Home Lifestyle Food & Drink How to eat food in the UK for cheap
Last update on May 25, 2020
Written by Kelly Dunning

You don’t have to spend a fortune on food in the UK. Here are some tips for finding cheap meals.

When you first arrive in a new culture, you might not know where to find the best food for the cheapest prices. However, there are many places in the UK where you can get delicious food for affordable prices.

Here is a guide to eating cheaply while you are living here on a UK work permit so that you can fill your belly while saving money in your new home.


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Try some tasty ethnic food

The UK has a large immigrant population and a great selection of ethnic restaurants offering delicious and affordable dishes. You can find fantastic Indian food all over the UK, as well as Chinese, Thai and much more.

Chinese restaurants are especially cheap in the UK and even in London you will be able to find two courses including rice and a cup of green tea for around £10. Outside of London you can find Chinese places with even cheaper prices.

Dine at the pub

Not all pubs in the UK serve food, but many of them do and they can be great places to have an affordable meal. They will usually serve traditional British pub fare including cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and other warm, comforting, gravy-soaked dishes. Keep an eye out for drink and meal specials on certain days of the week which can often be quite cheap.

Frequent small sandwich shops and bakeries

Little locally run sandwich shops (otherwise known as butty shops in the North) are everywhere in the UK. They are often much cheaper than the large chains such as Subway and they offer much tastier and fresher home-style sandwiches. You can get a huge and filling sandwich for usually around 1-2 pounds, as well as other offerings such as baked potatoes, pasta, salads and chili.

Check out the chippie

A “chippie” is a fish and chip shop and although it is not healthy to eat this deep fried food every day of the week, it is certainly an option for a very cheap meal every now and then. One portion of chips can usually satisfy two people and will only cost around one or two pounds. You can add a meat pie, a sausage, breaded cod or haddock or other options for a very low cost meal that is also a true British cultural experience.

These are just a few ways that you can dine on delicious food while in the country on a UK work permit without spending a lot of money, so that your hard earned pounds will go further while living in your new home.