How to keep it cheap (as possible) in London

Saturday, 11 August 2018 London, UK

How To Keep It Cheap in London

I'll begin this post with a little disclaimer: It's bloody difficult to live cheaply in London. I'm not a miracle worker! London is such an exciting and vibrant city, but this obviously comes at a price. So to make sure I'm not left with no money eating nothing but spaghetti hoops on toast each month, it's important to look for ways you can keep it cheap wherever possible. For young professionals like myself on a modest salary in such an expensive city, this is unfortunately today's reality.

I've never been particularly frivolous with spending; I'm a saver at heart and I love a bargain (although I do seem to spend a lot on pretty coffees lol). Throughout university, I worked part-time whenever I could to earn money and I tried to limit spending on unnecessary things like clothes, going out and impulse buys. I also relied heavily on a supermarket in Southampton I like to call paradise - otherwise known as Aldi*. If you haven't visited Aldi before, find one to get lost in ASAP, there is so much amazing and quirky food to find at a much lower price than other supermarkets.

How To Keep It Cheap in London
How To Keep It Cheap in London
Although the hype about Aldi is growing, there's a portion of people who are still a little snobby about shopping there as opposed to the likes of Waitrose and Sainsbury's. Honestly, the jokes on them. Keen foodies are covered: I always feel mega smug picking up quinoa, salmon, brie and chunky peanut butter, all of which would cost a lot more in other supermarkets. It means that I can still buy the food that I love without sacrificing my monthly salary. I encourage anyone to give them a try - I guarantee you'll be surprised at what you'll find in there!

On my most recent trip to a mysterious Aldi, I found some amazing stuff in the Specialbuys aisle. I'm a huge fan of their Jo Malone-esque reed diffusers and I love that they so daringly create cult beauty buys at a vastly cheaper price. Shopping there feels like a genuine treasure hunt, whilst I pick up my usual food basics.

How To Keep It Cheap in London 
How To Keep It Cheap in London

It may appear to those outside of London that all anyone does is eat brunch and sip on lattes here, but that shit is expensive! I can very rarely afford brunch on the weekends, because quite honestly, I don't fancy spending almost a tenner for poached eggs. Eating out in general is expensive, so I save a fortune each week by prepping my lunches in advance and bulking up my meals with low-cost protein, grains and veggies like chickpeas, pearl barley and chopped tomatoes.

I also try to avoid buying coffee during the week by using a cafetiere and ground coffee and good quality instant brands like NescafĂ© Azera. I only really buy them if I need a kick, and recently, I've started using reusable cups - if you bring one to Pret A Manger and plenty of other coffee shops in London, you can get money off your drink (In Pret you receive 50p off your drink!) This makes my regular flat white a much more reasonable £1.95. And don't forget, you're helping to do your bit for the environment too.

Of course, London is the city to have a good time in, so there's no point living here without expecting to part with some of your cash. There are some fabulous apps around to help save money on eating and drinking out, such as Drinki, which shows places nearby you that are offering a first free drink in bars and pubs. Similarly, a great recent find is CityMunch, which shows restaurants nearby with offers of up to 50% off at certain times of the day. I was chuffed to get a burrito for £3.50 instead of £7 and I haven't gotten over that saving since. 

I try not to be so hard on myself at the weekends when I'm with friends, because it's not as if I'll be able to afford a house, let alone a deposit for it, anytime soon. It's possible to get by if you spend sensibly as much as possible, but it's important to let your hair down and not worry so much about the money, because it's no fun feeling like you're always living on a shoestring. So yes, whilst it is incredibly difficult to save money if you live in London, there are plenty of ways which help to make it that bit easier.            

I hope you've found my recommendations useful! Do you live in an expensive city? What do you to save money? Thanks for reading!

*This is a collaboration post with Aldi. They have kindly sent me vouchers in exchange for a post and a link. However, all opinions are my own. For more information, please visit my disclaimer.

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How To Keep It Cheap in London


1 comment

  1. I bloody love Aldi. You have to have a little more patience as it's not all the brands you've been conditioned with growing up but I've never found their product quality to be any less, their staff are always helpful and I'm always find random shit I wanted but much cheaper than in the shops, like dog toys and tents!


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