11 unusual tips for frugal living in the UK - Travel Budget Bug (2024)

So, are you looking for some alternative ways of saving money for travel? Frugal living in the UK may seem like an absolute pipe dream to you because it’s just getting MORE EXPENSIVE to live!

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You’re probably finding people all over the internet telling you to find a side hustle or earn extra money alongside your day job to save up.

Well…I’m not here to talk about earning extra money.

I’m here to talk about frugal living in the UK and saving money through frugal living tips!

For me, these tips are quick, easy, simple to do and things that you can implement straight away.

These frugal living tips are things that I do to cut costs in order to save more money.

Although these tips relate to frugal living in the UK, I’m sure they can be implemented around the world!

11 unusual tips for frugal living in the UK - Travel Budget Bug (1)

What is frugal living?

Frugal living is where you live below your means. So, you spend less money than you earn, in other words, your outgoings are less than your income.

If you live frugally, you’re able to budget and save money for other things… like travel!

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Frugal living in the UK- Is it possible?

It’s so possible to live frugally in the UK, as someone who has been forced to do so for years due to being a student and earning a low income, I had to find cheaper ways of living, otherwise I’d be totally broke!

And that’s the truth.

After living frugally for so, so long, including travelling frugally and being on a tight budget, I’m now in that habit of living below my means.

And you know what… I find frugal living quite fun!

It’s fun to find ways of cutting costs, thinking outside of the box, finding free stuff and usual ways of saving money.

It becomes boring spending money on something expensive, I quite like the hunt of finding something cheaper than anyone else can get it!

If I can save a buck… I will.

In the UK, finding cheap or free stuff is fairly easy and just a matter of knowing where to look.

Anyway, shall we get into it?

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Frugal living tips | Life hacks

These frugal living tips are the exact ways I save money on frugal living in the UK!

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1. Upcycle unwanted items

If I can upcycle furniture, I will. I find free furniture or things that I don’t need anymore and try and turn them into something usable and beautiful!

This may even include changing the functionality.

Now, I don’t have a head full of ideas of ways to turn unused furniture into crazy pieces of masterful art, but I do check out Pinterest for a little inspiration on upcycling.

There are some brilliant ideas on there, that I have definitely used!

I don’t like throwing things away unless I really have to…and that’s not me being a hoarder, that’s me saving money on buying things and not wanting to waste.

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2. Grow your own food

If you have some spare window space or a garden where you can grow some herbs, fruit or veg, go for it!

It’ll save you money on groceries AND your food will be fresher and probably tastier.

If you’re thinking, I don’t want to buy pots and containers etc, you don’t have to!

Use cut-up plastic milk cartons or butter containers, or whatever containers you can use around the house that plants would fit in and where you can cut little holes for water to escape.

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3. Make your own necessities

I really enjoy making things, especially things that are useful for me and that will save me money.

Over the past year, I have learned how to make face masks!

I literally went onto Youtube and found a good design and helpful instructions which I used to make a tonne of face masks.

Now, in the UK, reusable face masks are a minimum of £5 and you’ll probably need at least 5 of them to use throughout the week. That’s saving £25.

It’s probably not going to break the bank, but if you can make it, then why not save the money?

For me, I learned a new skill and I made face masks for friends and family and I know that if I need to make more, I have that skill, I can just go ahead and make one in no time!

You can use that money elsewhere!

If you don’t want to buy material for the masks, find old cushion covers you don’t want or tea towels. You can recycle almost any material for the masks!

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4. Makeshift

Rather than going out and buying something that you haven’t got, why not try and use something else for it?

Like, I received some flowers once and I never received flowers, so I didn’t have a vase.

So, I got a coffee jar and turned it into a vase!

More recently, I’ve started growing courgettes and needed protection for them so insects and animals don’t nibble on them!

I’m using an old plastic bottle from a water machine…genius!

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5. DIY- make your own decor

Again, if you need something for your home, house stuff is expensive nowadays!

I never buy cushions or blankets (unless dirt cheap) because they’re so over priced.

I’m probably just a cheap skate!

So I make lovely cushion covers and crochet blankets and throws to go on the bed, sofa or chairs.

