Eating out can be a major expense in your travel budget. Restaurants in Germany can be expensive, especially with the lousy exchange rate, and could take up your whole travel budget. Here's just a few ideas for eating on a budget during your travels in Germany (and other places in Europe).
*Make sure your hotel has breakfast. This will eliminate one meal that you need to eat at a restaurant or cafe. German breakfast consists of cold meats and cheeses, rolls, often sausages and bacon, yogurt and cereal. There may be a few other options, but this will be enough to start the day.
*Find a local bakery. France is usually known for its bakeries, but Germany has delicious breads and a trip to the bakery should not be missed! Many bakeries also serve coffee, sweets, and sandwiches for a few Euros. This would be a great option if your hotel doesn't have breakfast, or for a quick lunch or dinner, or snacks for the hotel room.
*There are often other budget eats along the pedestrian shopping areas. These can include döner shops. Döners are Turkish, somewhat similar to a gyro. It consists of meat, feta cheese, and veggies wrapped in a flatbread. I'm not a huge fan of the mystery meat, but they have a vegetarian option that is good. These shops often have fries, pizzas, sodas, and a couple of other choices. There are also pizza or pretzel stands, and don't rule out Subway, for a relatively healthy and inexpensive meal.
*Visit the farmer's markets. Fresh fruit and veggies, olives, meats and cheeses, bakery stands, and possibly a cart serving breakfast or lunch can be found. Grab something to snack on, gather ingredients for a picnic, or have lunch while watching the locals shop. You can purchase small amounts, asking for just 1 or 2 of something. Here are a few pictures from a visit to the Wiesbaden Farmer's Market.
*Go grocery shopping. I love visiting grocery stores in other countries. Grocery stores are a great place to get drinks, particularly water and soda, for a less than a restaurant or a convenience store on the main strip. They are also perfect for finding snack foods, getting something for lunch or dinner, or just trying something new. I always like to have an extra bottle of water or soda in my hotel room and have to have some chocolate as a late night snack. This can also be a good place to find some less expensive souvenirs to take home like Italian pasta, biscotti, or wine, German or Swiss chocolates, tea in the U.K., or unique flavors for potato chips anywhere.
*Go to a fest. There are festivals all over Germany just about every weekend from April through December. I love fest food: bratwurts, steak sandwiches, french fries (pommes), pizzas. crepes, waffles, etc. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! It is worth finding out if you will be near a fest while on your travels.
I'm sure there are a lot more ideas for budget eating. Any other suggestions?