Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lunch Money

This weeks tip for reducing your outgoings concerns the amount of money we spend on our lunch (and a bit of a rant about the price of a sandwich!)
Add up how much you spend on your own lunch during the week.  If you are a homeworker, like me, I usually eat 3 times a week out of the fridge and twice out during the working week.  If you can get the 2.99 meal deals every day, you are spending £15 on your lunch, but what about the extras you pick up when you are there.  If you’re anything like me in Boots, you’ll be spending a small fortune, but even a supermarket meal deal exposes you to magazines, more than you want to eat, special offers you don’t really need, cakes for everyone in the office – you get the idea.  You go in to spend £3 and come out spending £13.

The most cost effective option I have found for lunches is beans on toast, soups and leftovers.  If you don’t mind eating the same thing twice, leftovers are your saviour, plonking a whopping £60 a month in your savings pot.  If you do like variety (and I do), soups can save you with most home made vegetable soups costing around 40 pence per portion.  Add a bread roll and you’ve a filling, healthy meal.  Vegetable soup is also the best way of using up your dying vegetables and reducing that leftover food deficit we all need to reduce.  I’ll post a few vegetable soup recipes and update this post over the next week.
Now kids lunches may be breaking your food budget as they eat so much!  The majority of kids lunchbox items are vastly overpriced.  I bought my 9 year old a flask and he took a variety from beans and sausage to soup to pasta and even hot pot once (although that didn’t go down well).  The push behind that was that he was sick of sandwiches and it is a real timesaver in the morning.
So, daily sandwich runs can end up costing you enormously but on the up side – if you change your habits, you’ve a bit to put in your savings pot each week.  Forecast how much this will save you over the year and I’m sure you’ll be motivated enough to do it!
Let me know your thoughts below.  Have you any ideas for cheap lunches?

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