So our biggest expense so far while we’ve been here is actually grocery shopping. We can’t help ourselves! There is so much fresh produce and meat that we would never have been able to afford while in the UK at the quantity and quality that we can get here. Sean and I are adopting the one week we are “indulgent” and one week we are “simple” to help keep to our monthly food budget of 250 euros.

The fact is, living out here in Montefino there is not a whole lot to do in the area without driving so we do spend a few days at home and we enjoy cooking. When budgeting our time here, we knew we wanted to enjoy the local markets more than anything else. Where else can you get a kilo of blood oranges for 2 euros? Or a bottle of wine for 1? That was a priority for us.

Blood oranges and the sweetest melon.

Just a little tip from me to whoever is reading this… When planning long-term travel, I suggest picking 2-3 things that you consider most important for you during your time in a certain country and budget around that. For Italy, it was: Groceries, Eating Out and Transportation Budget to see things. Each country has different goals and Italy is definitely all about the food for us.

Montefino has a fair amount of places to eat in the area as well having a fantastic butcher. We learned they are one of the biggest providers of meat in Italy and at Christmas Time ship out thousands of Turkey to the UK for premium prices but we get them at local prices, sooooo can’t complain. Within 10 minutes of our house, we have multiple produce stands and a Todis that is like a small Tesco or Giant. We keep every single receipt and update our budget sheet daily and are slowly changing our budget as we figure out what we want to spend our money on. Cause even small purchases can add up over a few weeks so even when prices are cheap we have to remind ourselves Budget, Budget and BUDGET. Except, there is always space for 2-euro Rose.

Now, excuse me. This morning in our little shop we picked up local spicy sausage that honestly is one of the most incredible things I have ever had in my life and you can’t get them anywhere outside of Italy. Trust me, I have looked! So I’m thinking pasta is in order for lunch and maybe a little glass of vino too.