Money Savings

This is a guide to give you a bit of guidance and also some helpful links on money savings for when you are settled in the United Kingdom.
money in hand
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Salaries in the UK in general are above average – but your earning power will vary a lot depending on where in the country you live. Typically salaries decrease significantly as soon as you move away from the capital and the South East of the UK. Take a look at our helpful money savings links.

Whilst London is arguably the destination of choice for South Africans arriving in the UK, the living costs in the capital are significantly higher than in other parts of the country. The cost of living in the south is typically higher than the north, but the salaries also reflect that. London house prices remain high, meaning if you decide to move to this area, it often requires a bigger budget.

Rents, in particular, push up overall spending – but day to day expenses tend to be higher too. Choose a city, such as Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester or Birmingham, and you should find cost of living is cheaper. Life in a smaller town or village typically comes with a much smaller price tag than can be found in the large cities.

Regardless of what country you live in, there will always be household bills and utilities to consider and budget for. If you’re considering moving to the United Kingdom, it is advisable to research the cost of living in the UK, including house prices, childcare costs, and food prices before you land on British soil.

money pot plant


Bank Accounts


Mobile Phones


Broadband and TV

Gas Electricty and Water

Water tap

Council Tax

Pensions and Investing


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Car Insurance


Do a Money Makeover

Deals and Vouchers


Food Deals


Free cycle

Shop at charity shops

Shop at charity shops, here you will find many bargains. There are many charity shops on the high streets in the United Kingdom where you will not only find clothing but also household items. This will allow you to start creating a home at a much lower cost than paying full price. Another benefit of this is that you will be helping a charity.

Charity shops are retail outlets selling mainly donated goods to raise funds for their parent charities. Charity shops can only be set up by charities.

Why do people shop in charity shops?

  • To support the activities of the parent charity.
  • Environmental and ethical benefits of the reuse of goods
  • The range of unique goods available
  • Retro and vintage fashion seekers
  • The prices

Online charity shops

Buy past ‘Best Before’ dates

The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality and not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good.

Unlike ‘Use By’ dates, ‘Best Before’ dates are solely recommendations about food quality, not safety.

Food savings

After about 6 pm, most supermarkets start heavily reducing prices on items they need to shift by the end of the day. You can often find fresh produce that’s still good to eat, but a lot less money.

Cook extra at mealtimes and freeze leftovers, or use leftovers for lunches for work and school the next day.

You may not think a fiver seems like a lot when purchasing lunch but add it up and it works out to quite a lot over a year. It takes a few minutes to make your own lunch to take to work and will save you loads in the long run.

Only buy what you need – This one seems obvious but it’s so easy to get caught up in a spending frenzy. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Write a shopping list -If you forget what you need, you may end up buying duplicates. Write a shopping list and stick to it.

Guide to get free or cheap food

Budget meals

Meal planning helps you be more efficient at deciding the quantities of meals you and your family will consume, and this keeps you from throwing away food. Planning your meals is a great way for you to reduce food waste and save on your grocery bills while helping the environment.


Olio mobile app for food-sharing, aiming to reduce food waste. It does this by connecting those with surplus food to those who need or wish to consume such food. The food must be edible; it can be raw or cooked, sealed or open.

Look for cheaper energy deals

Light bulb

Spend some time comparing the prices of your gas and electricity and you could save hundreds by moving to a better deal. If you find a better deal, switching is usually quite easy.


Sell any unwanted items on eBay to make a bit of extra cash. Some people even purchase items from charity shops and car boot sales and resell them on eBay to make a profit. Or you can purchase items from eBay, where you can either buy items often at a very good price, or you can bid on items.

Reward cards

Take advantage of reward cards, you will be surprised how fast the points build up. Once you have reached the required threshold, you will be able to get your next purchase discounted depending on what points you have available to use. Not only do many supermarkets do these, but coffee shops too.

Furnishing your home

Try to find furnished rental properties if you can, until you are in a situation to start purchasing furniture and appliances. This is not always possible, so if you do find that you have to purchase your own furniture then it’s worth looking at freecycle websites, Gumtree freebies, and also freecycle groups on Facebook, which you will often find are specific to your area.

Spending & Discounts

Money Saving Expert a helpful site for living costs

Money-saving expert is a wonderful site which offers great advice about cutting your bills. The site is well worth a visit and has cutting-edge tools and a massive community – all focused on finding deals, saving cash, and campaigning for financial justice.


The United Kingdom has been involved with the Internet throughout its origins and development. The telecommunications infrastructure in the United Kingdom provides Internet access to businesses and home users in various forms, including cable, DSL, wireless, and mobile.

The UK has a string of supermarket chains that can be affordable if you shop in the right places.

The average weekly shopping bill is estimated to be around £60 in the UK for two people, although South Africans settling in the United Kingdom can expect to reduce grocery shopping to around £45–£50 by shopping in the budget stores. To get the latest average prices for staple products,

If you are still in South Africa and would like to try and work out a budget of what yours groceries will cost in the UK, here is a little idea to help you.

  • Write down your usual weekly shopping list as if you were going to do your normal weekly shop.
  • Click on any of the supermarkets in the list below.
  • Look for all the items you have on your shopping list and jot down the prices on your list.

This should help you get a bit of an idea of what your groceries will cost , even before arriving here, and may help with your budget planning.

Supermarket shopping tips

Take a look at some of these helpful supermarket tips

Clothing and footwear