Frugal living in a costly city

Many complain that Bangalore has become an extremely expensive city!

With my experience of living in the world’s expensive city and inspired by this article, I decided to come up with some ways to make a frugal living in a city like Bangalore, with a few tips from some old timers here and other adventurous friends.

7 Ways to save money in Bangalore:

1. Books: There are quite a few second hand bookstores in the city. There are also a lot of “platform-stores” who sell pirated books. (In and around MG Road/Brigade Road)

I personally respect copyright – but you are free to do what you think. (No-one would mind, if you buy pirated books of authors who are not alive. Anyways, the publishers make too much money…)

2. Dress: Pick up branded stuff from factory outlets and “round-the-year” discount stores. A few of them are located in Hosur Road and Marathahalli. Megamart is just one of the choices.

3. Shoes & Accessories: Same as point 2. All top brands from Reebok to Nike are available. Penny-wise, I guess is a good place.

4. Travel out of city: Well, this is common for all cities in India but helpful for the apparently overspending Banglorean. Try our cheap carriers like Air Deccan, Spice Jet, etc. The earlier you book, the better rates you get. No great service, but they take you from point A to point B. Also, you can look at online auctions…

5. Food: Being single, I eat three times a day in my office. Fortunately, I get a lot of variety at affordable prices in my office – may not be the case with others. But there are several “good old” restaurants scattered across the city that give good value for money. “Oota” (combo meals) is generally the “best busy”.

6. Drinks: Are you bored of the loud and noisy pubs are state-of-the-art bars? Get rustic with the bars that serve you drinks with only an additional cost of 10 bucks over the MRP. There are a few restaurants that serve liquor on the Hosur Road. (Warning: Some don’t have proper permissions to do so!)

7. Travel in city: Start looking at AC Volvo buses instead of Autos. Currently limited routes – but really an enjoyable ride!

Bangalore may be inexpensive when compared with the other cities of the world. Considering the buying power of the average Indian, it is certainly out there on expensive cities list in India. So, what is your secret tip?

11 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

    Hi Kanth,
    Nice post. In fact, the talk about food makes me want to write a post too! ;) BTW, it is not necessary to look for ‘good old restaurants’ all across Bangalore. You can spot a ‘darshini’ restaurant in practically any street. They will serve you south indian fast food – idlis, vada, kesari bath, khara bath, all types of dosas at extremely reasonable prices! During lunch time, they also have thali’s, again at very reasonable prices. Coffee is like 4 to 5 bucks. Bangalore food can be very reasonable for a person on a tight budget as well!

  2. F e r r a r i (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

    Nice post :-)
    Are you referring to ‘Select Book Shop’ near Brigade road by any chance? They have books printed in 1912 and all. Pretty nice place.

    At the same time, the cost of living in bangalore is indeed high :-( I dont understand why you need to pay 50+ for petrol. Highest in India. And lesser said about real estate prices, the better!

  3. Pradeep (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    Nice writeup! Well covered almost all aspects of tis yester-years’ garden city!

  4. shekys (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

    Land prices are cheaper in chennai.Nice post anyway!

  5. Mehak (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

    My Tip wud be…
    Buy own house/apt asap n save on the RENT
    also the deposit to be given when renting a house is a lil painful…this funda is no where in the North.
    I enjoy the food at the ‘darshini’s’
    And I do buy alot of ‘pirated’ books…
    Factory Outlets..yes too many…but one has to be lucky enuff to get the right size and not much vareity too
    btw…gooood post !! :)

  6. ramses (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

    so very true.
    as prabhu mentioned,paying 50bucks for petrol is a bit too mcuh on the wallet,esp if ur a biker by birth,and ive borne the brunt of being one.

    blossoms,near church street anotehr option for ‘quality’ 2nd hand books.

    pretty much agree with ur list.

    and if one’s worried abt the prices of gizmos at showrooms,
    id recommend ‘gandhinagar’s national market area anyday.

    after a hard dig, u get a “GOOD prdt for the cheapest of prices.and needless to say a movie connoisseurs paradise it is.

  7. NParry (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 2:37 am

    People Puhleez!! Don’t write in SMS text and please check your spelling before you hit the Post button. It’s painful and frankly annoying to read ‘kiddie English.’ If you can’t spell correctly, then please don’t post. So much for our reputation as a country with the largest number of English speakers!! Haha haha!

  8. PSU (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 2:53 am

    “Buy A House”
    Considering it is quite expensive I am not sure how many people belong to the category of just walking around and buying a house. But these are all birth pangs of a city growing rapidly with the infrastructure yet to catch up. Even in the US, the suburbs took over after a certain point.

  9. Mehak (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    ‘Buy A House’ obviously implies to some1 who can afford one…:)

  10. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on May 5th, 2006 @ 2:39 am

    On the books front the road-side guys are the better ones – you can get books pretty cheap. Also Strand regularly sells books at 20% or so discounts.

    On 2 & 3 Man, you probably sent a lot of the “shopping crowd” from Forum to Marathahalli!
    Anyways the ring roads – IRR and ORR generally have discount stores at the rate of 5/6 at every 3 kms distance or so.

    On Food: The better known darshini’s (Adiga’s for eg.,) are the most cost effective – and the food’s decent too. If you’re eating local cuisine that is. Anything else is generally gonna be expensive!

  11. Anand (unregistered) on May 7th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    You can still save lots of money along with Kanth’s inputs and make bangalore inexpensive city, as my experience in bangalore for the past 32yrs and being localite i would give some tips:

    1. Books: Best place to buy books new/used at avenue road. Old books will be available at around 75% less than the new books.

    2. Dress: Stop going to all these big malls who gets all their dresses from chickpet and New-tharugupet which are part of very-old-bangalore [especially places like big-bazaar, who really cheats everyone a lot].Have your shopping done with a more than 80% price what is available at above places.

    3. Shoes & Accessories: Same as point 2. All top brands from Reebok to Nike are available. Penny-wise, I guess is a good place.

    4. Travel out of city: Along with low cost airlines, you can try KSRTC Volvo services for smaller distances which are affordable and comfortable/reliable than any private transport facilitator

    5. Food: If you would like to have a veggie food with a very low cost, try out the food street at visveswarapuram near basavanagudi, this is only place is blore which provide a series of shop with hot prepared stuffed at affordable prices.Also you get purchase some good snaks from VBbakery which is blores one and only best bakeries tilldate.We still get only traditional food which is descent and affordable and many outlets only in south part of bangalore as compared to any other part of blore.

    6. Drinks: I am a non-smoker and non-drinker hence no comments, still you can try out some good dabbas on tumkur road after travelling around 25 kms.

    7. Travel in city: This has become a costly affair with increase in traffic everywhere.Volvo is a good choice but still will be not be available at times

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