What you can get with 2.63 euros in Madrid

I woke up last Sunday morning with about 2.63 euros in coinage.  Normally I would withdraw some cash from an ATM or just use my card.  But as it was the last Sunday of the month and bills were looming, I was determined to hold out until I got paid at my private lesson on Monday evening.

The thing is, there’s actually a lot you can get in Madrid with two euros.  I had to make some decisions,  Here were my options:

1.  Have a feast of pasta salad. You can get a kilo of potatoes for 20 céntimos, a bag of pasta for 65 céntimos, and six eggs for 89 céntimos.  As of Sunday morning I only had peas, a red pepper, lettuce, an onion, garlic, peanuts, tea, cocoa powder, olive oil, vinegar, radishes, half a cup of milk.  (The peanuts were the first to go.  Breakfast.  Yum.)  So this option was tempting.

2.  Throw a (small) party.  At Día which is a popular supermarket in Spain you can get a bottle of wine for 74 céntimos.  That’s three bottles for 2.22 euros.  Make it BYOB and you’re good to go.

3.  Eat a lovely lunch.   You can get tortilla española and coffee at the school cafe for 2.20 euros.  It’s delicious.

I want some right now.

4. Go out to a movie.  The Cine Doré is a theater that features everything from old classics, to art flicks, to new films that have already been in theaters for a few months.  It has a little cafe inside where you can get tea, wine, or beer (movie-going European style).  You can get a ticket for 2.50 general admission or 2.00 if you’re a student.

5. Get tea or coffee and free wifi.  There’s a little bookstore cafe a few blocks north of Atocha called La Fugitiva.  This shop has the college coffee shop vibe.  It’s a bookstore with tables interspersed so you can stay for longer if you’d like.  I’m so obsessed with this place it may be an entire blog post in the future.

6. Go for tapas.  At lots of bars in Madrid you can get a drink and one or two tapas for 2 to 3 euros.

Some wine and tapas for 2.50 euros. Photo credit: Hanna Kolb.

7. Get one beer in a bar.  Wine or beer in a low key bar (aka outside of the popular zones of malasaña and huertas) will cost between 1.5 and 3 euros.  But if you really want bang for your buck…

8. Get two beers on the street.  They go for one euro a pop.  You can’t miss the people who sell them.  They will not let you miss them… Warning: this is very common, but it is not technically legal to drink on the street.

As you can see my problem was not that I only had 2.63 euros, but WHAT was I going to do with my 2.63 euros?  Well, I ended up buying two tomatoes and an apple for 49 céntimos.  And going out for a glass of wine and tapas for 1.75 on Sunday night.  But on Monday I kinda wanted the pasta salad feast.  Needless to say, none of my food went to waste this month.

My kitchen shelf on Monday.


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