

The OP asked for the most cost effective eats; but it appears the respondents are giving him the cheapest eats, maybe that is what he meant. Cost effective to me is not necessarily the cheapest; to be cost effective it must be what I consider good value--certainly worth what you pay for it.

 

I know a Chinese-Thai restaurant in Hatyai where their special rice comes with shrimp, chicken, onions and mushrooms with Chinese tea for B65--and the place is air conditioned---that is good value, a full meal, albeit small, in a/c for these hot days. They even give you a glass of ice for free, so you can make iced tea. I go to that restaurant maybe once a week and usually order their special rice, but I also order the yum pla foo--fried fish cracklings, green mango, onions, cashews and chilies. The pla foo costs B150, but it is enough to be shared by two or three--but I have been known to handle it alone.

 

The wife walks early in the morning and brings home pork and sticky rice, satay and/or pork bao--none of which costs more than B20. Enough to feed us may be B60-80. However, that is only one meal. Two can go to one of the dim sum restaurants and eat for B100-120, good chicken or pork noodle soups for B35-60 are all over. 

 

However, I still like my Jack Daniels, steak, crab, wines, breads and cheeses; so I get them cost effectively too. I'd hate to have to be anywhere on the cheap.

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9 hours ago, Ulysses G. said:

The cheapest way to go is the Thai "J" vegetarian restaurants. It is something like 3 items for 30 baht with brown rice. Some places have big portions, but you have to try different ones to figure out which have the best food and most food for the price. A lot of them are on this website, but many are more expensive places catering to tourists. "J" style is really vegan food, but they don't use garlic and onions (if I remember correctly. 

 

https://www.happycow.net/asia/thailand/chiang_mai/?page=1

 

Why no garlic and onions for vegans ?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Wazza1 said:

To be even more cost effective I have seen perfectly good food in bins outside 7/11's and that would be for free.

And there is free accommodation the OP could use in the park near 7/11 on Sukhumvit so that would be more saving.

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2 hours ago, sqwakvfr said:

Well said buddhalady.  I spend the way I spend on food because I want to, not because I have to.  Really don't want to eat at Rock Me Burger everyday.  However 170 Baht for a well made burger is still good value.  I am slowly getting rid of my western viewpoint and enjoying the new lifestyle in CM.  Just had a great salad from the Tops Salad bar for 70 Baht.  Now I have to plan for dinner(so many choices in CM).  I recently overhead a Farang complain "how come a box of  Chips Ahoy Cookies cost over 200 Baht?".  He is probably an American( I am American and I am disappointed to hear something like that form a fellow American).  

The food halls at the top of Airport Central Plaza and at Big C are always good value for money.

More upmarket, but with a lot of Western menu variety - "Butter is Better" just down  from Pantip Plaza on ChangKhlan Road. Bangers and mash with onion gravy 190 baht, very tasty.

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7 hours ago, dundas said:

At my local noodle shop in Chiang Mai, two of us will normally order three plates of food for around 120-140 (typically two rice dishes and a soup).The place is pleasant, the meal ins't huge but it's tasty and it's enough. Pretty cheap -- only issue is I hope it's not forming a diet rich in pesticide and cheap oil ... 

 

Breakfast I always eat at home -- it's pretty simple, egg, toast, maybe fruit and cooked vegetables. Easy to hit 100 or more per person because fruit can be relatively expensive. Dinner (bought back home) tends to be around 150-250 for two, and outside the starting price is around 250 to 600 or more for two, depending on where we eat, what we eat and whether we have beer with the meal. 


I think 300 per person per day is getting fairly close to a reasonable minimum. I wouldn't like to live on much less. 


 

 

This is more realistic.  

 

I've seen guys end up in the orthopedic ward with bone fractures after several years of existing off nothing but 30 - 40 baht street food and beer.  In many cases, the doctors refuse to operate for a time because the numbers for their liver and kidney functions are so bad.

 

If the OP is putting together a "moving to Thailand budget", he should plan a minimum of 300 baht/day for food, with a healthy menu something like this

Breakfast:  fresh fruit with cereal, museili, milk or yogurt.  You can buy fruit already cut up from street vendors.

