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I’ve already covered how to locate affordable lodging in Norway and how to get around the country on a budget, but there’s one major piece of the jigsaw that hasn’t been addressed yet, and that’s the cost of food in Norway.
Because of how stunning Norway is, you won’t be able to appreciate its natural splendour if you spend your whole vacation here grumbling about how hungry you are.
When travelling on a limited budget in Norway, the following guidelines should be followed in order to maximise your experience:
If you’re not going to dine out at a restaurant that’s extremely great and has a lot of atmosphere, then you shouldn’t even buy any prepared food.
This includes hot dogs purchased at a convenience store as well as pre-made sandwiches purchased from a grocery store.
I create those sandwiches as part of my job in the bakery area of my local supermarket. Personally, I would not spend 40 kroner for a baguette stuffed with a few slices of recently expired ham and cheese because it would be cheaper to purchase a plain baguette and a whole fresh packet of ham.
The type of lodging that you select in Norway is extremely important for the following reason: in the article that I wrote about finding affordable lodging in Norway, I strongly suggested staying at an Airbnb.
This is not only because it will probably be more affordable than a hotel, but also because it will allow you to self-cater, which will save you a significant amount of money.
And don’t worry—preparing meals at home doesn’t preclude you from enjoying traditional Norwegian fare in any way, shape, or form!
I have compiled a tutorial that teaches you how to create 10 traditional Norwegian dishes for less than ten dollars (and I have linked to all of the listings for the items that can be found in supermarkets, so you will know precisely what to purchase).
Never buy food or snacks from a gas station or convenience store; instead, stick to shopping at supermarkets.
When I hear foreign travellers remark that they were shocked to see that a bottle of water and a chocolate bar at a petrol station cost them a total of ten dollars, my first thought is always, “What were you doing purchasing food at a gas station?”
Try looking for one at a grocery; you’ll find them everywhere.
The supermarkets with the lowest prices are Rema 1000 and Kiwi, however even more costly stores will usually have a lower store brand or a “First Price” version of the most common necessities in stock.
To my knowledge, at least in regard to the food sold under the First Price brand, the vast majority of their products are indistinguishable from those sold at standard prices; the only difference is that the First Price brand food uses less elaborate packaging, and its fruits and vegetables do not appear to be in as good of condition.
You may also download this app in order to discover all of the most recent discounts and bargains that are now being offered at supermarkets in Norway.
The drinking water from the tap is said to have a magical flavour in Norway, whereas the cost of bottled water is exorbitant.
When I go hiking in Norway, which can be rather frigid at times, I make sure to have a thermos filled with either hot chocolate or tea to keep me warm.
You should also bring some chocolate with you, or if you’d like, some nutritious foods; this way, you won’t be tempted to visit a gift shop or a convenience store while you’re out and about.
It is highly recommended that you carry your own dried food from home if you are planning on going on any extended camping vacations in Norway because the cost of buying it there is very high.
And on a somewhat unrelated subject, before loading up on dehydrated food, make sure it’s something you enjoy eating first; not every food that has been dried is equally tasty. (I’m going to go with this one.)
It’s not like Norway is famous for having a tonne of warm and inviting pubs; in fact, I think the entire time I’ve spent in Norway, I’ve only discovered two pubs that I really appreciate.
And I would say that the partying culture in Norway is even worse – maybe because it is so costly to buy drinks at a club in Norway that almost everyone pre-games and comes incredibly intoxicated, which is not exactly the most pleasant setting to be in.
Since the cost of alcoholic beverages in a restaurant, pub, or bar is likely to be ridiculously high, my recommendation is that you forego having any drinks at all. Do you remember what I said about the enchanted water in Norway’s faucets?
If you do decide that you want to try some of the regional beer, you may pick some up in a supermarket (you got it!) and, if the weather is pleasant, take them with you to the park or the fjord. Even though drinking alcohol in public is technically against the law, I’ve witnessed law enforcement officers walk right by outside picnickers without saying a thing.
And if you believe for sure that you’ll want to be drinking while you’re in Norway, make sure to pick up some booze at the duty-free shop!
(You will still save money by purchasing it in the country from which you are departing rather than waiting until you get in Norway to do it.)
You may find fantastic deals on goods like lentils and PG tips tea if you shop at an Asian grocery store, which can be found in most significant towns in Norway.
Lentils and rice is one of the cheapest meals that I am aware of, and I recommend it to anyone who are very constrained for funds.
Hold on, what? It’s just your imagination; the pricing gap between a really excellent restaurant and a quick food joint is shockingly narrow (is this some kind of socialist tradition in Norway?)
Therefore, if you are going to spend money on eating out, you may as well get the most out of the experience that you can!
You may also think about eating your good meal at the restaurant for lunch rather than supper, as lunch menus are typically more affordable than dinner menus.
And if you happen to be in Oslo, there is a banquet that lasts for three hours and is held on a boat made of wood that sails across the Oslo fjord. You should absolutely check it out.
There are certainly certain things in Norway that are worthy of spending on, while there are also other things that you can definitely get away with skipping.
Splurge: Freia milk chocolate
It would be a shame to pass up the opportunity to indulge in some of the world’s finest chocolate, which is produced in Norway.
Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that no Norwegians are reading this since they would undoubtedly be appalled to hear me put down their favourite hiking treats in such a manner but…
Kvikk Lunsj is identical to a Kit Kat bar in both appearance and flavour, while Solo has the same flavour profile as any other orange drink.
Only get a little box of it because you’ll probably despise it, but on the other hand, some people from other countries take to brown cheese like duck to water, so you never know!
In any event, it is quite Norwegian, and as a result, you really can’t leave Norway without at least giving it a go before you go.
Skip: Expensive veggies you can buy at home
There are a number of vegetables that are ridiculously costly in Norway; perhaps you should hold off on satisfying your avocado yearning until you get back to your own country.
It’s impossible for me to think of anything else I’ve had that even comes close to matching the flavour of Hobby, which is why it’s one of my favourite chocolate bars from Norway.
And if I enjoyed marzipan, I’m sure I’d be a major fan of Troika, which, based on the number of times I’ve seen people purchase it at the grocery store, appears to be the Scandinavian version of a Snickers bar.
And a visit to Norway would be incomplete without sampling some of the country’s famous cardamom waffles.
If you are staying at an Airbnb, the kitchen in your rental may already have a waffle iron; if not, you should go into town and buy some waffles; I can guarantee that they will be worth the money.
Try some aquavit if you want to taste the beverage that is most closely associated with Norway. On the other hand, I’ve never seen a tourist in Norway who truly enjoyed aquavit, so… maybe skip it?