First time living away from home

For many people moving to London, this will be your first time living away from home.

Here are some tips for surviving…

Shopping
  • If you’re on a budget – go for the supermarket branded items, generally they are cheaper. Also, look for the reduced goods in the refrigerated and bakery aisles.
  • Use a shopping basket, not a trolley, to do your food shopping. That way you know you can carry your food home afterwards (yep, speaking from experience!)
  • Remember to take your shopping bags with you (bags cost 5p each at supermarkets)
Cookingcooking for yourself
  • Living off beans on toast? – check out youtube videos to expand your cooking skills
  • Cooking for yourself can be a lot cheaper than ready meals (and healthier) and doesn’t have to be time consuming
  • To avoid food wastage, freeze any perishable food you don’t want to eat straight away
Food hygiene… try not to poison yourself, or others!
  • Keep your uncooked meat on the bottom shelf in your fridge – your cooked meat must be on a different shelf
  • Don’t wash raw meat (e.g. chicken) before cooking as this risks spreading bacteria around your kitchen
  • Wash the knife, chopping board etc you used to cut raw meat last (have a separate chopping board just for raw meat)
  • Wash your hands, dish cloths, tea towels and worktops regularly
  • For more information, click here
Living with others
  • Make sure you have the phone number of at least one of your
    housemates first time living away from homeРyou might need to contact them if you lose your keys!
  • Keep communicating with your housemates, things can get difficult if you lose communication – maybe do something social together occasionally (e.g. watch a TV series together, share a meal, go to the pub) to maintain a friendly atmosphere
  • Have a joint agreement for buying toilet rolls, washing up liquid etc – maybe have a kitty for shared items?
  • One of the most common arguments/annoyances in a house share is when people don’t wash up – don’t be one of them ūüėČ
  • Create a calm environment by respecting others – whether it’s their privacy, their belongings, noise levels etc
House things
  • Find out which days your rubbish and recycling are collected (check out your borough council website for free recycling bags)
  • If your bills aren’t included in your rent – when are they due? You may be able to save money if you pay by direct debit
  • Don’t get caught out – you now have to pay for a TV licence if you watch or record live TV programmes on any channel and download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – ¬†live, catch up or on demand. This applies to TVs, laptops, phones etc.
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On a tight budget
  • Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com¬†– you can find financial advice, discounts and offers, money saving tips, etc
  • Travel in London can be expensive – walk where you can (maybe you can walk to the next travel zone to save money when getting on the tube) or get the bus instead of the tube if it’s possible. Have you heard about the hopper fare? – if you change bus/tram within an hour you only pay for the one journey (the second is free)
  • Make your lunch – buying lunch out everyday gets expensive
  • Check out our things to do pages¬†for discounts and offers – sign up to discount websites



Explore your local area
  • You might find a short cut to the tube station or a bus stop you exploringweren’t aware of nearby
  • Find out the route of your closest night bus
  • There could be a park nearby you didn’t know about, a corner shop closer than you think or a lesser known attraction just moments from your door
  • Have a map with you or an app on your phone so you can find your way back after exploring

Click here for your BuddyLondon Information Pack 

This pack is designed to help you start your exciting new life in London, equipped with information and links to make things easier for you and saves you hours of searching for relevant websites and documents.

It is ideal for adults without children who are considering renting accommodation.

The pack includes: accommodation, work, studying, finance, healthcare, travel in London, leisure, shopping and helpful tips.

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