Tips for Paris on the cheap!

How to Enjoy Paris on a Budget

Post by Jenny Bailey

With a (legitimate) reputation as one of the most expensive cities in Europe, it’s easy to see why many people shy away from booking a city break to Paris. However- there are many great ways to save money in the city. Avoid the luxurious hotels, gourmet restaurants and designer shops and anyone can enjoy the delights of Paris without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best ways to do it:

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Costs you a quarter!

A quarter is 25 cents of American change… it used to be that you could purchase things for a quarter or under a quarter. Not anymore really.

Let’s see…

In 1942 you could get a bottle of Coca Cola for 5 cents.

In 1955 you could get fresh roasted penauts at Ebbet’s Field to watch a Dodgers baseball game, for 10 cents!

This guys says that if you have a 25 cent piece minted pre-1965 it’s actually worth 8 bucks! So I guess you can sort of get a couple of gallons of gas for a quarter, as he points out.

In 1978 a 1.2 oz chocolate Hershey’s bar cost 25 cents.

But this is 2011, and I live in Paris, one of the most expensive cities in the world… so imagine my utter astoniqhment when I saw something for under 25 €ents! A bottle of water, folks. For 20 cents. I couldn’t believe it. Especially because they cost 2 whole euros when you purchase a bottle of Evian in a vending machine.

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I found this at the Galaries Lafayette Gourmet boutique OF ALL PLACES TOO!!! Not a place where you will find lower priced groceries by any means! So hip-hip-hooray for the Gal-Laf for putting something on the shelf that is priced at a cost that is reasonable and accessible to everyone. It’s so accessible that as I was leaving the department store to go grab the bus, I saw a clandestine street vendor with a bucket full of ice water and those very same water bottles… his price? 1€.

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I still wasn't convinced it was 20cents until I paid. Photo proof! 🙂

Oh and just for comparisons sake to put things in perspective… at the Galaries Lafayette store, you can also get what looks like a gallon of Nutella…for 39€. It’s a balancing act, right?!? LOL!!!
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Oh, and FYI… You don’t have to pay for water in Paris… when you order a meal or a drink at a restaurant or a café, you may ask for a “carafe d’eau” and it’s free. You can also fill up your own water bottle for free at the Wallace fountains that are scattered around the city!