Living in London on a Student Budget

Shop like a student

At the start of your first term with a lump sum in your bank account, you may fall feel like your cash supply is endless, which can end up in splurging on non-essentials. A semester is a long time, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself living off of pennies at the end of the term, or worse, having to take out additional loans to cover the cost of living. Don't let it get that bad. Some students learn these techniques quicker than others do, but if you can get master these tips, you're guaranteed to save money and improve your quality of life too.


A good start is to sit down at the start of the semester and work out just how far your money will go. Break it down weekly across the term and figure how much you’ll have to spend each week. If you give yourself a weekly allowance and only spend that much each week you won’t go over budget and have to seek financial help. 

Live within your means

While it would be nice to do your food shopping at M&S or Waitrose, drink at the coolest cocktail bars and buy all of your clothes from boutique stores, it's not always reality for students studying in London. Your money won't stretch as far as it may seem at first, so even when you’re feeling flush you must remember to do your shopping in stores you can legitimately afford. Aldi and Lidl, while not particularly glamorous, can be great for essentials and tend to come in considerably cheaper than other supermarkets. There are lots of other supermarkets close to Scape, including Tesco, and Sainsburys most of which operate a loyalty programme with vouchers and discounts. For clothing, H&M make quality, stylish and affordable pieces for both guys and girls. Don't forget to ask if a shop offers a student discount, or has special sales just for students, too.

Bargain hunt

Get into the habit of going to the supermarket just before it closes. Your flexible student lifestyle should give you the freedom to do this at least once a week, and you’ll often find the best bargains at the end of the day. Supermarkets keep their perishable items up until they’re just about to pass their sell-by date, but don’t want to throw them away and make a loss. Instead, they reduce the prices on these perfectly good foodstuffs to rock bottom prices, so if you get in there quickly you can pick up some excellent deals.

Cook with a friend

You may have noticed that a lot of packaged supermarket produce is tailored for families, or at the very least, couples. Having to buy more food than you need means that you either end up making more than you can comfortably eat, or the extra food just sits in the fridge until it expires. Either way, you’re wasting food and money. If you’re close enough to a friend, a flatmate or even a group at university, you should take it in turns to cook meals for one another. It will save you money and effort and can be a lot of fun, too!

While it might take you a while to get into the swing of things when it comes to student shopping, at least you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be in some of the competitively priced, high quality student accommodation in the whole of London. That’s Scape Student Living for you.

Scape – the place to be! 

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