Lunch: Thai street food, like classic noodles with just a little meat and veggies or fried rice.  This can be your "cheap meal" of the day with enough money left over for an afternoon beer.

Dinner:  Cruise the prepared food section in the big grocery stores, esp after 6 pm when they mark down their meals.  You can find grilled salmon, chicken, macaroni, spaghetti, steamed veggies, and a salad bar.  

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When my Thai friend goes out to eat he says " I borrow you  money, 500 Baht, I want to go to buffet".

Nothing cheap about him. Otherwise he spends about 100 Baht/day not including the evening meals with me at a decent restaurant. :sad:

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6 hours ago, bangkokairportlink said:

 

Why no garlic and onions for vegans ?

 

 

They are considered unhealthy in ahaan J - I don't know why.They never serve them in these type of restaurants and they are cheap and all over the place.

 

Just noticed ID 14 on the previous page. No strong smelling vegetables are allowed in this kind of food.

Edited by Ulysses G.
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There are several lunch buffets in hotels that are less than 200 baht.  They can be a good deal, from a nutrition standpoint, but chose wisely.  I know someone who has worked at one of these hotels for years and is now on kidney dialysis from eating their sodium-laden food three times daily for a couple decades.

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54 minutes ago, Ulysses G. said:

They are considered unhealthy in ahaan J - I don't know why.They never serve them in these type of restaurants and they are cheap and all over the place.

 

Just noticed ID 14 on the previous page. No strong smelling vegetables are allowed in this kind of food.

 

My understanding is it is a Buddhist thing, hence the Ahaan Jay food festival around one of the major Buddhist holidays.

 

One thought is that eating garlic and onions leads to the death of the plant and the first precept is to avoid hurting any living thing.

 

The other thought I've heard is that you should eat food that sustains and nourishes you, you should not eat food for pleasure - veg not meat, fruit not sugar, more chewing not overeating.

 

As for the OP's question, market food is between 15 and 40 Baht. generally the more you pay, the more meat you get, and the quality is likely better. For best value and health, cook at home. We cook at home and budget 50B/person/meal, but it should be said that this is cooking for three, when cooking for on, it is very hard to cook at this price as you end up with more waste.

 

If eating out, I prefer to eat at restaurants that can produce food better than my wife or I (OK, my wife). This costs 500B-1000B/meal, cooking at home is certainly more cost effective, but variety is the spice of life.

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10 hours ago, smotherb said:

Two can go to one of the dim sum restaurants and eat for B100-120,.... 

 

 

Hard to imagine how that is possible. We went to Toey Dim Sum last weekend, where we often go on weekends. The bill was 460 Baht for 2 adults and one child. When I looked around, we had less bamboo steamer baskets on our table than almost anyone else so our bill was probably on the low side compared to others. A group of about 4 Koreans were at the table next to us. They had to have double the steamer baskets we had. Toey is certainly nothing fancy.

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2 hours ago, elektrified said:

Hard to imagine how that is possible. We went to Toey Dim Sum last weekend, where we often go on weekends. The bill was 460 Baht for 2 adults and one child. When I looked around, we had less bamboo steamer baskets on our table than almost anyone else so our bill was probably on the low side compared to others. A group of about 4 Koreans were at the table next to us. They had to have double the steamer baskets we had. Toey is certainly nothing fancy.

Just had dim sum this morning, B190; there were three of us and we had ten baskets and Chinese tea. Go figure

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20 hours ago, buddhalady said:

Some of us live responsibly because that's what we want to do - and were happily doing it in our home countries before we even thought of coming to live in Thailand. Flashing the cash as is done in the USA and UK is not, ultimately, either good for the planet's environment or the  humans who live in it.

 

As regards steven100's post, I own my house, having legally leased the last for 30 years and have been on a retirement extension for ten years. If more people rejected the me-me-me culture of the West rather then bringing it here and boasting about it, things might well change for the better. Or not.

The me-me-me culture of the West? Have you been to Asia recently?

 

300 baht is the average amount to spend per day per person. Less than this will lead to health problems in the future.  Argue it all you want, but it is true.

