Day two of my seven day challenge was to take place in London, an expensive city by all rights, and one of the most popular destinations worldwide. It was for this reason that I figured offering a few tips and tricks for people to stretch their pound whilst here would be a great idea, because whether you’re native to London, or just passing through, having the ability to spend less on basic needs like food will give you more resources to spend on other things!
Let’s get into it.
I had £1 to get me through the day, which meant the more free stuff I could acquire, the better. Thanks to Olio — an app that allows you to grab free (if not extremely cheap) food and household items from people in your area – I managed to score half a box of shredded wheat for breakfast!
But any reasonable person knows shredded wheat is incomplete without a few fruity toppings, and, as luck would have it, this was the season for blackberries. As in, they were literally everywhere!
After foraging through a few trees in the surrounding area for a handful of berries, I went back on Olio and found a lady giving out skimmed milk for free. I was honestly hoping for almond milk, but either way, breakfast was served!
Ye Olde Discount Isle
Now, I still had my pound for the day, so I decided to head to a supermarket and see what I could find.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, big supermarkets are definitely the way to go when looking for cheap sources of food, and Tesco was a natural choice here in London. One of the great things about shopping in the UK is that almost every supermarket has a discount isle, where they sell food that’s about to be thrown out (for a variety of reasons) for a fraction of their original price. Naturally, I went straight there.
I found some pretty tasty-looking stuff for some pretty great prices but, sadly, they were still a little out of my budget. So I asked a staff member when the next price reduction was going to take place, and she told me that all price reductions were done around 7 p.m.
That wouldn’t do. I was quite a ways off from 7p.m., and these items would be prized by any discount isle shopper worth their salt. Which basically meant I had to hide them, in the back, where no one would ever find them!
My primal instincts got the better of me, I’ll admit. I resorted to pacing the isle for half an hour, never taking my eye off the prize in order to protect it from any wondering hands. Though, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do in the event that someone actually spotted it.
It basically took thirty minutes for me to decide this strategy wasn’t worth it. But after walking around a little more I actually found some “ready to eat” rice for 65p!
Lunch was served.
This left me with 35p to spare and I still had dinner to think about. But what can you possibly get for 35p? Why, every college student’s favourite meal (by necessity), instant noodles!
I managed to buy two packs for 14p each, which put me 7p in the green for day 3. A raging success of a day by every possible metric, I’d say. Four more cities to go!
What tips, tricks, and hacks have you found to put food on the table? Let me know in the comments below!