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Saving money on food

Because I can be quite frugal, and because my finances are tighter than ever, I am always looking for easy ways that I can save money without making major lifestyle changes.  One expense that was the first to go when I started being more stingy was buying lunch when on my lunchbreak at work.  Until a few months ago I was buying sandwiches, crisps, and usually something sweet from either the local shop or the sandwich trolley at a cost of about £4 a day; which works out at a massive £80 a month! I resolved to change this, not only to save me some pennies, but also to find some healthier and more varied ideas for lunches.

from anotherlunch.com
Instead, these days, every week I do a small shop for things to take to work and keep in the cupboard; usually things like packets of nuts and dried fruit to pick at, a box of cereal, a multipack of crisps and some low fat yoghurts. This usually costs about £6 or £7.

On top of this, I usually try and prepare the night before by cooking something to take into work the next day.  I also recently bought a set of Ikea lunchboxes to take various things in to work in.  Here is one of my lunches this week - a jacket potato with cottage cheese.


Warmed up in the microwave with a knob of butter it is absolutely yum and a right treat at work! I also like to take in pasta or salads (and also a big fan of super noodles - they may have a bit of a student-y reputation, but a big bowl of noodles is so filling, and a bargain at about 50p a packet).

These days, even including all the snacks and the fact that I buy breakfast cereals to eat at my desk, I usually spend about £10 a week on lunches - half what I was doing before.  Result!

One thing I have refused to give up on is my love for eating out.  I have also managed to make lots of savings in this area by being savvy about where I eat out and always checking for vouchers and offers before.  There is a little bit of stigma concerned with whipping out a voucher after dinner, but it is always outweighed by the satisfaction I feel from getting a bargain meal! My two favourite sites for vouchers and offers are Money Saving Expert and vouchercloud.  Pizza Express and Slug and Lettuce always have vouchers knocking around, and Slug and Lettuce do a half price Mondays where everything on the menu is half price, meaning you can get their ultimate platter (snapped by me below) for about a fiver! Nom!


I hope this was of interest to some people.  I want to start including more informative 'tips' style posts in my blogging so please do let me know if you find this interesting, or if you prefer my usual 'dear diary' type posts!

19 comments

  1. I have recently started taking pack ups every day and it's so much better! Saves a fortune. Then every so often I'll treat myself to something from M&S or go out for lunch and it's like a nice treat :)

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  2. The packed lunch photo is so cute with the heart shaped cheese and strawberries! :)


    http://hazzaapee.blogspot.com/ xxx

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  3. LOVE that picture! So inviting! Since reverting back to a student I too have had to revert back to packed lunches. I actually find this easier to do whilst on placement for some reason, and everyone always goes "ooo arent you organised"! I also just bought some bags of "chewy bananas" and apple rings for snacking so I dont get tempted by chocolate!

    xxxx

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  4. Jacket potato with cottage cheese is so yummy! One of my favourite things despite it being so simple. :) I love Supernoodles too. Hate Potnoodles though. x

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  5. Rosie, that's your bagging out (my 'ansom)!

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  6. i need to start doing this, the food from the canteen is not only expensive but not very good either. the potato looks amazing btw x

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  7. I always take a packup for my lunch. I can't bear the people in my lessons at uni moaning how they have no money and yet go to the student shop (which is extortionate) and spend a good £5 on sweets and a sandwich with no filling.
    I must have saved so much of my student loan by just buying tesco value bits and bobs to eat :)
    xx

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  8. I used to spend half my wages on lunches, because I'm a fatty ad well tbh quite lazy haha, but it really does save you money, if you buy the nice food. Even if you make like a huge bolognese and freeze different tubs. So worth it. Me and Dale are literally living off deals like groupon and living social lately, really helps xxxx

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  10. Slug and Lettuce = <3 I was so sad when our one closed down. Love the baked potato idea. Nom!

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  11. Frugality is the best way!! (: Or that's what my student budget is telling me! It's nice to see some tips on this, this was a really interesting, and helpful read! (:

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  12. We're Ikea tupperware twins :) I've never heard of Slug and Lettuce, but it sounds cute, haha :D

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  13. ive never tried baked potato w/cottage cheese!! it looked really good-i must try!! and i love the tupperware from ikea-it comes with so many and in different sizes too!! awesome post!!

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  14. I love this post, I really enjoy this type of top tips thing :]
    I get continually mocked by all my friends and family because I permanently have various print outs and discounts and special winks and nods with waitors to get as much of a discount as possible! But I am so skint, it's either that or don't eat out! Have you thought about getting a Taste card? Its £6 a month and you get 50% and 2 for 1 at TONS of really nice restaraunts inc cafe rouge, zizzi, pizza express but lots of little independent places too. Also quite often the 50% includes booze! So you can get a glass of wine for £1.50. I'd be bereft without mine x

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  15. YUM!
    I think there is just something utterly enticing about a baked potato (tattie :]) for lunch.

    Ayeisha
    x

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  16. Thank you for this post girlie, really really helpful! I can easily spend £4 or £5 quid a day on lunch at the BBC :( canteen is so expensive and even boots meal deals have upped their prices these days! I'm a total grubber, so I'll def be thinking about more packed lunches and also online deals for going out for dinner etc. I dont really drink, or smoke etc so my 'social' money tends to get spent on nice lunches and dinners with friends or David! But its amazing how it all totals up eh. Look forward to reading more tip posts from you :) Haha and I cant wait to come down and stay with you, I even get my own bedroom eh, I am SO LUCKY!! ;) can I bring Milky Joe too? (hamster) xx

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  17. I always try and save money on regular meals at home, but I have such a soft spot for eating out, i spend sometimes a bit too much for when i do. I think its because i feel like i should treat myself since i'm a little frugal usually. :P. Thank you for the sites for some vouchers, I'm going to check it out.
    I actually took advantage of the Slug and Lettuce offer of 2-4-1 cocktails last night ^-^

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  18. I'm going to be taking lunch with me while I'm on my work experience placement. It's so expensive going out and buying things!

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  19. YUM!!! I need to do this too. My lunches at Whole Foods are really adding up! But its a hard habit to break. Butttt maybe I will only go to Whole Foods 3 days/week just to start! Thanks:)
    -Leslie
    www.Strategicskin.com/blog

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.