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Photograph: Riya Hollings
Photograph: Riya Hollings

Munya Chawawa’s guide to ditching your bad shopping habits this Black Pound Day

The comedian’s tips for becoming less of a terrible, terrible person

By Time Out London contributor

I’m a scrimper.

Yep, I’m a cheapskate, a miser, a man with an arse so tight it deserves a cameo in the ‘WAP’ video. I’m the guy who walks into a top-tier establishment and asks the waiter for a 125ml serving of its finest tap water.

However, over lockdown, I became a deranged spending machine. Susan from Halifax’s anti-fraud team has been in meltdown: how did Munya Chawawa transform from the Holy Father of Frugal to The Wolf of Reckless Spending?

The culprit: the internet – an infinite sea of objects and accessories at one’s fingertips. Seriously: a transparent kettle that emits blue light during boiling? Yes, please. Novelty false teeth for a one-off Insta story? Absolutely – they’re a business asset. A foot scraper that looks suspiciously like an actual cheese grater? No-brainer – chicks dig smooth heels. Suddenly my bedroom looks like the promo pic for a new Channel 5 doc called ‘The Hoarder Next Door’.

Photograph: Naomi Anderson-Subryan
Photograph: Naomi Anderson-Subryan

If you’re going to put pennies into someone’s pocket, put your spend where that makes a difference. It’s been a really tough year for small businesses – and I don’t want to see them go broke just because I cba to shop smarter. Slowly but surely, I’m making changes, so here are my tips on shopping smaller and supporting indies:

1. If there’s an item you want, check on Google whether there’s a place selling it locally. You may end up turning a two-day delivery into a two-minute walk, and your hard-earned cash goes straight to the seller.

2. How good does it feel knowing the person who made your product? Have a little pree on Insta, see who you’re buying from and what you’re investing in – and then enjoy a warm glow in your soul as you press ‘pay’.

3. We all love that smug feeling of being asked, ‘Where did you get that from?’ People love finding hidden gems, so spread the word on small businesses you love and earn yourself all the street cred that comes with being ‘The Plug’.

Read our issue dedicated to Black-owned businesses

Find more ways to support Black-owned business in London 


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