By Chelly Jin

A TRAVELERS GUIDE : CHEAP CHAP’S CHECKLIST 

It’s undeniable as college students that financial concerns can have effects on stress and mental energy. It can definitely be overwhelming. But after being in London for a while, I’ve compiled my top tips on how to tackle London in a budget-friendly fashion !

FOOD 

The cheapest way to eat in London is to just cook in your accommodation.
Here’s an example of a breakdown:  

At Brick House (a lovely, lovely cafe near Brixton), I love to get the 2 eggs over easy, 1/2 avocado, toast which totals to £8.
But if you were to make the exact same dish with Sainsbury’s groceries, 6 eggs= 80p, 1 avocado = £2, 1 loaf = £1 : with the same single-size portion totaling £1.70
Even things like stirfry noodles are super cheap for £5 plates! But, making a simple stirfry noodle with pre chopped veggies and pre-made sauce (a simple chuck and cook) is still £3 total! And it’s bound to last for at least 3 meals.

However, if you are feeling a little lazy, here are some places to eat under budget:
just keep in mind, a lot of these place are to-go foods, so they make cheap&quick alternatives to late lunches or dinners : 

  1. Senate House Library/ Seoul Bakery : cheapest Korean food £3.50 bibimbap but cash only!! 
  1. Gino’s my pasta bar: 50% after 3:30pm / salad & paninis 
  1. itsu sushi : 15% off after 3pm (student discount) and 50% off 30 min before closing  (M-F 7:30-8p in one location, most are 8:30-9p) 
  1. Pod : 50% off 30 minute before closing (M-F 7:30-8p) // curry, pho, rice, dope salads 
  1. Abokado : 25% sushi and salads after 5p 
  1. Sacred : gourmet tea and coffee  
  • 50% after 5pm on sandwiches and salads 
  1. CHINATOWN : it’s pretty affordable, and for the price, you get huge portion sizes <3  

CLOTHES 

PRIMARK IS MY BABY.
Definitely some of the cheapest, with proper quality items. I bought most of my sweaters here since I  didn’t own any good turtlenecks in LA. 

VINTAGE MARKETS or THRIFT STORES ARE AMAZING 
 If you search on Facebook, a variety of thrift store companies in London host massive sales: £15 fill-a-bag sales, £1 each item sales, or just generally cheap thrift stores. 
At Pop Brixton, they had a £15 per kilo sale where you page by the weight — and you could have as many clothes as you’d like within that weight!  

Personally, I didn’t bring jackets to London, simply because I didn’t own any. Buying clothes here in really manageable and affordable ways allowed me to search my style in London. Afterwards, I gave myself the option to throw away/ donate my clothes after the semester is over (since each item was cheap enough to justify it’s purpose for a few months) or if I really came to love a clothing item, I could ship them back home if they don’t fit in my luggage.

TRANSPORTATION 

Just Walk It
It’s kind of self-explanatory, but walking is simply the cheapest and most affordable option. While, there are some days you just need to take the bus (due to rain) or the train (due to just being late college kids), walking provides a whole different experience. There is absolutely nothing better, for me personally, than feeling the chilly air on my cheeks and being able to just stop in my tracks to admire the beautiful city that I’m in.  

THINGS TO DO : MUSEUMS 

Oh my goodness, museums in London are free! They. Are. Free. 
There are some galleries with additional exhibitions that have an extra (but very affordable, and incredibly worthwhile fee). The Barbican Art Center has a show for  Basquiat: Boom For Real, and it was hands-down one of my favorite well-curated art shows by far. But museums like the National Gallery or National Portrait Gallery are literally meters apart with whole collections free for all to see.  And don’t forget about that student discount! Most exhibitions have a cost, but they also have a discounted ‘concession‘ rate for students if you show your King’s ID.  All in all, London’s pricey ways can be daunting. But with a little extra time, effort, and searching, the world is at our smart budgeting fingertips!