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Living in the UK: Food, Groceries, Travel and Miscellaneous

So you've recently cleared your PLAB 1 exam, but are as to how to start preparing for the next exam, i.e., PLAB 2? If you're an IMG striving to get the GMC registration and work in the UK, you're most likely having many doubts (Re: Panic sessions) regarding Visa, Flights, Accommodation, Preparation Sources, Extra courses, Clinical Attachment, and more! Seems overwhelming, I know. Want to know how I know?

I am Dr. Yash Kurmi, a doctor from Pune, India. I gave the PLAB 1 examination on 26 May 2022, got my result of having passed the exam on 9 July 2022, and I am currently having the same doubts (Re: Panic sessions) as you all reading this blog.

It was such an overwhelming day for me because I was supposed to immediately book my PLAB 2 seat within the next hour so that I could get a chance at booking the most feasible seat for my dates. I clicked for the PLAB 2 seat of 7 December 2022 and just dived right into it. I literally had very little time to celebrate this small success in my huge ocean of obstacles!

Very soon, I realized that I was picking the most brutal possible time to visit the UK. Being from a Tropical country, North European winters are something that can prove to be very difficult for me. Also, due to the increasing inflation rate, the expenses have significantly increased for tourists in the UK.

We as IMGs who plan to give PLAB 2 in the UK tend to think less of the FGTM expenses – Food, Groceries, Travel, and Miscellaneous. A very general solution to this would be to use this lovely website called Purchasing Power Parity calculator:

This is a very good way to estimate how much money one would need to live in the UK compared to the lifestyle they are currently living in their home country.

Let's take the above example as a reference:

In ~26000 INR, only on food, the expense in India would be around ~12000 INR per month (Cooking for 5 days a week and 2 outings, 2 meals). Cooking with native spices and herbs can be costly in the UK; hence stocking up on some essentials before traveling is the key to cutting food costs.

Travel in INR is cheaper than travel costs in GBP. Home accessories like bed sheets, mattresses, duvets, towels, combs, utensils, toiletries, cleaning products, clothes, makeup, etc., are costlier in the UK than in India. Keeping this in mind, choosing an airline with maximum luggage allowance will help you make the most of your journey by stocking up on these things beforehand.

The following table represents some traveling costs in and around Manchester on Trams:

Below is a table of some common items and their current costs in GBP. These costs are subject to change weekly, but they'll help you get a good idea about the costs of some common food and grocery products. I have compiled a list of groceries from ASDA. You can check other supermarkets in the UK and their prices!

In the age of the Internet, you can plan your trip to Manchester, UK, for PLAB 2, down to the last T, with ~ 90-95% accuracy! I think a budget of 400 GBP for a month would be more than sufficient to cover the FGTM expenses in Manchester, UK, but again, this depends on the kind of lifestyle you are already living and the one you aim to live while you would be in Manchester.

TrewLink is here to help you with any information you require regarding living in Manchester for PLAB 2! I hope this information assists you in planning your trip to the UK down to your last T.

For any questions regarding the topic, I would be happy to answer them at Find me on TrewLink as an Ambassador and follow my profile -

Yash Kurmi - to receive regular insights and support.


Dr. Yash Kurmi


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