London has a reputation for being extremely expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. First up, since everything is in English it’s a lot easier to hunt for deals than in non-English speaking countries. Here are some suggestions for cutting down your costs when visiting London.
– Skip the hop on, hop off bus.
You can have just as a good an experience using the public bus. If you get an Oyster Card, you can get a weekly pass that will cover the bus and the tube.
– Dine with a friend who has a Taste card.
A Taste card is a membership that you pay for up front but then you get special dining offers like 2 for 1. It’s 80 GBP to purchase a card so probably not worth it for a short stay in London but if you know a friend who has one, then suggest you use it when you dine together. There is also an app to help you find the participating restaurants and there are a lot of them. You can get a trial offer on the Taste card that’s free for a month, but it’s one per household so you’ll have to try your luck to see if someone at the same address may have already participated in the free trial.
– Stay in self-catering accommodation or a B&B.
English breakfasts are breakfasts of champions (we love a vegan version!). If you stay somewhere that provides an English breakfast, there’s little chance you’ll need lunch! Self catering accommodation will also allow you to cut your food bill and London supermarkets and mini-supermarkets have a ton of cheap ready meals that just need zapping in the microwave. They’re usually delicious and as cheap or cheaper than cooking from scratch. Markets, or even the corner store, are cheaper for fruit and veg than buying it from the supermarket. Indian food options are also plentiful and yummy.
Even if you’re not in self-catering accommodation, you’ll be able to make lots of tasty meals by utilizing the mini supermarkets like Tesco express or Sainsburys Local.
– Shop at Primark.
Ok, so this isn’t exactly saving money but Primark is so awesome and one of the things we miss most about London. For the uninitiated, it’s like an even cheaper version of H&M. Unlike H&M, they’re more focussed on basics rather than only the latest fashion trends. It’s a great place to pick up a cheap and stylish sunhat and replace any worn out travel clothing.
If you’re staying a few weeks and decide you want anything like a toaster, then you can get it super cheap at Argos. Argos is a unique experience. You don’t get to see what you’re buying, you just order from a catalogue and they bring it up to the register. But, everything is super cheap. If you absolutely must have your green smoothie everyday or something like that, you can pick up a blender or whatever else you need very cheaply at Argos.