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!

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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!


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)


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45 Genius Travel Hacks For When You're Broke AF
  1. Plan around off-peak travel times.
  2. Stay in hostels.
  3. Take free classes.
  4. Fill up on free hostel food.
  5. Venture off-the-beaten-path to save money.
  6. Treasure experiences over material things.
  7. Work in a hostel.
  8. Check visa costs before you travel.
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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? ›

A one week trip to England usually costs around $1,306 (£1,037) for one person and $2,613 (£2,074) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing. A two week trip to England on average costs around $2,613 (£2,074) for one person and $5,226 (£4,147) for two people.

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  5. Visit cheaper supermarkets. ...
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What is the cheapest month to fly to England? ›

The average price of a one-way flight to England is currently $234 while a round-trip flight costs $469. Price data was last updated on April 7, 2024. Currently, November is the cheapest month in which you can book a flight to England (average of $652).

What is the cheapest month to fly to London? ›


What is the cheapest day of the week to fly to England? ›

It's often cheaper to fly to Europe mid-week, particularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It can be most economical to fly from the U.S. to London, the busiest hub, and take a cheap flight from there to any Continental city.

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
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Thankfully there is a lot to see in London without having to spend any money on admission. It isn't enough for accomodation, not really even if the whole £500 is just for the accomodation.

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Cheapest Foods to Live On:
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  • Eggs.
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In 2023, we have calculated that a single person needs to earn £29,500 to have an acceptable standard of living, up from £25,000 in 2022. A couple with two children need to earn £50,000, compared to £44,500 in 2022.

Can you travel without being rich? ›

Since this question comes up so often, I like to constantly remind people of this fact: You do not need to be rich to travel. Let's repeat that: You do not need to be rich to travel. There are plenty of ways to travel on a budget (and for free) — you just need to be willing to get creative.

Where do you start when you are broke? ›

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Can I get paid to travel? ›

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