Study Abroad in England with Arcadia University

Cost of Living in Great Britain

  • British money is on a decimal system in pounds sterling [£] and may be referred to as "sterling" (the British money standard) or "pounds" (the currency itself).

  • Scottish notes vary in design from English notes but are worth exactly the same. Exchange rates can fluctuate on a daily basis. 

  • To check today's rate, visit an exchange rate currency calculator

  • The prices listed below are provided to help you estimate expenses, though may vary slightly according to city. You may wish to also visit the Planning a Budget page for further information.

About VAT (value added tax)

The VAT is 20% and is charged on most goods and services in the UK. Typically, the quoted price includes this tax, but in some instances, it will be shown as a separate item and added to your bill.

Everyday Items

Tipping (exceptional service) 10-15%
Phone Call 10p
Domestic Postage 1st class
Domestic Postage 2nd class
Airmail Postage (US) 44-64p regular letter
38p Aerogramme
Daily Newspaper 20p-45p
Coin Laundry - Wash ₤2.50
Coin Laundry - Dry 20p, 5 minutes
Professional Salon Shampoo ₤5+
Haircut, men ₤4-25
Haircut, women ₤15-45
Theater ticket, West End ₤5.50-30
Theater ticket, student rate ₤10
Theater ticket, fringe ₤3-15
Cinema ₤1.50-10
Rock Concert ₤3-30
London Transport Zone 1 single journey ₤2.00
Zones 1 and 2 ₤2.30
One Day Travelcard – Zone 1 & 2 (Peak) ₤6.00
Monthly Zone 1 Travelcard ₤71.10
Monthly Zone 1&2 Travelcard ₤82.20
London Taxi from West End to Arcadia Residence ₤5-15
Portable Hairdryer ₤9+
Curling Iron ₤8+
Umbrella ₤3
Twin flat sheet ₤12
8x10 Spiral Notebook ₤1.80
Ballpoint pen 15p
Paperback books ₤3-25


Restaurant, fancy, lunch ₤25+
Restaurant, fancy, dinner ₤35+
Restaurant, modest, lunch ₤10+
Restaurant, modest, dinner ₤15+
Pub Lunch or dinner ₤5-10
Fast food lunch or dinner ₤5
Instant meals ₤1.50+
Bacon, lb. ₤1.60-3.90
Hamburger, lb. ₤2.45
Haddock, fresh, lb. ₤2.60-3.80
Pork Chops, lb. ₤1.85-2.15
Chicken, fresh cutlet, lb. ₤3
Chicken, whole, frozen ₤4
Beef, ground, lb. ₤1.85-3.00
Apples, lb. 45-85p
Cabbage, head 30p
Bananas, lb. 55p
Lettuce, lb. 30-50p
Grapes, lb. ₤1.25-2
Tomatoes, lb. 45-65p
Grapefruit, each 25-50p
Potatoes, lb. 15-40p
Oranges, each 26p
Carrots, lb. 20p
Onions, lb. 45p
Leeks, lb. 55-75p


Corn Flakes ₤2
15 oz. Soup 35-70p
Pint Milk 38p
1 kg Sugar 70p
1.5 kg Flour 55p
7 oz. Tuna Fish 80p
1 lb Cheese ₤1.29+
1 lb Macaroni 50p
7 oz. Crackers 37p
7 oz Cookies 39p-80p
Candy Bar 28p+
35 oz. Detergent ₤1.50
Toothpaste 70p
10 Tampons ₤1.12+
Facial Tissues 79p
5 oz. Bath Soap 40p+
7 oz. Shampoo ₤1.00+
Shaving Cream ₤1.25+
Deodorant 69p+