Living in London is expensive! Yes, salaries are higher in London to compensate for it but compared to living in any other city in the UK (and even in the world), Londoners generally have to shell out a lot more money for the same standards of living compared to other cities.

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven

Now while there are some things that are mandatory and generally hard to avoid (rent, transport costs, food…etc), there are other crafty and relatively easy ways to save yourself a few pennies when you live in London and here they are:

1.) Change your energy provider: This could leave you better off by hundreds of pounds a year ad that’s hundreds of pounds that could be better spent on other things instead. The thing is Londonders are so used to ‘inheriting’ whatever energy provider your landlord or the previous homeowner used and never really looking around to change your energy service for a better deal. Website like uSwitch and GoCompare are great starting points when you’re looking for better deals on your energy prices.

2.) Get a railcard discount applied to your oyster card: There so many railcard discounts available but did you know that you could also save 1/3 (yup, a third) off your off-peak Oystercard costs if you apply your railcard discount to your Oystercard? The most obvious railcard discount can be found at but fret not, if you don’t fit any of the 5 railcard categories, you can get yourself a Network railcard which anybody can get (more details available at You simply pop into any underground station and ask the ticket operators to attach your railcard discount to your oystercard – Transport for London has more details on their website.

3.) Do your grocery shopping online to save the extra costs of buying from convenience stores: Tesco Express/Metros and other convenience stores are littered all over London but did you know that the prices are slightly higher than the large Tesco or other large retails stores. You basically pay a premium for the convenience so if you wanna save a bit of spare cash on your food shopping, do it online (at least for things that keep for a long time). Even essentials are priced higher in convenience stores than they are if you shopped online.

4.) Sign up for ShowFilmFirst at They give you free cinema tickets to see movies in advance of their general release in the UK. And we’re not talking about just fringe movies or more indie films, we’re talking across the whole range of films. I can’t tell you how many free movies I’ve seen thanks to them and better still, you get to see it before any of your friends! (They also have freebies on concert and theatre tickets but these are less frequent than cinema tickets).

5.) Be an “early bird”: Whenever tickets are released for events in London, there are usually early bird tickets available (which are a lot cheaper than the regular prices), try to be that early bird and book in advance.

6.) Start a night out in a cheaper bar/pub: One of the best ways to save money on a night out in London is to start your night out in a slightly cheaper bar/pub and get a few rounds while the drinks prices are cheaper. You can then head off to whatever venue you want, arriving not just ‘merrier’ than you would have otherwise but also having saved yourself a few bob!

7.) Dine out for less: Look for deals on Hot UK Deals website or getting yourself a Bite Card to save money on meals when you dine out. You can also look at places like Open Table to get huge discounts on some of London’s finest restaurants.

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven

If you’re able to incorporate any of the above into your lifestyle, you should find yourself with a lot more spare cash than you might currently have in London and that’s always a good thing!

While weโ€™re at it, you might also want to check out this post on free (or really cheap) things to do in London! And, if you have any other great money-saving idea for London, please do let me know!

Also, took these random sunset photos this evening… figured I might as well share them with ya! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven

7 Ways To Save Money When Living In London That You Probably Haven't Thought Of!

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  • MissLilly

    Oh yeah, I would say Londoners love discounts! It’s either find a friend with the taste card to get 50% discount in selected restaurants, groupon, whatever you name it. I receive daily emails with discounts, although most of them I can’t use. I do my online shopping because to me that the most convenient thing as I don’t have much time to go to the supermarket and battle to find certain products I may need. I prefer to see the whole catalog. Works out for most of it, except if you want to select your fresh meat / fish / fruits. The best advice for me is being an early bird! Yes indeed. Avoid peak times, go to posh restaurants on the weekdays or even lunch on the weekends rather than dinners! Places like bookatable have loads of discounts. Most of restaurants have monday deals too – or some other mid-week deals.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      True that!!! Nice to know we’re birds of a feather! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for the tips! I’ll be book marking this for when I move there next year ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool! Glad to be of some help! And good luck with the move!

  • Adelaide Haynes

    To save money, I used to catch buses instead of the tube. Saved about a pound a ride! #desperation

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yeah, I used to before but found that buses add this extra unpredictability in London. But saving a pound a ride goes a long way in London! ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently had to pay for a travel card for Zone 1 – 4, I was so horrified by the price that I was half-tempted to walk it instead. Then I realised how lazy I am when it comes to walking long distances and just coughed up the money. Still though, it’s ridiculously expensive for just a day’s travel.

  • Really good tips & beautiful photos!

    • HandLuggageOnly


  • Nice tips, I didn’t know about the Oystercard discount! Beautiful sunset photos too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yeah, considering how much savings one can get off it, I’m surprised it’s not more popular. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Don’t live in London but visit often enough to have the Oyster card. Had no clue about the discount! Thanks for the awesome tips.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! There you go. Plus if you’re visiting London, I’m guessing the discount helps on the trains into London too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Absolutely! I’m so keeping this handy for my next visit!

        • HandLuggageOnly


  • My brother is moving to London in March, I think. So I’ll be sharing this list with him. Thanks for the tips!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚ And regards to your brother! Surely, now that he’s moving to London, that means you have more reason to visit London. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You’d think! We are not that close. It’s okay. (I am planning to go back to the UK, though… HOGMANAY so we’ll see). ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Bibiana

    Great photos! I especially love the slow shutter speed one showing the moving red bus! I wrote a post last year about free things to do in London too ( and a more UK generic one about saving a bit of money as a tourist ( Not sure if you or your readers might find it helpful?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool!!! Every tip available to save money is helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sara De Vocht

    So many useful tips! Thanks! Do you also have, my any chance, tips on finding accommodations in London? I’ve been looking for a new home for quite a while now and I can’t find anything within my budget where I feel comfortable to call home. Any tips on areas? Websites to look on, etc?

  • Annie Roth

    Thanks for those beautiful photos. Missing London and all of England. I have to start working on a return trip soon! โค๏ธ

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, glad you like them Annie. You should definitely plan a trip back to England ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Victor Trokoudes

    I really found this helpful recently to save money in London.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks, Victor!

      Lloyd & Yaya ๐Ÿค—

  • Have a look on some of effortless ways to save money in rental apartment –