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.
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!