Get creative and get making!

Yes it takes time, but it’s fun and will save you time and money looking for things that fit your exact colour scheme!

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6. Get cash-back

Whenever I buy something online, I double check if I can get cashback on it through Quidco.

I know that some credit cards also do cash back too.

It’s a great way to save money and earn some money back on things that you would ordinarily buy.

I wouldn’t buy something for the sake of getting cash-back though.

Psst… if you use THIS LINK you can get £5 from Quidco when you use the site for cashback!

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7. Shop in charity shops

In the UK, we have charity shops, which are basically second hand stores, but the proceeds go to charity.

They are a great way of buying second hand stuff for a good cause.

Over the years, people donate more and more awesome stuff to charity shops to the extent that you can find almost ANYTHING in them.

And some really good quality stuff too, sometimes brand new items.

You can save a tonne of money by looking in charity shops for things.

I’ve bought tennis rackets, a cake tin, kitchenware, books, clothes, shoes, travel bags and all sorts from charity shops over the years.

I save so much money buying second hand.

The prices are significantly lower than the usual stores and you can find some really good brands!

8. Use Facebook marketplace

Facebook marketplace is where you can find second hand (and new) items for free or for very cheap in your area.

It’s a platform I’ve used to get rid of some of my stuff, but somewhere I’ve started using more and more to buy cheap items.

I’ve found garden furniture, a desk and literally all sorts of things there!

It’s my go-to place when I need something.

9. Look on Groupon

Groupon is a discount website for loads of different brands and shops in your local area.

I have used Groupon for a hairdresser discount. It’s a great place to start if you need a service, you’ll find it significantly discounted there.

10. Search reduced sections of in groceries

Whenever I go to a supermarket or grocery store, I head to the reduced section because you can sometimes get a meal for pennies.

Some supermarkets have some great discounts and some don’t have as many, it’s just the luck of the draw.

But if you come across significantly reduced food, you can really cut your food bill.

I tend to freeze most of the stuff I find in the reduced sections.

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11. Find FREE stuff!

There is free stuff EVERYWHERE if you keep your eyes out.

Only yesterday someone left their unwanted books outside their house that I picked up and took home with me. They were travel books!

BINGO

Keep your eyes out for free things and you’ll find them all the time…I do!

But as a starting point, here’s a FREE TRAVEL JOURNAL I have created just for you!!

To conclude on frugal living in the UK…

Frugal living in the UK is so possible if you think of unusual and clever ways of cutting your costs and saving money.

I have lived frugally for a long time so that I can travel more and have more money for exploring the world, because that’s my passion.

I also live frugally when I’m travelling, because travelling can be expensive if you make it so.

These frugal living tips should inspire you to get creative with your own ways of saving money in your everyday life, so that you can travel more!

11 unusual tips for frugal living in the UK - Travel Budget Bug (2024)

FAQs

What is the cheapest way to travel in England? ›

The best way to travel around England for budget visitors is by coach, but journey times are often much longer than by train or car and the routes aren't always convenient. Bus travel is cheapest when booked direct: the two main operators are National Express and Megabus. Both offer competitive prices.

How much does it cost to go to England for 2 weeks? ›

This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing. A two week trip to the United Kingdom on average costs around $2,668 (£2,142) for one person and $5,336 (£4,284) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

What is the most cost effective way to travel? ›

How to travel on a budget: Our 9 best tips
  • Come up with a plan.
  • Travel out of season.
  • Be accommodation-savvy.
  • Pack properly.
  • Book flights in advance…
  • 6. … and be smart about how you fly.
  • Embrace public transport.
  • Don't eat away your cash.

What is the cheapest month to fly to England? ›

The average price of a one-way flight to England is currently $217 while a round-trip flight costs $477. Price data was last updated on April 14, 2024. Currently, November is the cheapest month in which you can book a flight to England (average of $653).

What month is the cheapest to visit England? ›

The cheapest time to travel to Britain is during the off-season: from November 1 to December 12 and from December 25 to March 14. In the last few years, the airlines have offered irresistible fares during these periods.

