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I saw a thread for being VERY frugal in London...Let's try this for Paris.

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Apr 20th, 2006, 11:37 AM
  #21
 
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The Batobus is even cheaper than grantop's numbers, since the ground rules specify that you have a Carte Orange.

With an RATP pass, the Batobus costs 7€, 8€, or 10€ for 1, 2, or 5 days, respectively.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 11:45 AM
  #22
 
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Robespierre, I totally forgot about the carte organge discount for the Batobus - thanks for bringing it up!
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Apr 20th, 2006, 01:57 PM
  #23
 
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The hubby and I are living in Paris now and doing it on less than you suggest. (We don't have jobs here, hence no income.) Of course, we are not going to museums and such, so perhaps it's an unfair comparison, but I can offer some tips.

I am not going to follow the rules on no cooking - what I am suggesting is not really cooking, but moreso heating up and defrosting.

First stop would be Picard - amazing frozen food that tastes nothing like American frozen food. Totally gourmet and delicious. When you enter the store, look at the promo case (pink signs), which changes monthly. You could easily shop exclusively in the promo cases and be happy as clams. Currently we get the ham and cherry tomato tarte (which feeds the two of us for a lunch) on sale for 1.90E. I have also had the escargot (2.60? for a dozen), the breaded calamari, the salmon tartare and the veggies...

Go to Franprix on Friday when the new ad goes into effect and see what's on sale. Great deals on beer/wine. Usually their sale prices are hard to beat. I also like ATAC, but I am not sure they are in all neighborhoods. Monoprix tends to be more expensive than all of them.

We spend about 10 E per day for the two of us to eat and drink (lots of beer and wine included). And yes, we are tracking our expenses, so I know this to be true.

Spend your savings on hanging out at cafes drinking wine or coffee, and enjoy people watching and the cafe life, as opposed to gorging yourself with food. Pick a special resto for dining out twice per week. We have a super neighborhood resto that offers a 12E three course menu for lunch and a 15E three course menu for dinner. Can't beat that.

Use the rest of the $$ to enjoy museums you really want to see, as opposed to getting the museum pass and feeling like you have to go to a zillion of them to get your money's worth.

Also, you might save a bit of $$ if you use carnets (which we are doing) and walk more. You'd be surprised how much more you walk when you don't have a carte orange. It's about 100E for the two of us per month, and that would equal about 50 round trips for one person with a carnet. We just don't use it that much.

If you do have the carte orange, take advantage of some of our favorite buses: 74 (Hotel De Ville), 30 (Arc de Triumph & Eiffel Tower), 95 (Louvre & St. Germain). Bus rides are easy entertainment, and rarely full except during rush hour.

Enjoy!
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Apr 20th, 2006, 02:35 PM
  #24
 
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Can we try a frugal thread for Venice? How much should you budget for eating in Venice frugally?
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:20 PM
  #25
 
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That wine question is a tricky one. Did you know that French troops had a wine "allotment" in World War I? The better to work up their courage, poor souls, before going "over the top" from the trenches.

Since there's 70 euros left in my all-food-otherwise budget, I'd be inclined to splurge on wine. A frugal splurge would be the purchase of a "cubitainer" to be plunked into the refrigerator and tapped at will. (Fill all or part of a bottle before the picnic, or have a few glasses with your tasty Picard meal.) Some restaurants offer wine by the glass (including the three-star Taillevent, at lunch, but then the model budget would need some adjusting). When in doubt around a pitcher, Cote du Rhone is a good bet. Tod, see you soon at the Bistro du Peintre!
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:25 PM
  #26
 
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Suze - I'm with you. Wine & food but preferably wait till I could afford the proper experience.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:28 PM
  #27
 
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Yes, I know I said if I couldn't afford museum admission I wouldn't go... but that's a big lie.

