Living on a Budget in Ireland in 2022

You’ve probably heard that Ireland is not a cheap country. Especially if you’ve just moved here, there are a lot of things to organise, all of which cost money. The electricity contract, food as well as utilities. The range from cheap to expensive is large. And of course you want to go out to restaurants, bars or clubs, and at the end of the night you spent 50€ for a pizza, Guinness and two cocktails in a club. This article will help you to save money in the right places. From lunch deals to cheap utilities to good mobile data and electricity contracts. See, how living on a Budget in Ireland is possible.

The best mobile data deals

Unlike other countries, many providers in Ireland offer unlimited data volume for a good price.  Just a few clicks to order a sim card and you can start surfing. The provider’s conditions only differ in minor details. Check the table below to figure out a deal that fits the best to your needs.

The best accessory deals

Penneys

Have you ever wondered that there is a shop called “Penneys” that looks exactly like Primark? Well, it IS Primark. But Ireland is the only country in the world where it’s still called “Penneys” and I would like to share the background of that story with you: The first Primark, previously known as Penneys, was opened in Dublin in 1969 by the businessman Arthur Ryan.

He decided to go out into mainland Britain in 1973, and launched a store in Derby. The Penney name, however, was unable to move to the United Kingdom since the American retailer J. C. Penney owned the rights to use the name in the region. So they changed the name to Primark. Primark is taken from the Italian word “prima,” which means “first,” and was chosen by founder Arthur Ryan because he liked the language and wanted his company to create a “mark” – so the name. Primark was born as a result of this, and it has since become the name of every store that has opened throughout the world – except the stores in Ireland.

Anyway, back to the topic. Primark, or Penneys, or whatever you like to call it is famous for unbelievably cheap clothes and accessories. You can get all the little things that didn’t fit into your luggage there: from slippers to sleeping masks to skin-care products. Just for a Penny ;-). 

TKMaxx

If you have never heard about TKmaxx before, it’s very easy to explain their concept. You can get more or less luxury brands for a really small price there. How is that possible? As a result, when a designer overproduces or other stores overbuy, they come in, negotiate the best price, and pass the savings onto their customers. Well, when you’re looking for branded sunglasses, go there! If you don’t care about the quality that much, you’ll be happy with the still cheaper sunglasses from Penneys. Anyway you’ll find everything you need at TKmaxx. Dishes, sports clothing, shoes, scented candles…You might spend a whole day there. 

Charity Shops  and Thrift Stores

The most sustainable opportunity to get clothes, accessories or decoration are thrift and charity shops. You can find them in almost every city of Ireland. In Dublin go browsing around in Goodwill Vintage and Thrift Shop, Nine Crows or Tola Vintage. It’s not only about the small prices, as the vintage look got more popular over the last few years. Companies like Oxfam invest their proceeds in aid projects in developing countries or countries currently in crisis. There are many Oxfam shops in Ireland (Dublin, Dundrum, Cork, Bray, Galway,…) and Northern Ireland (Derry, Lisburn, Holywood,…).

The best meal deals and student offers

As you’ve probably already noticed, the cost of living in Ireland is high. Saving money with clever lunch deals, student offers or 2 for 1 offers can lighten the load on your wallet. Luckily, there are a few such offers here. As a student you get a 25% discount at Gourmet Burger Kitchen by using the app.

If you’re more into Pizza, Apache Pizza has many promotions. Another very tempting deal, in particular for vegans and vegetarians, is offered by Brewdog. They have a “all 2-4-1” on all vegan and vegetarian meals every Monday and their dishes are so tasty, that even meat lovers won’t miss anything while biting into a beyond meat burger with smoked vegan cheddar on a beetroot brioche bun. 

The best price comparison websites

Last but not least, a matter that can cost many nerves: Electricity, oil and gas contracts. Especially in the current period, the prices for these contracts have risen sharply. This makes it all the more important to get a low-cost deal. The reason I’m not suggesting one provider with one particular offer is that prices and conditions change frequently.

And what I might recommend today might not be the best deal tomorrow. Therefore, it is advisable to check comparison portals for suitable offers. These offer the advantage of highlighting the current cheapest of all providers and usually also clarify options with special conditions such as cashback. They also often make it easier to switch your supplier. Ireland’s leading comparison and switching websites are bonkers.ie and switcher.ie and they both have individual deals from many suppliers.

Living on a budget in Ireland is possible

As you see, there are ways to live on a budget in Ireland. It’s all about saving money in the right places. And when you keep at least some of this advice in mind, you absolutely deserve to treat yourself with an overpriced cocktail in a bar and toast to your smart skills. 

Do you use any other strategies to survive without that much money? Then let me know in the comments. 

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Julia Hansjurgen

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