Dining on a budget is hard, especially for students and young professionals who are just starting their careers. Still, the experience of sharing a bite to eat with friends is enjoyable every now and then, and these little luxuries are not to be missed. So in order to make sure you get the most out of your dining budget, we’ve compiled the following list of options for dining on a budget in South Congress, Austin.
Check Out the Food Trucks
The food truck scene is one of the greatest culinary features of South Congress. Food trucks are gaining popularity across the United States, and they’re especially popular among millennials, who are accustomed to on-demand service. However, fast turnaround times are far from the only thing that makes food trucks successful. The food from these wheeled kitchens is also incredibly good, and incredibly cheap.
When it comes to the food truck scene in lower Austin, the flavor choices are virtually endless. For those who want to try some experimental cuisine that resembles what one might find at a gastropub, Hey…You Gonna Eat or What? is worth a visit. The Shiner Monte Cristo, a beer-battered Monte Cristo with pit-smoked ham and mesquite-smoked turkey, is a crowd favorite and costs less than $10. If you’re in the mood for something a little bit more on the spicy side, head to Mellizoz Tacos, which specializes in authentic corn tacos and other Mexican street food. Completely A La Carte, one of the best things about a good taco truck is the fact that you can get a solid bite to eat for as little as $3. And if that’s not budget dining, we don’t know what is.
Of course, the two examples above are only a small representation of what the South Congress food truck scene has to offer budget diners. Many other trucks, all of which are extremely tasty and affordable, can be found within a few short blocks of one another in this part of town. Unfortunately, most don’t stay in the same place for too long, so it’s recommended to check them out while you can.
Use Devo Bucks (If You Have Them)
While this option isn’t for everyone, students of the University of Texas in Austin will do well to utilize their Devo Bucks when trying to dine on a budget. These pre-paid cards act as an off-campus meal plan and are accepted at numerous private vendors throughout the area, including a number of restaurants and convenience stores. Check out the University of Texas’ official Bevo Bucks page for more information about recognized vendors and how the plan works.
Buy Cheaper Groceries
While dining out is undeniably fun, it’s also a luxury few students and young professionals can afford to experience every night. But if you do splurge on dining out more often than you should, you may want to consider buying cheaper groceries at home to make up the difference. With the right spices, there are a ton of delicious recipes you can cook with very little money. To really stretch your buck, consider stocking up on staples like bananas, rice, beans, pasta, and eggs. All of these staples are both affordable and nutritious.