If I couldn't afford WINE I wouldn't go is the real truth!!!
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:29 PM
  #28
 
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Hey Lutece! Glad to see your post. Can't wait to go back to Paris to see you guys.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:38 PM
  #29
 
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Being frugal is not necessarily about not having the money, but about making particular choices. Maybe someone is working out their budget and sees they can stay 10 days instead of 7, for the same price, just by being a smart spender on what really matters to him or her.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 03:54 PM
  #30
 
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I share WillTravel's approach.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 04:52 PM
  #31
 
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You can eat great at the department stores. Either sitting or taking out...Breakfast at bakeries are great...Wine is cheap at grocery stores- try alsatian pizza (I know I spelled it wrong)- it is great...Go to Monprix or the food courts if you need to buy souvenirs- ( tubes of great mustard, sea salt, soaps,chocolates
were a big hit) some museums are
cheaper after 4- if you are a teacher you can get in to quite a few free. Walk a lot- It is not far between many attractions and Paris is the ultiamte walking city...
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Apr 20th, 2006, 04:55 PM
  #32
 
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ultimate
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Apr 20th, 2006, 05:23 PM
  #33
 
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Bookmarking
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Apr 20th, 2006, 06:39 PM
  #34
 
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It was so easy to save money on food in Paris when we went last year and we weren't trying.
The displays of fresh fruits and vegis at the grocers were irresistable, so sometimes it would start with that. If we saw a line forming at a bakery we would jump in and then have to find a cheese shop. The quiche was spectacular and only a couple of euros a slice. Top all off with a bottle of wine from the market and we walked it off on the way to the museum.
Have a wonderful time!
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Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:42 AM
  #35
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any more tips on saving MONEY?

How about attractions? Concerts in churches?

How about the best bang for the buck places you visited and the ones you would say are overpriced?

What about buses? Anyone found a good deal on tours of the city?
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Apr 23rd, 2006, 08:02 AM
  #36
 
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I would reccommend you check out a book of walking tours and do them yourself rather than a bus tour if you want to save $. When you are tired of walking take public bus 69 for a great sightseeing round trip- 9this was one good rick steves' suggestion- maybe you can copy the page from the library which has the sights he says to watch for...check on late prices at the museums and free Sundays also...a great free day is to go to the big flea market...go past the junk stalls to the permanent building for the real antiques...the Luxembourg Gardens are really beautiful too~ visitng one of the open air food markets is worth it as well...Buy a museum pass only if you want to chunk your museum and monument visits..
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Apr 23rd, 2006, 08:59 AM
  #37
 
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I see a few people in this and the frugal London thread advising others to wait until they have enough money to do it right, either by sticking more under the mattress, I guess, or getting another job. And yet I bet we can have at least as much fun on a shoestring as those who hang out at Georges V and Tour d'Argent. (Besides, one of these days soon our girls we be grown and gone, and I want them along.)
I like the idea of skimping for days to afford a blowout luxury item like good opera tickets or a great meal, and really appreciate all these great tips, which I've scrawled in margins of my guidebooks.
But also, the value of the dollar has lost a fourth of its value against the euro in the past 5 years. I have to wonder whether this trend wouldn't continue while we were slaving away at our second jobs and sticking every extra nickel into a Trip Fund jar .
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Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:16 PM
  #38
 
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Speaking of the "Trip Fund Jar", we have a big water cooler jug that we put spare change in at the end of each day. We've being doing this since our last trip to France 12 years ago, and call it our "Baguette Money." (The advantage of a water cooler jug is that it has a very narrow neck, so you can't reach in and take money out.!) In preparation for our trip to France in June, we finally took it in batches to the bank to be counted and discovered we'd amassed $920! Now I'm even more enthusiastic about putting spare change in every day. We're trying to strike a balance between being frugal and making sure we enjoy ourselves on the trip.
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Apr 24th, 2006, 01:17 AM
  #39
 
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How come nobody recommended going to rue Cler?
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Apr 24th, 2006, 12:02 PM
  #40
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kerouac...you trouble maker you...
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