Edited by donglingcha
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Apart from Thais I really can't believe that people actually  eat that stuff in bags from markets.

looks and smells disgusting probably been sitting there for hours on end laden with MSG and salt ,in fact my Thai doctor advised against eating it for that reason. Buy fresh and cook at home was his advice.

Just as a side note Big C Extra now has a French butcher in charge of the meat dept good cuts as well as imported lamb and beef fraction of the cost of Rimping

Edited by sappersrest
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On 5/8/2017 at 10:02 AM, chuang said:

Khao neow 10 baht..one fried egg 10 baht == 20 baht....if you want to save on the egg then just eat khao neow with sauce...


Imagine, khao neow with sauce... 555

Likely to get more nutrition from a beer.

 

 

 

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On 5/8/2017 at 5:32 AM, speckio said:

seems like i am living in a different country than most of the people on this thread....

 

I spend on average 120 baht a day for meals.

 

your typical thai local food stall charges 35-50 baht for a plate of food and i am not sure why everyone is saying its not enough food.

 

an order of spicy chcken mint leaves over rice with a fried egg is on average costs about 40 baht and its more than filling imo. I would be hard pressed to finish 2 orders. when I first arrived in bangkok 3 years ago i weighed 70 kilos i am up to 90 kilos. so its a decent amount of food per dish. 160 lbs up to 195

 

dont want chicken mint leave fine.. order a hearty bowl of noodles for the same price either the people on this thread are eating only at the mall and avoiding local vendors completely or they are getting charged extra for looking like a farang.

Indeed, it can easily be done, but have you seen the size of some of these whiteys? They just keep shovelling it in and build up tolerance. If they drank more water, they wouldn't feel compelled to scoff in such a fashion.:whistling:

Op asked price of market food and is getting all sorts of opinionated replies. Answer is in first few replies.

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9 hours ago, sappersrest said:

Apart from Thais I really can't believe that people actually  eat that stuff in bags from markets.

looks and smells disgusting probably been sitting there for hours on end laden with MSG and salt

 

None of the Thais in my family will buy prepared food from markets as they are worried about the flies laying eggs in the food. It is almost always uncovered at markets and often sits there for hours. Then of course the high MSG content, etc.

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On 5/8/2017 at 11:04 AM, elgordo38 said:

Sounds like its time to tell the kid to get a paper route if one exists here. You get the idea. Wean him off the Santa Claus 365

Obviously you don't have children and it's been so long that you can't remember being a child. After a full day of school and sports, kids come home very hungry. 100 Baht for a meal for a growing child is nothing.

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13 minutes ago, elektrified said:

Obviously you don't have children and it's been so long that you can't remember being a child. After a full day of school and sports, kids come home very hungry. 100 Baht for a meal for a growing child is nothing.

 

13 minutes ago, elektrified said:

Obviously you don't have children and it's been so long that you can't remember being a child. After a full day of school and sports, kids come home very hungry. 100 Baht for a meal for a growing child is nothing.

I am one of the biggest "growing" boys you will ever see and I eat for half of that. Its hard to succeed in Thailand nothing like explaining that at an "early" like in pull your weight a bit. Childhood is part of life's foundation then there is that long long road no not yellow bricks. Start early that the key to life is hard work not running to the bank for a loan. To many loan junkies running around now no sense creating any more. I hope this elektrifies you

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Judging from a few people's​comments about market or street food it seems they never tried it or know how it is prepared. Maybe a chat with the vendor could clarify some of your assumptions.
Also maybe the same people drink regularly alcohol, consume snacks and fast food.
I'm not sure what is healthier.
Just my thoughts...

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Most economical is to go to a temple. The food the monks collect on their alms round is distributed to any poor people who come to the temple. Naturally , the monks have first pickings.

 

Apart from this , most universities have canteens for students , typically about 20 baht a plate of rice with topping.

 

Failing that, you can usually buy a bag of rice for 5 baht and fill up on the cheapest raw vegetable, say one cucumber and one tomato....about 5 baht. Very cheap and very healthy.

 

If desperate......there is the dine and dash option. If caught you get to eat for free at government expense.

 

If really in a tight spot, embrace Bhuddism and become a monk at a falang friendly temple. Free room and board but you do have to get up pretty early.....bummer.

