Paying $6 for a bottle of water or $5 for a bag of chips isn’t exactly a budget friendly way to feed yourself.
In travel circles it’s a subtle flex to offer suggestions of hidden gems. A hidden gem is not something you will read about on TripAdvisor or Yelp.
Making friends with locals will give you insider information to activities, locations, and experiences that internet research just doesn’t exist for.
Paying a smaller business means that money doesn’t mostly go to the landlord who is already wealthy. The velocity of your money is so much higher when you live like a local.