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Ragini

September 29th, 2022

Budgeting in London: top 3 grocery store meals way cheaper than takeout

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Ragini

September 29th, 2022

Budgeting in London: top 3 grocery store meals way cheaper than takeout

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Living on a budget in London is hard for many reasons. The first is obviously the fact that things are just expensive in general. Secondly, there are so many cool restaurants and cute cafés that people keep posting on their stories, it feels like you are denying your Instagram of good content if you don’t visit them. However, most of these places are extremely overpriced and while it may be worth checking out for a couple of cute pictures and stories, you are most likely going to run out of money fast if you are always eating out. This is where grocery stores are your best friends. I have found that with a couple of cheap ingredients and some creativity, it is totally possible to recreate your favorite takeout meals right at home.

  1. Cheesy Chilli Nachos: I love nachos and if it is on the menu, I am most likely going to order it. However, I recently discovered that canned chilli con carne, tortilla chips and some cheese is all you need to get the basic essence of cheesy nachos. You can add sauces depending on preference and availability, but I simply cannot have my nachos without salsa and guacamole. This dish could range from anywhere between £7- £15 at a restaurant, but the ingredients should not cost more than £5 together, unless you feel like splurging on sauces of course!
  2. Burger and Fries: Is there anything you need after a night out other than a burger and some fries on the side? I tend to avoid looking at my bank account after a night out so I was extremely relieved when I discovered frozen burger patties. You can choose between vegetarian or meat and pick up some burger buns too. The rest of the fillings are completely your choice but I usually go with a simple slice of cheese, some lettuce, and nandos medium heat sauce. For the fries there’s two options. Obviously you could use fresh potatoes and cut up some fries but if you are feeling very lazy, there is always the option of frozen fries. This is obviously not the healthiest option, but let’s be honest, if you were trying to be healthy you would not be eating a burger and fries.
  3. Pasta and garlic bread: Pasta is obviously a dream dish for all anti-chefs like me. However, I have recently started cooking the bottled sauce in a pan before adding it to the pasta. I also add extra garlic paste and some spices and herbs to enhance the taste of the sauce. This has made a world’s difference to my pasta and I actually do not remember the last time I ate pasta from a restaurant. As for the garlic bread, there is obviously the option of frozen garlic bread, but I have a hack for those trying to avoid frozen foods. If you just spread some garlic paste on regular bread and pop it in the oven for a bit, you have instant home-made garlic bread!

London is expensive but it is definitely possible to live on a budget. After all, it is just a city like any other and there are people from various socio-economic backgrounds living here. It takes some time to figure out how to navigate the city on a budget, but it is definitely possible without having to sacrifice your quality of life.

About the author

Ragini

My name is Ragini and I am a masters student in the department of International History. I am intersted in studying South Asian history, particularly Indian history. I also grew up in Delhi so I love living in London because I feel right at home amidst all the noise and commotion.

Posted In: Money

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