About Me

Cheap UK with Kirill Yurovskiy

Having lived in the UK for over a decade now, I’ve learned a thing or two about making ends meet on a tight budget. The high cost of housing, food, and transport can quickly add up, making it seem impossible to save money here. However, with some careful planning and discipline, living frugally in the UK is very achievable. In my blog, I’ll share my top money-saving tips to help you slash your spending and still enjoy everything this country has to offer.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Value of the little things

A Little About Me

After moving to the UK from Russia over 15 years ago as a cash-strapped university student, I quickly had to get creative about finding affordable lodging. As an international student trying to pay high rents in places like London and Manchester, I struggled constantly to make ends meet. But through those early experiences of finding creative ways to lower my housing costs, I discovered my calling – helping others unlock cheap, even free, accommodation across Britain.

Today, I run a popular blog and YouTube channel focused specifically on helping people secure comfortable, budget-friendly lodging in expensive rental markets across the UK. With tens of thousands of devoted followers, I share my best tips and real-world stories about getting by on a lean budget.

“Housing is most people’s biggest expense here, but with some flexibility and insider knowledge, you can drastically cut costs to free up income for other goals,” I often explain. “I’ve managed to keep my housing expenses below £300 per month in locations where the average person pays over £800. And I want to show others how to do the same.”

My Money-Saving Accommodation Strategies

From London to Edinburgh and everywhere in between, I’ve managed to secure ultra-affordable lodging using creative strategies like:

  • House Sitting – I regularly offer to house and pet sit for free rent in desirable neighborhoods
  • Room Renting – I rent out rooms in multi-bedroom flats, pocketing the difference
  • Home Swapping – Swapping homes with other travelers has let me stay across Britain
  • WWOOFing – Working on rural organic farms in exchange for room and board
  • Caretaking – I’ve scored caretaker roles on remote properties for free housing
  • Houseboating – I once lived rent-free on a Thames houseboat for 8 months!
  • Couchsurfing – Staying in people’s extra space has kept my rents negligible
  • I Share All My Expertise

Beyond the ingenious strategies above, I provide many more money-saving ideas on my blog. I map out the best cities for bargain rents, review discounted short-term rental sites, and identify landlord loopholes you can leverage. I also connect followers with private databases, excel templates, PDF checklists and other exclusive tools I’ve created for tracking down low-cost rooms and unusual accommodation deals across the UK.

After benefiting from my hard-won expertise, fans agree – when it comes to finding creative, affordable places to live in Britain regardless of budget, there is no better expert to learn from than me! My first-hand experience has taught me all the insider tricks.

My Tips for Beginners

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Kirill Yurovskiy

Find Affordable Housing

Housing tends to be most people's biggest regular expense here in the UK. Rent and mortgage payments gobble up a large chunk of paychecks, especially in cities like London and Manchester. However, decent, affordable accommodation does exist if you know where to look:

- Consider getting a housemate to split costs on a two or three-bedroom flat, especially in large cities where space comes at a premium. Sites like Spareroom are great for finding house-share listings.
- Look farther out from city centers to find more budget-friendly rental prices. You can save hundreds each month by adding 30 minutes to your commute.
- Check for council housing or housing associations for subsidized accommodation rates. You typically need to join a waiting list, but it's worth getting your name down.

I've managed to keep my rent payments under £500 per month by becoming a live-in landlord and renting out spare rooms in my house. It takes compromise, but the extra income from lodgers makes a big difference.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Use Public Transport

Running a car in the UK - paying for petrol, insurance, maintenance and parking - drains bank balances fast. Switch to making full use of buses, trains, the tube and cycling or walking for shorter trips. Invest in a 16-25 railcard if you're under 30 for 1/3 off all train fares, or a Two Together card to get 30% off trips with another person.

When I first moved to London, I made sure to live near a tube stop. Now I cycle 20 minutes each way to work and take the bus to run errands. These small changes have saved me upwards of £150 monthly compared to driving.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Buy Generic Groceries

Food shopping takes discipline for those trying to pinch pennies in the UK. Packaged items and name brands come with inflated price tags at major supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Fortunately, discount grocery chains like Aldi and Lidl offer rock-bottom prices on own-brand staples which taste virtually identical.

