London: Low prices can be found if you know where to look for them

The word «cheap» is not usually associated with London and that is why those who move there for even a short period quickly learn where the lowest prices are to be found. London is a big city and so local neighborhood bargains are the first to be sought out. For daily food shopping, prices at the local grocers, usually run by Indians or Turks, are around 30 percent cheaper than the supermarkets. For more variety, Londoners go to the Dalston market in the northeast of the city, where they can buy 2 kilos of potatoes for 1.50 pounds (2.14 euros). And every day, Dalston has a special offer. Open every day until 5 p.m., it attracts all kinds of customers, not just those after bargains. The cheapest of the larger supermarkets are Tesco and Asda, which belongs to Wal-Mart and in many areas is open 24 hours a day. Tesco has cheap prices for wine, food and clothing. The Lidl chain also has outlets, frequented mostly by immigrants. There is plenty of choice when it comes to reasonable prices for clothing. Every neighborhood has charity shops with used clothes, shoes, crockery, video cassettes, CDs and small pieces of furniture. If you are lucky, you might even find an YSL suit for 5 pounds. The more upmarket an area, the higher the quality of the goods in its charity shops. Low-price clothing is also available at London’s street markets. The famous Portobello Road market, open on Saturdays, is excellent, although not so cheap, and full of tourists. Far better prices are on offer in the Brick Lane market in the East End, open every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. A favorite haunt of students and other young people, it has everything imaginable, down to stolen bicycles for as little as 40 pounds (57 euros). A very trendy market, where young designers launch their creations, although not as cheap as Brick Lane, is Spitalfields, also open Sundays to 5 p.m. Apart from clothing, it sells good German bread, organic fruit and vegetables, soap and furniture, and it’s popular with the British as well as tourists in the know. The Camden Town market in north London is full to overflowing every Sunday. Clothing is cheap but so is the quality. Chain stores such as Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) and Top Shop also have inexpensive clothing and accessories, the latter selling large quantities of T-shirts made in Greece. A good-quality pair of pants costs 10-15 pounds (14-21 euros). For furniture and other household goods, the three Ikea stores are popular with students. Beds cost as little as 40 pounds (57 euros), and an entire apartment can be furnished on a low budget. In the more downmarket areas such as the East End and Brixton, there are a number of One Pound Stores (where everything costs just that amount). They are usually conveniently situated and a favourite source of the odd detergent, kitchen utensils and cleaning tools.