Top 10 tips for ESL teachers to save money in China


There are many reasons that ESL teachers choose to teach in China. Some ESL teaches like Chinese Culture; some want to save more money to pay off the students’ loan. Today, we are going to discuss the tips that can save money for ESL teachers in China.


When ESL teachers come to China at the first time, they may be at a loss to do anything.  Anything is new to them. They need to get familiar with their work place and living place. It’s an adventure for most people, but also can make many people excited about the new life in China. When ESL teachers get into a new environment, they may face many problems, such as eating, living and shopping.


Eating is the biggest issue for most of the ESL teachers.  As far as I know, many ESL teachers don’t cook in their own countries.  They may think the cost of meal in China is not very expensive. However, if you record your cost of meal for one month, then you’ll know how much it cost you. It’s a big part of consumption for most of ESL teachers in China.  I have some tips for those who want to save money for eating.


First, try to cook at home. As most people know, Chinese food is fantastic. Learning to cook Chinese food not only can help you save some money, but also can make you get a new skill.  Moreover, the cost of ingredients is very cheap in China. You can go to the markets around your living place to check whose price is lower or ask your neighbors.


Second, you can have lunch at school, if the school you work provide.  Most schools will provide her staff lunch for school. Although the lunch looks simple, it tastes good. And most Chinese staff will have lunch at school too, sometimes they may order food by Apps.


Third, ordering food by Apps. Order Apps are very popular in China, which is not only convenient, but also less of cost. Today, I’m going to introduce three most used Apps in China.

The first one is elema. Elema always has promotions. For example, if you order food over 40 RMB, you can have 15RMB off. Elema is very generous for new user. She has 20 RMB off for the first order.  You can also have red pocket that is the same as coupon to make your food cheaper. Where do you get the red pocket? Every time you order food by Elema, you can get red pocket. The button of red pocket is at the page of your receipt, just share at your moment or send to a group by wechat, then you click it. The red pocket will be at your account. Most of the red pockets is conditional, such as over 40 RMB 5 RMB off. Therefore, try to get more red pockets. You can click other people’s link too, but only three red pockets only for one day.

The second one is Meituan waimai. Meituan has the similar promotions as Elema too, but different mount of money off. The speed of delivery food is a little bit faster than Elema.

The third one is Baidu waimai. Baidu waimai has the similar promotions with previous two. My suggestion is that if you want to order food by Apps, you can choose the sellers and compare the seller at the three Apps to see which App is the cheapest. That is what I do when I buy food by Apps. Sometimes you can find the food get cheaper when order one more drink. That’s because the over amount of money off amount of money promotion. You can give it a try next time to see.


Another big part of the cost of living in China is the transportation. The cheapest way of going out is too use public transportation. Public transportation not only can save you some money but also save you some time. As you know, the tier one cities and most tier two cities in China have heavy traffic during the peak hours.

Public transportation includes bus, subway and bike. Subway is always the best options since it’s faster and never gets into traffic. Bus is also good for short distance travel since the stop is closed to each other.  Bike is best way for the environment and your health. If the air is good in your city, you can choose to go out by bike. And most schools will provide free accommodation close to schools; therefore, it’s a good option to go to school by bike.


Train is also a very good option for you when you’re travelling, but try to avoid the holidays. In China, the train system is almost covered every city. It’s the best and the most convenient way to go out, especially when you plan to travel a small city. There are four kinds of trains in China. The first one is the fastest called high-speed bullet train. The second one is D-bullet train.  The third one is the fast train. The last one is the common train, which is the cheapest and stops every city that the train passes.  You can choose the best train to go out travelling for your own convenient.


About shopping, there are promotions in the shopping mall. You can always pay attention to it. Most of the promotions happen at the holiday or the end of the seasons. If you know Mandarin, it’s always good to shop online. When you’re shopping, remember to try bargain with the sellers. It may help you save some money.


As we all know, moving and adapting to a different way of life in a new country presents all kinds of challenges and there are bound to be unforeseen difficulties. There are unfamiliar surroundings, customs and a language barrier. Although there are many challenges, it’s a new life here in China. Just remember to try to be a local! Be a local go to local market and get to know where they will go when they are shopping food. Then, you will know what is the real life in China.