Cairo is a great bargain for the budget traveler. It’s one of those places with more or less parallel systems, with luxury travelers having plenty to choose from but backpacker types can also find good hotels and meals at very reasonable prices.
Tours and trips starting from Cairo are almost all very negotiable in price, so be prepared to bargain hard for the best deals. You can hire a driver and car for the whole day at an amazingly affordable price, but don’t be surprised if you are frequently stopping off at souvenir emporiums and restaurants that also give kick-backs to your driver.
Food is quite cheap by European standards as long as you go to places where locals sometimes go rather than only to tourist joints with English menus. Alcohol isn’t easy to find in most restaurants, though there are small liquor shops in most neighborhoods so getting some cold beers and such to take with you really isn’t too difficult.