Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Ways to Save Money in London


It’s not just the 5 (almost 6!) week month that we have to survive after Christmas before we finally get paid to force me to be thriftier recently, it’s London in general. The cost of living is so much more down here compared to the north, which is regularly demonstrated to my friends when I send them weekly Snapchats of my £13.50 poached eggs on toast, or my bank statement telling me I spend £8 a day getting to and from work. As I’m basically a seasoned Southener now (I’ve lived here 2 years and 2 months!), I wanted to share some tips on small changes you can make to your daily life to save money.



Cycle to Work
I can actually SEE my friends (cough Tom West cough) rolling their eyes like ‘OH MY GOD WE GET IT YOU’VE GOT A BIKE’ but as much as I try and shoehorn the fact my boyfriend bought me a bike for Christmas into every conversation ever, it is a genuine tip! I spend around £8 a day on travel, to f45, from f45 to work, then home, or into central or wherever I have plans after work, then home. This really adds up, so just by riding one of the to/from journeys a week, I can save at least £48 a month. If you’re unfortunate enough not to have your own bike, GUTTED. No I’m only joking- invest! Spring is in sight so imagine how nice it’s going to be to have a relaxing ride to the office each morning instead of cramming yourself onto a packed sardine tin of a tube every morning? And you’ll get quads of steel. Win-win.

Meal Prep
I’ve actually really got into the swing of meal prep this year. It works for me because I’m such a creature of habit that I don’t mind eating the same thing 5 days in a row. I like to have a nice wholesome Sunday of gymming in the morning and picking up the ingredients on the way home to batch cook. A recent favourite is tofu coconut curry (literally shallow fry tofu, add chopped pepper, onion and courgette, 2 tablespoons of thai red curry paste, can of coconut milk, sprinkle of cashew nuts and done! Serve with microwave basmati rice and tender stem broccoli) It’s also great because I’ve had my braces permanently removed now which means no more yellow stained teeth! Small step for mankind. Huge step for me. A whole week of lunches probably costs about £10, plus it’s super healthy so I don’t feel sluggish at my desk.

Time Out
My Tuesday morning commute is always made so much better when I pick up my weekly copy of Time Out! As well as giving loads of inspo for dinner/drinks/events/music/house-buying (LOL), it also has a dedicated page to FREE things in London! This can be anything from scoops of the new flavour of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream being handed out in Spitalfields Market to free exhibitions (again lol because art is not a bit of me but I wanted to share anyway) to things like the naked London bike ride which is just a hilarious thing to go and watch. I always circle the things I want to do (whether I actually follow through with this is another story) but at least my weekend activity is something more than ‘just going for drinks’.

Food Markets
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a boujee date night in a fancy restaurant, but I also love spending a lazy Sunday riding (I’ve got a bike you know?) over to somewhere like Victoria Park or Broadway Market and having a mooch down the stalls and a sample of some of the street food. Street food in London is HUGE. It’s everywhere. And there are so many food trucks offering incredible dishes that it’s impossible to choose a favourite because something better always comes along. Dishes range from about £5-£10, so it’s a fraction of the price of dining in, and there is noting better than grabbing some good food and spending the afternoon sitting in the sun with your pals. (When it’s warmer, obv)

Too Good to Go
This app was actually recommended to me by a friend, but I haven’t actually used it yet. Anyway, as a way to try and reduce food waste, and restaurants and cafes throwing away perfectly good food, they list it on the app and you go and collect a ‘mystery bag’ for a fraction of the price- they’re all around £3.99. So for example one of the restaurants on there is Costa Coffee (saying a chain for arguments sake, but there are looooads of independent stores on there) and they list their mystery bags to be collected from each specific branch (you can filter by location closest to you) and it will contain a selection of any 4 sandwiches/pastries/cakes/salads that you would have usually purchased for about £4 each. Bargain AND you’re doing your bit to save the planet! I’m dying for ethos to be available at a time when I happen to be around Soho, because I really really love it but I really really don’t want to pay £15 for salads every day.

What are your money-saving tips? Let me know if you use any of mine!

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