Cheapest supermarkets in London
If you plan to come to London to study or for holidays and want to know how much you’ll be likely to spend, keep in mind the lifestyle you expect to have. London is an expensive city, rent is expensive, hotels are expensive and eating out is expensive. A main course plus drinks at a medium-priced restaurant will cost upward of £12. Doing that two to three times a week will certainly increase how much you spend on food. But, in a way, exactly how much you spend depends on you. If your budget is limited, your best bet is to cook at home. Certain chains of supermarkets offer very competitive prices and a wide variety of products.
Lidl is perhaps the cheapest option. It offers a large range of lesser-known brands, but stocks a huge variety of products. A packet of spaghetti can cost 50p and a jar of tomato sauce £1. For about £1.50 you could make a meal for four people.
Aldi is another low-cost option, showcasing the same range and variety of products.
Morrisons, though not as cheap as Lidl, offers its own brand of products, called “good value”, which is no-frills in terms of design, and comes in white packaging. Great prices!
Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA are other great chain options offering competitive prices, but not as low as Aldi or Lidl. The “Express” stores or “Locals” (the smallest) offer fewer products and higher prices than the larger stores, but they are really handy and you can always find one on your way home or to class.
Food markets and local fairs are great for buying fruits and vegetables; the best option is to search for the local ones near your home.
If you’re looking for ethnic markets you may find interesting the Wing Tai Supermarket, H-Mart specialized in Asian food, and the African Shopping centre in Brixton.*
Two other options that you are sure to encounter are Poundland and Iceland. In Poundland you can find all kinds of products for £1, from chocolates, stationery and cleaning products to home accessories. In Iceland you can find a vast range of pre-frozen foods, such as party appetizers, ready-meals, meats and ice creams, etc. You might also like to check out the Co-op (the Co-operative), which has fair prices and an interesting range of products.
Mark & Spencer and Waitrose are posher shops to buy food from. The quality of their products is excellent and they sell things like wine, cheese and desserts – obviously, though, this quality is reflected in their prices.
If you have some ability in the kitchen, or if you’re willing to learn, you won’t have a problem with food in London. It’s one of the most culinary-diverse cities in the world. Keep your mind open and always carry a bag with you – it’s not uncommon to visit all the supermarkets, trying to grab the special offers of the day.
If you enjoy new culinary experiences and would also like to improve your speaking skills, come along to one of our Saturday Speaking Club groups. Speaking Club is once a week – make sure you reserve your place by calling us at 0203 455 3399, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about our English courses and activities at the school.