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My Best Travel Hack for Budget Eats in London

Boots Meal Deal - London Budget Food Hack

Sometimes a trip is all about the food. Seeking out delicious new flavours. Discovering that quirky new eatery. Spending hours leisurely sipping wine and savouring your meal. Other times you just need to fuel and go.

For me, much of my time in London was the latter. I found my tummy rumbling but didn’t want to stop for long to eat. On my trip to Slovenia and Malta, I was using London as my transit hub and I found myself with a total of two and a half days there. I wanted to look for new street art in Shoreditch, shop on Oxford Street, and visit Van Gogh at the National Gallery. A lot of my transiting also involved spending meal times on trains, buses, and airplanes.

What’s a girl to do when she wants to eat quickly and cheaply? Boots Meal Deal to the rescue. It’s my best travel hack for budget eats London.

What’s in a Boots Meal Deal?

Ok, so Boots is mainly a drugstore, not unlike Walgreens or Shoppers, but don’t let the fact that you can pick up a sweet deal of a meal at the same place you buy your tampons and dry shampoo weird you out. The Boots Meal Deal is real. And it’s glorious. You can get a refrigerated main, side, and drink all for the low, low price of £3.98. Budget-wise, you really can’t beat that. Ask any Brit you know and they’ll tell you, the Boots Meal Deal is a bit of an institution. It’s gotten many a student through their terms.

While you might think this would just be a sad ham & cheese sandwich, with a tiny bag of chips, and a Coke, there’s actually a lot of selection. Mains are typically sandwiches but you can usually count on there being almost a dozen varieties to choose from. There are also salads and pasta available to be the star of your next budget meal. Sides can be a bag of chips if that’s what you’re craving but you could also get fruit, veggies, chocolate, yogurt, or a number of other things. Drink selection is just as varied. Iced tea, juice, green smoothies, and Lucozade are all options. You could literally make hundreds of different meal combinations before you have to repeat.

Boots Meal Deal - London Budget Food Hack

I found these meals made especially good grab ‘n go meals for flights. In fact, I picked up two for my five hour, 10am flight back home to Canada: an all-day breakfast sandwich with an iced tea and a maple pear yogurt for a late breakfast after boarding and a chicken and basil pasta salad with fizzy lemonade and yogurt/granola for a lunch before landing. Guys, there was fresh basil in the salad. Quite a bit of it in fact. That would never happen here in Newfoundland.

Boots Meal Deal - London Budget Food Hack

The yogurt and granola was one of my favourite sides.

Should you not have a Boots nearby, Tesco also has a £3 meal deal, although their selection is much more limited. M&S Simply Food have a similar, though slightly more expensive, meal option.

London has some of the world’s best restaurants with tons of unique food, but when you just need to fuel up, look for that familiar blue logo and head to Boots.

What’s your favourite travel hack for budget meals?


  1. Anisa says:

    November 4th, 2017 at 1:56 pm (#)

    I love the food at M&S that’s my usual on the go meal. I have not yet tried Boots. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Melissa Hogan says:

    November 6th, 2017 at 9:17 am (#)

    The M&S options seemed a bit nicer but also a bit more expensive. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a Boots in the arrivals area of Luton Airport so M&S Simply Foods it was.

  3. Haley says:

    November 4th, 2017 at 2:30 pm (#)

    Tesco, Sainsbury’s and many other smaller shops also have meal deals for around £3.00.

  4. Michelle Joy says:

    November 4th, 2017 at 3:21 pm (#)

    Love this idea! I’ve grabbed a sandwich from Boots at the airport before but I didn’t know about the meal deal. That’s a great price!

  5. Melissa Hogan says:

    November 6th, 2017 at 9:15 am (#)

    Picking up a meal deal is my new UK airport ritual along with getting a large white Americano from Costa. :)

  6. Kate Korte says:

    November 4th, 2017 at 3:25 pm (#)

    Yes! Love the meal deal, best deal in the UK – I got Tescos from Uni all the time

  7. Melissa Hogan says:

    November 6th, 2017 at 9:30 am (#)

    I wish Canada would get on board with the budget sandwich meal here, but it’s generally at least $5 for just a sandwich from the grocery or convenience store.

  8. Amy MOrgan says:

    November 6th, 2017 at 9:11 am (#)

    LOVE a Boots meal deal! Supermarkets like TESCO’s and Sainsbury’s usually have their own but to be honest their options are super limiting (even in the big supermarkets!). M&S is also a good one for deals – slightly pricier but great if you want different options (plus then you can grab some yum yums!)

  9. Melissa Hogan says:

    November 6th, 2017 at 9:27 am (#)

    I didn’t see a Boots in the arrivals area at Luton Airport so I ended up with lunch from M&S Simply Food. The options definitely seemed a little bit higher end with a higher price but still very reasonable.

  10. Karen Chappell says:

    November 12th, 2017 at 6:42 pm (#)

    Is there a Boots at Heathrow airport? I didn’t see one!

  11. Melissa Hogan says:

    November 12th, 2017 at 9:06 pm (#)

    Yep! There are 12 locations across 4 terminals. Were you maybe in terminal 1?

  12. Karen Chappell says:

    November 13th, 2017 at 2:38 pm (#)

    I was in terminal 2 – surrounded by shops like Harrods, Cath Kidson, Michael Kors, etc. I will look for it the next time I am there.

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