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 1:01 PM, buddhalady said:

Some of us live responsibly because that's what we want to do - and were happily doing it in our home countries before we even thought of coming to live in Thailand. Flashing the cash as is done in the USA and UK is not, ultimately, either good for the planet's environment or the  humans who live in it.

 

As regards steven100's post, I own my house, having legally leased the last for 30 years and have been on a retirement extension for ten years. If more people rejected the me-me-me culture of the West rather then bringing it here and boasting about it, things might well change for the better. Or not.

 

On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 1:01 PM, buddhalady said:

Some of us live responsibly because that's what we want to do - and were happily doing it in our home countries before we even thought of coming to live in Thailand. Flashing the cash as is done in the USA and UK is not, ultimately, either good for the planet's environment or the  humans who live in it.

 

As regards steven100's post, I own my house, having legally leased the last for 30 years and have been on a retirement extension for ten years. If more people rejected the me-me-me culture of the West rather then bringing it here and boasting about it, things might well change for the better. Or not.

With respect.......if you lease a house you clearly don't own it.

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Hi
 
Would anyone be so kind as to tell me what, if trying to be as cost effective as possible, the price is per meal if bought from market? Like chicken with rice, pork with rice, vegetarian. 
 
Cheers

Like you said, Chicken with rice.
You can order with plain rice (Khao plao or Khao suaey) instead of the oily rice for a healthier meal.
Rice topped with pork leg
For vegetarian, rice with fried egg(Khao Khai jeaw) but it's quite oily.
You can look for boiled vegetables and mackerel (Pla tuu) usually served with dip (Nam Prik). But you must like the taste of the dip because mostly it is made with shrimp paste (Kapee).
Alternatively you can buy these dips in the glass at any supermarket or convenience store.
If you want to avoid the already prepared food many vendors do made-to-order dishes, mostly stir fries.
The advantage you can adjust the spiciness level and also order without additional MSG.
Check out with Google about the names of these dishes.
For some western food, Sizzler has it's salad only buffet for, I think, 199 Baht. Besides salad it also includes soup, pasta, desert and fruits.
Breakfast at home I often eat oatmeal porridge just prepared with hot water, some milk and fruits. No cooking necessary, just hot water from the boiler.
If you have no real kitchen you could consider a rice cooker. The better ones have a steaming tray and if anti-stick you even can cook some simple dishes, curries and soups.
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Does anyone in this country cook their own meals at home? In most parts of this universe, that's usually a cheaper option.

Yes for most other parts but not Thailand...

For one person it's hardly economical.

Many people don't have a kitchen, come home late from work or are too lazy.
Or a combination of the above.

But I know what you mean, back at home I rarely ate outside and even some convenience food to eat at home is getting expensive by the time.

Cooking at home is the norm as opposed to eating outside here in Thailand...
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2 hours ago, CLW said:

If you have no real kitchen you could consider a rice cooker. The better ones have a steaming tray and if anti-stick you even can cook some simple dishes, curries and soups.

Slow cooker also a very good way to eat healthy.  And inexpensively.  Recipes only limited by your imagination.

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Another problem with street food is the use of old pots that had seams welded with lead. I think there was a national effort about 10 or 15 years ago to get rid of all the pots that had lead in them. It seems like having food or soup sitting in these old pots all day could pose a problem. Plus it is hard to imagine that everyone gave up their old pots.

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3 hours ago, grin said:

Another problem with street food is the use of old pots that had seams welded with lead. I think there was a national effort about 10 or 15 years ago to get rid of all the pots that had lead in them. It seems like having food or soup sitting in these old pots all day could pose a problem. Plus it is hard to imagine that everyone gave up their old pots.

You can not weld with lead. Solder - yes. And only on tin, not aluminum or steel.

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I like Yayoi, which are part of the MK chain dealing only in Japanese food ( available also in Japan and Singapore).
I have been in a few and found their standards very good and prices reasonable.
Their set menu starts around 130 baht but has rice, salad, kimchi, miso soup and the main dish, either fish, pork, beef , seafood, tempanyaki etc.
The prices do go up to around 300 baht but there are plenty to choose from around the 150/160 mark.
A cold green tea is 27 baht with free refills.

An example:

IMG_2644.JPG

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