The ABC’s of a Lovely Life in London
By Tammi LeShore
London is often left off the list when it comes to considering a long-term life abroad but, alas, leave London out no more!
Affordability and Accessibility at ASDA – One of the most basic needs of all people is to feel sustained. Another basic need is more time. And yet another need in this day and age is to have both of these things without spending a small fortune. Enter ASDA.
Not only is the food here affordable they also have a variety of choices to suit all foodies. There are organic, gluten-free and lactose-free options to many items. You can also buy cosmetics, basic clothing and even books from this heaven on earth. Now to the accessibility bit. Ever wish you didn’t have to go grocery shopping after a long day off travel, work or leisure? Ever wish you could just get off the tube (train to us Americans), have your groceries waiting for you and just walk home? You know what’s coming; this service is available at ASDA. Pre-order and pay for your groceries online (15 pound minimum) and pick them up at one of 6 locations throughout London.
Best British Breakfast – is always homemade. Armed with the knowledge of budget-friendly grocery shopping in London, you now possess the freedom to indulge in that ever-so-famous, British Breakfast.
And, yes, y’all, it is worth the hype!
Click and Collect – How often have you found yourself setting a budget only to end up breaking that budget because you allowed your eyes, instead of your wallet, to handle the decisions? Everyone, raise your hand. Herein lies the solution – don’t ACTUALLY go into the stores unless you ABSOLUTELY need to (or, when you have conquered the see it, buy it phenomenon). Similar to the service mentioned in the Affordability and Accessibility section, this service also requires that you pre-order. However, there are many, many more available stores at which you can collect your package (I have collected packages at a range of stores from 2 -20 minutes away by foot).
See, ordering online provides a plethora of additional perks. You can shop and save things in your basket without spending the money, giving you time to consider if the purchase is really necessary. Better deals are always offered online. Last but not least, collecting a package from the store is not only convenient but it gets you in and out in a matter of minutes, thus keeping eye-shopping to a minimum.
Deals, Deals, Deals – Who doesn’t love a good deal? A sale worth saving for? Walking around London it’s easy to understand why it is labeled one of the fashion capitals of the world. From professional posh to laid-back lounger, the trendsetters of London have the game on lock. Naturally, as a London newbie, the temptation is there to just run out to the nearest department store and shop, shop, shop. Ahhhhh, the joys of being a London newbie! But, this is not the way in which to stay on budget. So then, what’s a London newbie to do? Find those deals! Everyday essentials such as toiletries, hair care products, vitamins and the like can be found at Boots (they also offer Click and Collect). Most of the year they have 3 for 2 offers that must be taken advantage off. Superdrug is another alternative (in part 2, this drugstore will be discussed in further detail). For clothing, head to Primark or Matalan. And, for the cosmetic discount divas (like myself, I try y’all), a beauty supply store will grow to be your best friend.
Everyday Edibles in Eltham – Fish and chips is to London what hamburgers and french fries is to a Chicagoan, like myself. Sometimes you just want to relax and indulge in the everyday. Well, when in London, the everyday indulgence for some is a traditional fish and chips (fries, potatoes, spuds) meal. My daughter and I recently visited Eltham, a neighborhood outside of central London. With only a few days left until we leave London, we decided to get sentimental and traditional, and grab a bite of fish and chips. We got 5 Cod Pieces and Chips for only £3.40.
Yeah, this needs no explanation. Simply delicious, simply less expensive, simply London. Eltham Grill House, thank you.
Fabulous Fast Food Finds for a Fiver – Okay, okay, so fish and chips might not be high on the list of a nutritionist’s dream but every once in a while… Hey, I’m a London newbie after all, let me live.
In our search for affordable eats we may neglect our nutrition, going for the popularly priced instead of the nutritious. Herein lies the challenge, and as I have never been one to turn down a challenge – HERE IT GOES! Fabulous fast food, nutritionally sound food which can be craftily created in under 15 minutes and under 5 pounds (a fiver/5-r to us London locals):
Cabbage (.49), Canned Corn (.25) Onions (.79) ASDA Blue Cheese (1.50) and tomatoes (.69). Toss in some Tilda rice (£1), throw them all together and this is what you get:
Having cooked the ingredients over a low heat for 10 minutes, after sauteing the onions and corn, while during the last 5 minutes, add the cabbage leaves on top and cover.
Has your appetite been wet? For travel? Stay tuned for G-M where everything from Getting Gorgeous in Greenwich to Money-free Museum Madness will be tackled. Toodles.
A 5-year global traveler with daughter in tow, Tammi loves to travel tastefully and thrifty, sleep safely and securely and live lovely and learnedly.