Top Tips for Saving Money in the UK

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While interning in London, BUNAC participant, Kalyn, came up with some ways to stay on budget while abroad.

Entertainment

There are always free activities in any major city to enjoy, and many museums only have a ‘suggested donation’ charge. Britain is also perfect for exploring nature or going for a hike through the fields or parks, and there are some amazing views to be found. 

If you’re still looking for some paid-for entertainment, major UK cinemas all have a “cheap” night during the week where you can usually go for about half price (which is a life saver if you’re in London, as ticket prices can get pretty high). If you’re thinking of seeing a play or musical, don’t just hop on the main website to book your tickets. First, check some of the discounted websites and “last minute” booking deals to see if you can get cheaper tickets in exchange for not choosing your exact seat—you’ll still have a great experience for less.

Travel

If you’re in London, an Oyster card is the first thing to grab, as using the tube with an Oyster card makes your journey almost half the price. You can get one at any tube station, and you get your 5 pound deposit back after you turn the card in at the end of your stay, so there’s no risk! Just start saving!

Another option to consider is the 16-25 National Rail card. This card costs 30 pounds and gives you 1/3rd off train travel across the country. This is a great way to see other parts of the UK for less, and if you plan on traveling enough, the card will pay itself off in no time.

Clothing

If you want to try out the latest trends without breaking the bank, the UK has a solution for you: Primark. Primark is a popular clothing store across the UK that is known for its cheap prices. There’s no pretending that Primark is high quality or will last a lifetime, but it’s a great choice for restocking your wardrobe if you’re on a budget (and you’ll find by the large lines at Primark that you’re not the only one with the idea!)

Food and Drinks

Food in the store is usually reasonably priced, but remember that you’ll get a much better deal at the larger stores than the smaller ones. A regular Tesco, for instance, will sell the same items for cheaper than the small “Tesco Express” down the road, so it’s always worth making a little bit of an extra trek to save yourself the cash.

If you’re looking to eat out and have a favorite chain, don’t forget to join their loyalty program, as many offer great deals and send e-mails with 2 for 1 or a percentage off the total bill for a certain night. Also, stay away from touristy areas and do some research to find where the locals are. You’ll find a more authentic atmosphere, better food, and a cheaper bill at the end. Win-win-win!


Read more about intern Kalyns time abroad on her blog, Girl Gone London.

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