How to live cheap in London

As a student who is living on a monthly scholarship stipend, while most of it goes to the pricey university shoebox accommodation I lived, it is essential to know how to live cheap (but enjoy the most) in pricey London. I will share my tips on what most students would care about, live, eat, drink, entertainment, vanity (shopping), transportation, travel, etc..


The cheapest way is to cook by yourself & eat-in.

Cheapest supermarket:  Asda / Lidi / The co-operative (10% off with NUS card). They got £2 cheap microwave nasty meals that can feed you when you don’t feel like cooking.

Nice ready-made pizza brand: Pizza Express


Fried chicken: They vary a lot in price. Those in East London or SE are cheaper. 3 or less for a set meal.

Under £10 (if order a normal portion, or you don’t have a huge appetite)

Roasted Ducks | Hubert Chao@Flickr

Roasted Ducks | Hubert Chao@Flickr


Chinese food: Dim Sum (New World), Cantonese dishes (authentic next to Queensway Station, highly recommend salt & chilly fried squid & roasted duck), Lanzhou La Mian (Noodle with shredded beef in hot soup, near Leicester Square), hot pot (we make at home usually).

Pulled pork bun | Juli@Flickr

Burger: Burger stalls in food markets like Borough Market, Convent Gardern, etc., price & quality vary. Shake Shack in Covent Garden is not bad too. Recommend pulled pork sandwich at Southbank Centre Food Stalls.



Movies (Recommendations are in Central London for easy commute)

Odeon – go for Hollywood big ones in Camden from Mon-Thur, student ticket for £7.50.

Cineworld – Register online member for free for 10% off. Tuesday ticket is the cheapest at£7.20. Student discount applies to other weekdays

Cruzon – £5 for Mon-Fri showtime before 5pm. Best locations in Mayfair & Soho. Sign up for member for more discount

Classical music: Sign up for LPO NOISE -£4 for the designated concert (twice/month) for tickets in all price ranges (£4 for a £65 seat if you are quick!)

Musical: Apart from the TKTS ticketing booth at Leicester Square (go online to check their available tickets in advanced). Check and TimeOut London for special offers. Standing ticket available for most musical under £10.

Dance performance (Strandler Well): student ticket for£9. Booking by phone or in-person only. £2 or more tickets for related shows get 20% off.