Skip to main content

18 top picks for London living on a student budget

London graffiti – lewis bush 2nd resize
London graffiti – lewis bush 2nd resize

Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
30 March 2017

Words by Jyoti Mann. Image © Lewis Bush

Got a place at LCC but worried about budgeting in London? Living here doesn’t always have to be expensive. We’ve rounded up some of our top picks for budget nights out, eating, cinemas, drinking and College essentials that won’t break the bank.

Nights out – £5 and under

1. Less than a stone’s throw away from LCC is Elephant and Castle’s hidden gem Corsica Studios. The warehouse-style stripped back venue hosts a new weekly club night – Distant Cousins – put on by DJ collectives and record labels taking their turn (table) to host the night. Expect house, minimal tech and experimental electronic music. The best part? Free entry before 12am for NUS holders and those on the guestlist, or £3 after. Every Thursday night – 4/5 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB.

2. Planning a night out without having to spend your entire budget on entry can be a project in itself. Big Chill House in Kings Cross lets you be bouji on a budget with free entry all night on Friday and Saturday. Expect DJs spinning R&B, Hip-hop, House and Garage classics – 257-259 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9NL.

3. Since opening last year, Brixton’s trendy haunt Phonox has already made waves with top DJs headlining its nights, from Artwork to Tim Sweeney. If you have late lectures on a Monday morning and are looking for somewhere to party, this is the perfect spot, every Sunday night from 6pm – 12am. Check out the line up in advance – £5 tickets online or more on the door – 418 Brixton Rd, Brixton, London SW9 7AY.

Eating – £5 and under

The Artworks Elephant. © Lewis Bush

4. Elephantastic Pizza in The Artworks have great lunchtime offers not to be missed – either half a pizza and salad or a choice of pasta and salad for £5. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options also available. Monday to Friday 12 noon – 2.30pm, Unit 5 The Artworks, Elephant Road, London SE17 1AY.

5. Fancy a change from the usual lunch spots in Elephant and Castle? Try Borough Market, only two stops away on the Northern line. Boston Sausage offers a sausage burger for £5 complete with relish, or baps for £4, and if you’re strapped for cash try their sausage on a stick for £1.50. Open Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL.

6. For a fresher option venture a little further to Vauxhall’s Street Food Garden and try Win & Lily’s Create Your Own Stir-fry for £5. There is a choice of chicken, beef and seafood with a range of vegetables. Or if you’re not up for Chinese, check out the other street food outlets in the garden offering Caribbean, Indian and American cuisines. Monday to Friday 11.30am – 10pm, 6A South Lambeth Place, London SW8 1SP.

London skyline from LCC’s Tower Block. © Lewis Bush

Cinemas – £10 and under

7. Film for under a fiver? You can’t go wrong at Peckhamplex, playing the latest in mainstream and independent films, and only a bus ride away from Elephant and Castle. Ticket prices frozen at £4.99 all day, every day – 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST.

8. Barbican Centre lets students catch the latest films on Tuesday for only £5. While there, explore the local bars nearby in Angel, most offering great deals at happy hour Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS.

9. For something a little more upmarket, without the price tag, experience Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, ideal for date night. Screening the latest and classics in mainstream and independent films for £9.50, or £8.50 with a student card. Residents of the borough can catch films for £4 on Mondays – 269 Kilburn High Rd, London NW6 7JR.

Drinking – £15 and under

10. Go visit the trendy, urban Bar story in Peckham for a happy hour that isn’t packed full of city ‘9-5ers’, close to Peckham Rye station. Happy hours Monday to Friday from 6pm – 8pm, two cocktails for £7. 213 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QL.

11. Barrio in Shoreditch has a vibrant atmosphere and Latin-themed cool décor, offering beers from £3.50, cocktails for £5.50 and £5 off bottles of wine. Happy hours on Tuesday – Saturday nights from 4pm – 8pm. 141-143 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE.

12. Try Venn St Records Tuesday offer of £15 for any two drinks and two large pizzas in Clapham. Their mouth-watering fresh stone-baked pizzas go down a treat while you soak up the vinyl-stocked atmosphere and live music. Also offers 2-for-1 cocktails. Monday to Friday from 5pm – 8pm, 78 Venn St, London SW4 0BD.


13. Printing doesn’t need to pinch. For all your panic-printing needs consider TAB, only a few minutes’ walk from LCC. Fast-track one-hour dissertation printing and hardback binding from £30. Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm, 2-3 London Road, St George’s Circus, London, SE1 6JZ.

14. The Student Discount Club Card gives you 15% off all printing and binding services for only £5 per year at The Student Print Club, Holborn. Monday to Friday, open 24 hours. 33 Britton Street, London EC1M 5UG.

15. The Document Centre in Southwark also offer dissertation printing and hardback binding with spine lettering – and same day service for £46. Other printing, binding and fast track services also available. Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 5.30pm , 92 Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0EX.

Elephant & Castle. © Lewis Bush

Art & design supplies

16. London’s largest specialist art and design shop offers 15% student discount in store on all supplies. Go explore their huge collection of supplies at London Graphic Centre, Covent Garden. Monday to Saturday from 10am – 6.30pm. 16-18 Shelton St, London WC2H 9JL.

17. Another well-stocked store with a variety of materials and supplies, north of the river, is Cowling & Wilcox in Shoreditch. They offer students 15% discount with their ID or NUS card. Monday to Saturday from 9.30am – 6.30pm. 112 Shoreditch High St, London, Shoreditch E1 6JN.

18. Cass Art in Soho has a Cobalt Blue Student Card, giving 10% discount on supplies all year round. Monday to Friday from 9.30am – 7pm, 24 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 8RD.

Find out more about the local area