If you looking at doing Phuket on the cheaper side of things, its a good way to go local. by this it simply means taking a public bus from one place to another. A trip from Phuket town to Patong beach area cost in the region of one dollar unlike taking a private taxi which could cost around 500 baht, equivalent to about eighteen to twenty dollars, depending on which country you're from. Still, the difference is great.
Most backpacker probably does this already but for others, especially first timer visitors to Phuket, the cost of transport from place to place eventually adds up. So public transport saves you a ton for other things.
Finding restaurants and cafes is quite easy and for anyone from the western world. You'll probably be able to find your country's food in most places in Phuket. The essence of Indian, Lebanese and other middle eastern countries is up and coming in the Phuket scene as well. A rise in quick rise in fast food style kebab wraps stall are also popping up everywhere.
The fact is, little roadside stalls, motor bike stalls or push carts stalls can be found on many street sides or corners selling food like banana crepes, sausages or meats on a stick to noodles in hot soups. These little treats are cheap and fills you up as well.
Above all else, the service comes with a Thai smile that's friendly and with gratitude. One can't help but want that in your own country. It's a cultural thing and the people do it in a gracious manner.
Phuket, just like every where else in Thailand, is bombarded by vistors each year and things get more expensive, however there's always room for a lower budget and a good time if you just look for it.