Top Tips for those on a budget

1.  Depending on where you are, menu del día can cost as little as 7.50 € and rarely costs more than 10 €.  For this princely sum you may get a salad to share, followed by 3 courses, drinks (often a bottle of wine between two people), bread with coffee to finish.  After this feast, you probably won´t want much to eat in the evening – so that´s another saving!

2.  Some regions give free or subsidised travel to pensioners and to students.  Even if you don´t get this, over 60s can buy a Tarjeta Dorada for 5 € which gives savings of between 25% and 40% with RENFE.  This is also available for younger people with disabilities.  Before you book your RENFE train though, have a look at the Spanish website.  I discovered that there were “Estrella” offers on there for Preferente or First class, which was a better deal than going Turisto class using the Tarjeta Dorada, as it included a newspaper, your meal and drinks, plus all the comfort of travelling First class.

3.  As in the UK, it pays to shop around.  We have signed up for loyalty cards with both Consum and Dia.  Each month we get offers from Consum, plus a cheque based on how much we have spent the previous month.  At Dia, we receive vouchers when we pay for our shopping, which gives us discounts off a range of products over the month.

4. Visit your local bodega for wine, as you can usually sample some first, and also it will cost less than in the supermarket.  You can even take a plastic bottle to fill up with vino de mesa at incredibly low prices.

Main market in Jumilla 004.JPG

5.  The local market is also a good place to shop for a wide selection of cheap fruit and vegetables , as well as many other products, and don´t forget your local pescaderia for fresh fish at bargain prices.

6.  Look through your local papers for special events and free offers.  We regularly go to the theatre for free or cheap concerts, which we have seen in the local paper.  We also noticed in La Verdad that buses were free on Sundays in December - ideal for Christmas shopping.

7.  You don´t even have to buy your paper: just go to a local bar for your morning coffee (usually no more than 1€) and read the papers for free, like the locals do.

8.  Many councils will provide free Spanish lessons for “extranjeros”, so take advantage of them like we did.

9.  Many hotels such as NH Hotels do special offers for over 60s, and only one person has to be over 60, so be nice to your partner if they are older than you!  Also check with your local travel agent for special deals for over 55s.

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  1. Jacqui’s avatar

    Neither of us is over 60 – do you think it would work if I was nice to someone elses partner who is?

  2. J’s avatar

    You forgot to mention that as well as a free read you CAN often get free wifi too & often we found we could use the cafe’s mains electric TOO to save my netbook’s battery.

    As cafes & pubs tend to leave their wifi on overnight I used to pop up to the cafe before 9am before they opened up or before 10am before the pub opened up & sit outside & Skype with friends! How’s THAT for economy. (Take a flask of coffee, save your €’s)

  3. Sue Walker’s avatar

    Jaqui, nobody asked me if John and I were married when we first found out about the deal, before I was 60! However I guess it depends on whether your OH objects….

  4. Sue Walker’s avatar

    I have to confess that we also sat outside a local cafe before they opened to get free WIFI – not recommended in winter though! See the latest update: More Money-saving Top Tips.