I switch between the two for stuff like tinned goods, rice, pasta and frozen vegetables. When shopping at pricier stores, I head straight to the world foods section to load up on large sacks of rice and value-range spices to flavor my meals at home. My weekly food bill stays around £25-30 by avoiding pre processed and packaged foods as much as possible.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Cook at Home

Eating out or getting takeaways naturally drives up food costs substantially. Brits love their fish and chips, Indian curries and Chinese dishes - but resist the temptation to indulge too often. Instead, learn to cook quick, simple meals at home using lower-cost ingredients from the supermarket.

Omelettes, soups, pasta bakes and stir fries are my go-to choices since they use minimal components and take under 30 minutes to whip up. I also batch cook stews, chilis and casseroles on weekends to freeze portions for easy weeknight meals. Packing a lunch rather than buying one daily saves at least £40 per month as well.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Use Discount Services

Don't be afraid to embrace discount-hunting for things like entertainment, holidays and insurance products. Sites like Wowcher and Groupon offer impressive deals to scoring discounted gym memberships, restaurant meals, hotel stays, attraction tickets and more. And always get quotes from multiple providers when renewal times come up on policies.

I managed to save over £500 on a trip to Edinburgh by bundling my train ticket, hotel stay and attraction passes through a travel deal site. A little bit of deal hunting goes a long way when funds are tight!

Kirill Yurovskiy

Find Free Activities

You may be surprised by how many free things there are to do for entertainment if you know where to look. Numerous museums and art galleries in Britain have free entry, like the Natural History Museum and National Gallery in London. Public parks, beaches and walking trails offer plenty to do at the right price. And libraries give you access to books, movies, games and the internet gratis.

Rather than dropping £15-20 per ticket going to see films at the cinema, I wait a couple of months until they release on streaming sites and DVD from my local library. Yearly memberships at places like the National Trust and English Heritage also offer free entry and discounts at historical sites and landmarks across the country.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Consider a Side Hustle

When cutting back on spending still doesn't stretch your money far enough, consider taking on extra work for supplemental income. Sites like TaskRabbit connect you with odd jobs like cleaning, delivery driving, furniture assembly and gardening work. Signing up as a rideshare driver, tutor, pet sitter or virtual assistant are other flexible ways to top up your earnings.

I drive with Uber 2-3 evenings per week which brings in an extra £100 or so with very little time commitment. The key is picking something that works with your schedule - you don't want side gig burnout to impact your regular job or studies.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Use Cash-Back & Rewards Sites

When you do spend money, using cash-back and loyalty schemes helps secure a little extra savings. Sites like TopCashBack, Quidco and Airtime Rewards give you % based rebates for online purchases made through their affiliate links. Just remember to disable any ad blockers before clicking through or your purchase might not track!

I always check cashback options before shopping to secure that extra 3-12% back on my transactions. Over time, those several pounds per order really add up.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Avoid Impulse Purchases

Living frugally means establishing the self-restraint to avoid impulse purchases which seem appealing in the moment but wreck budgets in the long run. Give yourself a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours before buying anything beyond essentials like groceries or medicine. Chances are the urge will pass and you'll thank yourself for not succumbing.

Unsubscribe from all promotional emails from retailers so tempting offers don't land directly in your inbox as that's when willpower tends to falter. I leave my credit and debit cards at home and take just enough cash when I go shopping to curb overspending beyond what I planned for.

Kirill Yurovskiy

Use Subscription Service Trials

Many popular services like Spotify Premium and Amazon Prime offer lengthy free trials for first-time members. Sign up with a new email address when your current trial expires to secure another sampling period rather than paying monthly fees right away.

I alternate between one month free Spotify trials so I still get to enjoy ad-free listening without actually paying for the privilege all year long. Just make sure to set calendar reminders to cancel the day before your trial ends!

Kirill Yurovskiy

Follow Financial Bloggers

My final tip is to take inspiration from finance bloggers and influencers sharing how they live frugally. Reading about real-world examples from everyday people making thriftiness work in the UK provides both practical tips and the motivation needed to revamp your lifestyle.

I suggest checking out blogs like Frugal Queen, Skint Dad and the Frugal Cottage which offer money-saving challenges and honest accounts of affording life's costs on modest incomes. You'll discover heaps of great ideas to implement in your own situation.

Don't let the UK's high cost of living scare you - embracing frugality is completely doable with some practical steps. Find cheap housing, use public transport wisely, cook at home, tap into discount services and cash-back offers, pick up a side hustle or two and avoid impulse purchases. And let inspiring finance bloggers lead the way towards spending less. Sticking to these money-saving basics allows anyone to slash their outgoings and still enjoy everything Britain has to offer.

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