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Thrift hacks in one of the "most expensive cities" in the world: LONDON - significantly cheaper than Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Welllington, LA, NY and Paris!

So now you have this offer, your visa got approved, you flew a thousand miles away from your home and you’ve landed in one of the busiest places in the world… and now what?

Living in the United Kingdom might be overwhelming for some- especially if you’ve always lived in Asian countries. For one- the conversion rates are way too high compared to your currency. Second- if you’re not earning any income locally, everything is just a tad too pricey. Lastly- with so many things going on in the city, it's impossible to stay-in no matter how hard you try. All this may sound discouraging, BUT that's why we're here to give you a few pointers and prosper from some of the mistakes we've made while studying abroad. YOU CAN AFFORD TO LIVE IN LONDON LIKE A KING ON A STUDENT (a.k.a. tight) BUDGET! There’s a way to still manage to live, have fun, and not starve to death.

Here’s a hack for you on how to spare more pounds without having to actually lose some pounds (weight, to be exact).

Tipid Tip #1 Drinking

Before you get too excited thinking I'm gonna give you the secret to getting drunk for free- let me clarify that I'm not talking about drinking alcohol, so settle down. I'm talking about the number one thing we need as humans to survive: WATER. So the first tip I have for you is this: DRINK FROM THE FAUCET. I had been living in the UK for months buying bottled water for 2 GBP, only to realize I can just drink from my kitchen faucet. I was even silly enough to struggle carrying those huge water bottles from supermarkets just so I can save a little more- imagine a Nepalese Sherpa carrying equipment up to Mt. Everest and you've got a good idea of what I looked like- true story. Can you imagine how much I was able to save when I learned I didn't have to buy water?? Let me tell you how much -- one 750mL of bottled water costs about £2.60 = Php 162, and if we need about 4 bottles of this 750mL  everyday, then I saved about £949 = Php 58,838 per year. HOW CRAZY IS THAT? So bring your most reliable water bottle or invest in one, because that will help you to save a ton of money.

Tipid Tip #2 Grocery Shopping

If you plan to survive by eating out with sandwiches and restaurants during your whole stay, you’ll probably lose more money faster than you expected. So the only thing to do is to make your own food. Yup! No more yaya and mama to feed prepare your meals. This is independy life living, and cooking or preparing your own meals is one thing that you will eventually have to learn, because there’s only so much sandwiches you can eat for lunch and dinner. Buying from supermarket chains is your best bet and you can find in most of the streets of the city. You just need to ask around the nearest one, and you’re good to go! My personal favorites are the following: Iceland, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op, Tesco and Waitrose.

Living on my own, it’s relatively hard to purchase food just for one in groceries, so bulk buying won’t be your thing. But do not worry because in those stores, they have so many things that is good just for you, from fresh cut meats, to frozen bites down to dips, all packaged in mini servings. Not to mention, really cheap too! Win-win!

Tipid Tip #3 Yellow Labels

Okay, this may be or will be on of the cheapest things you will ever do to save money, but one way is to look for those yellow-labelled items in the grocery. These are the items that may be nearing its expiration dates and are usually found at the cold section, at the bottom of the shelves. Just make sure that you use them on the same day or the following days, because getting sick from trying to be cheap is not the best way to do things.

Tipid Tip #4 Student Card

Your student card is your life! Having one means taking advantage of a lot of discounts when you travel, watch shows, transportation, and a lot more. So make sure you always have your student card with you, because you will never know when or where you can get that extra discount.


If you're ready to begin a new adventure abroad, you've come to the right place. Start your journey, or explore more to find out what UKEAS can do for you!
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