Living in London is great as there is always something to see or do.
Which can also be a problem for your bank balance too. And that’s before paying your expensive rent/mortgage.
But living in London and not making the most of it is a waste.
Here are my tips for saving money living in London from food to entertainment.
Cheap Offers on Food in London
If you buy lunch and work in Fitzrovia, Soho, Covent Garden, Holborn, Chancery Lane, Farringdon, St Paul’s or Bank, you need to download Nez.
I’ve been using the Nez app for a few months now and am thoroughly impressed by the choice and discount on offer. You’ll find everyone from chains like Le Pain Quotidien to food stalls and independent cafes.
If you’re buying lunch every day, buying through Nez could save you £5 by the end of the week. And every time you use the app, you collect reward points which you build towards a free treat. I got a free chocolate muffin from Reynolds Cafe!
Nez also have you covered for breakfast, dinner and snacks too. I ruddy love you Nez.
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New Restaurant Soft Launches
Get as much as 50% off your food bill by eating at soft launches. Let’s face it, London’s food scene is incredible and there’s always new places popping up.
Before a restaurant officially launches, it’ll advertise a soft launch where it opens it’s doors for diners while they figure everything out and iron out the kinks in service.
I recently enjoyed 50% off at the lovely Flesh and Buns (complete with press for Pisco buttons on the table) in Fitzrovia.
You can keep up with the latest soft launches in London on London On The Inside.
Time Out Food Offers
Time Out refresh their restaurant offers frequently so it’s always worth checking in and they always have a wide variety to suit even the fussiest of eaters.
I’ve previously enjoyed the bottomless afternoon tea at Cutter and Squidge which was 50% off. You buy vouchers which you mention when booking your table (there will be terms and conditions about when you can use your voucher), print them off and take along with you.
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Michelin Star Deals
Looking to impress? Or maybe your taste buds are bigger than your wallet also?
Dine out at Michelin Star restaurants while saving a little money at the same time.
Check out Bookatables’ Michelin Star Experience deals for 3+ course deals at the very best restaurants London has to offer.
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Cheap Cinema tickets in London
If you don’t go to the cinema often enough (roughly three times a month) to warrant the purchase of a cinema membership, you’ll be glad to know the casual cinema goer can still save money.
On Monday’s, the Barbican reduce their cinema tickets to £6. For every other day, Fever have discount cinema tickets for £7.50.
Cheap Theatre tickets in London
Queuing Up For Day Tickets
I’ve queued up early for day tickets just once. I was incredibly unlucky as I turned up 2 1/2 hours before the ticket booths were open and I was about 30th in the queue (this was for Lieutenant of Inishmore two weeks before it closed). Theatre’s will tend to save the front row to sell as cheap day seats so you could end up with a great seat for under £20.
But my ticket only cost £10 compared to the remaining seats left at £60. You can check #dayseats on Twitter to get updates on how early you need to queue up.
I’ve bought many theatre tickets using the TodayTix app. They never sell restricted seats (I bought one for Lieutenant of Inishmore and regret it still) but often have sales and discount on great seats, even in the stalls. I sat in the front row of Brief Encounter for £20.
They have a system called Rush Tickets which allow you to buy discounted tickets for that day, avoiding having to queue up early if you have a regular 9 to 5 job like me. You can’t select your seat as they’re allocated to you (you can see where they are before purchasing though).
It’s also a great way of keeping up with the theatre scene in London and seeing what’s coming on next.
Cheap Gig tickets in London
I go to about 20-30 gigs a year, so I spend at least £40 on booking fees.
Dice don’t charge booking fees. All the tickets you buy are on the app, avoiding the hassle of printing (and saving a tree in the process). Their gig recommendations based on what you’ve bought previously are usually pretty spot on too.
If an event is sold out and you can’t make it, there is usually a small window of time where you can put your ticket back on the app for resale. And vice versa, if you’ve missed out on buying a ticket, you can join the waiting list and you’ll be notified if a ticket becomes available.
Hello the future of ticket buying (not just for gigs, hopefully).
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Other Events and Entertainment
For all other entertainment, Design My Night is pretty good if you’re stuck for ideas.
When you buy tickets from them, you accrue loyalty points which you can then use to pay for tickets in the future.
It’s also worth looking at signing up to Culture Whisper for £85 a month. You’ll receive two free tickets every month plus discounts on other events. Usually the cost of the free tickets are more than the £7 you pay a month for the membership. For example, at the time of writing, the V&A’s Videogames exhibition is £18 a ticket (free with Culture Whisper).
What are your tips for saving money on food and entertainment in London? Tell me in the comments section below!