Welcome to yet another instalment of Cheap Reykjavík, where the Grapevine’s resident misers share some of their patented money saving tricks and tips. If you’ve got some miserly penny-pinching advice you’d like to share with Grapevine readers, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. and he will pass it along.
Most will agree that pizza is pretty good. Everyone will agree that a pretty good pizza is absurdly expensive in Iceland. Icelanders in their college years spend many a hung-over Sunday devising master plans to get one with cream cheese, pepperoni and garlic delivered on lay-away, with oft-varying results. You can however munch your hangovers into oblivion with the proper foresight, for Bónus offers surprisingly adequate frozen pizza for a very meagre price (which we can’t really divulge, because they keep changing it every five minutes. But it’s generally cheap).
The Euroshopper line of frozen foods is probably made of cardboard and petroleum by-products, but with the correct use of spices, condiments and add-ons, the fact can be easily ignored. The Euroshopper Pizza can be found either in “Margarita” form, in thick, green packs of three (these are the cheapest per pizza), or as a “Pepperoni” or “Three cheese” scorcher (a bit pricier, but still cheap as dirt). These will set you back around 125–250 ISK each, and can be easily made to resemble some sort of Italian food using common household items, such as vegetables, lunch meats and oil. Enjoy!
The cliché goes that you need to sell your kidney to be able to sacrifice your liver drinking in Iceland. This may be true – if your definition of drinking involves fancy-schmanzy trivialities such as “welcoming atmosphere”, “pleasant company” and any form of good taste. If, however, you are willing to give those things to get your drunk on, frugal drinking in Iceland can be done.
Firstly: do you think the mumbling “bohemians” cavorting on Austurvöllur on a given afternoon are made of money? No! Most of them suffer an extreme lack of cash, yet they manage to stay drunk 24/7. Drinking on the cheap can be done, and those professional party animals are living proof.
Here is our first tip: be sure to stock up on alcohol while the state liquor stores are still open. But not just any alcohol. If you’re a vodka drinking feller, then Koskenkorva should be your choice for small, easily concealed bottles. For beers, Thor and Slots are the cheapest to be had at 119 ISK per 33 cl can. While the taste is nothing to write home about, and their alcohol percentage is quite low, they can still keep you drunk pretty much all day if you gulp down enough of them.