How to get a free plane ticket? ›

How To Get Free Flights
  1. Leverage Credit Card Signup Offers. ...
  2. Use a Credit Card to Earn Points or Miles on All Your Purchases. ...
  3. Check Out Frequent Flier Programs. ...
  4. Consider Dining Rewards Programs. ...
  5. Opt for Programs with Companion Tickets. ...
  6. Look for More Opportunities to Earn Points and Miles Toward Free Tickets.
Oct 26, 2023

How to travel without hassle? ›

Hassle-free travel: Proven tips for a stress-free trip
  1. Purchase travel insurance. ...
  2. Visit your doctor. ...
  3. Print copies of your accommodation reservation, your tickets and your passport. ...
  4. Check your home & auto insurance. ...
  5. Renting a car on vacation. ...
  6. Call your cell provider. ...
  7. Use AirTags to track your luggage.

How do you travel without a job? ›

An incomplete list of options to get your ass abroad and exploring the world:
  1. Join a volunteer organization. ...
  2. Teach English. ...
  3. Find a source of mobile income. ...
  4. Start an online business. ...
  5. Convince your company to let you work remotely. ...
  6. Get transferred overseas. ...
  7. Find odd jobs as you travel. ...
  8. Work on a cruise or for an airline.

Is 500 pounds enough for a week in London? ›

Think, most of the major attractions, a few cab rides, maybe a big night out, and a bit of shopping on the side. It doesn't include the cost of hotels or car hire as these are often booked in advance. This puts the average cost of a trip to London for a week in 2018 at around £500-650.

How much is a meal in UK? ›

UK cost of Food & Drink
Average weekly grocery bill (including food, basic laundry and toiletry items for 2 people)£80 - £100
Average pub meal£8 - £12
Average restaurant meal£15 - £25
Pint of beer£3 - £3.50
2 more rows

Can you use US dollars in London? ›

You cannot use US dollars in London or in any other City in UK. The only currency which is being used in UK is GBP and only Great Britain Pound is acceptable in the Country.

Is it better to save money or travel? ›

In the end, the choice is yours

The choice between saving money (for say, a first home deposit) and seeing the world is a difficult one. There's no doubt that traversing the globe expands your horizons and provides invaluable life skills like independence, strength, resilience and self-confidence.

Can I get paid to travel? ›

You can find opportunities with tour companies and agencies, or even start your own tours. This is one of the best ways to get paid to travel abroad. You can consider a job at a hotel, resort, or hostel in a popular tourist destination.

How do I plan a trip overseas on a budget? ›

10 tips for traveling abroad on a budget
  1. 1) Travel in the off-season. Most destinations have a high season. ...
  2. 2) Shop for low-price airfare. ...
  3. 3) Pack light. ...
  4. 4) Rent an apartment. ...
  5. 5) Take advantage of the sharing economy. ...
  6. 6) Ask the locals. ...
  7. 7) Cook some meals. ...
  8. 8) Look for free activities.
Aug 22, 2018

What is the best way to get around England as a tourist? ›

Taking the train around England

You'll beat traffic jams and generally be able to get from A to B faster than by bus. Train services may be limited in more remote areas of the country, so make sure you do your research before your trip. You can usually get cheaper fares if you travel during off-peak periods.

What is the best way to get around in England? ›

Trains are the fastest way to travel around the UK, especially for long journeys. When you travel by train, you can enjoy the green British countryside through the window and take a picnic for the journey. How to get cheap train tickets: Train tickets are usually cheaper if you buy them online in advance.

Is flying cheaper than train UK? ›

Trains are more expensive than planes because the aviation industry is one of the most undertaxed and overly subsidised sections of the UK economy. There's no VAT on plane tickets, and there's no tax on aviation fuel, despite road fuels like petrol and diesel being taxed at 57.95p per litre, plus 20% in VAT.

What is the cheapest way to get to the UK from the US? ›

The cheapest way to get from United States to London is to fly and train which costs $200 - $1,000 and takes 9h 42m. What is the fastest way to get from United States to London? The fastest way to get from United States to London is to fly which takes 8h 56m and costs $330 - $1,100.

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