Teenage Brixton: A £5 day out

Leonie Rousham Leonie Rousham is 16 and lives in Brixton. Here she tells us how, over the long school holidays, she and her friends have learned make £5 stretch to a day out – including lunch – in her increasingly expensive home town.

Money is tight as holidays have cost me. So how can a teen survive Brixton for five hours on five pounds?

For starters on the budget binge we savour the journey to Brixton, 0p on our zip cards.

We try to avoid the big brands of McDonalds and KFC, as spending over a fiver is easy in the fast-food industry. This is not how to enjoy Brixton.

I head straight to a 12 o’clock appointment at the Body Shop for a free makeover. This is a way to feel pampered and get tips on what suits you; for someone who goes on and off makeup, I settle on a subtle look. Feeling fresher, and loaded with a few samples, I continue.

It’s lunchtime. My lunchtime top tip is to stay true to the culture of Brixton. Keeping cheap does not mean restricting your taste buds. Brixton’s community market stalls sell exotic street food, like patties, fish fritters and tacos for 99p-£1.00 or dumplings for 70p. We decided to share a £3.50 wrap at a stall by the Rec.

Fill it yourself with a choice of six salads/dishes – this means on a budget you fill it high with falafel, walnuts, almonds and cheeses, couscous and veggie sauces. The wrap acts as a plate – and we create a masterpiece big enough to feed two.

Need a sweet finish? We could have haggled to get a reduced half a coconut but decided on a small tub of hand spun coconut ice-cream for £1. The best place to eat this on a nice sunny day is in Windrush Square. No need to fine dine in Brixton Village.

Check the internet or get out a free book or magazine to read from Brixton library and half a day in Brixton is almost up. I got three CDs for a two week rental for £1! That saves more money on downloading.

I now have £1.25 left – and I blow it on popcorn for £1 from Reliance Arcade, where as usual there is an old boombox playing music.

Later on there is the chance of free live music in Brixton Village.

Being 16, the chance of going clubbing is minimal. We could always stand outside places like the Effra Social, in the beer garden or bars like Bar at Seven but this doesn’t really appeal.

Instead with 25p left, we pick up a piece of sugarcane for the journey home.


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