The average Brit spends £360 a year on takeaways, snacks, coffees and items and services that aren’t used. Here are 10 great ways to cut down on spending at work…
Collectively we spend a whopping £17.6bn a year on non-essential items such as coffee shop coffees, takeaway lunches and unwanted subscriptions, according to research from Go Compare. That’s £360 a year per person!
That’s fine if you simply can’t do without your morning Starbucks and prefer it to a coffee machine, but if money’s tight or you’re trying to save, it could be worth rethinking your spending habits.
If you’re looking to curb your outgoings, here are GH’s top ten easy ways to save a fortune at work…
1. Swap your coffee
If you buy a capuccino on the way to work and then again at lunchtime, you’ve already managed to spend £5 in one day. This soon adds up, it’ll cost you £25 a day and £1,300 a year!
Instead, you could take advantage of coffee and tea making facilities in the office (often free). If your employer doesn’t offer these, why not set up a kitty for a kettle, tea bags and coffee so you can pool together, or even invest in a cafetiere for your desk?
If you need your morning hit early, invest in a travel mug to take coffee in from home on the tube. You’ll even get money off in lots of coffee shops, including Pret, Starbucks and Costa.
2. Breakfast on the go?
Grabbing breakfast to go from a coffee shop may save you time, but it certainly won’t save you any money! A couple of quid on your daily pain au chocolat doesn’t seem like much, but over a year you’d be spending £360. Trying getting up a bit earlier to have something at home, or even keeping a box of cereal and some milk in the office. We’ve got plenty of breakfast recipes to inspire you!
3. Make it a lighter lunch
Every time you pop out for a meal deal you’ll be spending an average of £4 (according to ). It’s certainly convenient, but costly, too – adding up to £1,040 a year. Instead, take a packed lunch with you to work: with a good cool bag you could be having delicious, filling, and cost-effective lunches in no time. Not sure what to make? We’ve got lunchtime recipes covered, too.
4. Snack savvy
If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, opt for something you can bring in rather than expensive chocolate bars from the office vending machine or local shops. If you’re trying to be healthy, bring in your own dried fruit and nuts, cereal bars or even veggies. If you’re still hankering after something sweet and calorific, go for a multi-pack of your favourite chocolate bar, which is a cheaper way to buy. For example, a pack of nine 32.5g Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars costs £2.50 from Sainsbury’s, while a single 44g bar costs 65p. That’s 45p more per 100g.
5. Commute smarter
If you drive to work on your own, look for colleagues who live nearby that you could car-share with. Or, if you live nearby but normally take the bus or underground, consider walking or cycling instead. It will save you money and provide free exercise, too – great if your day job involves sitting down all day. And if your commute is a bit further, you could always invest in an electric bike to make your commute more manageable. Check out our reviews of the best here.
6. Choose water
Instead of treating yourself to fizzy drinks or juices, opt for water instead. Fill up at home before work and top it up throughout the day. Great for your skin, too!
7. Lunch browsing
It’s very tempting if you work anywhere near the shops to pop in for a bit of browsing. Make yourself busy by using your time productively – find out if there are any free lunchtime exercise classes in the area, chat with friends, read a book or even learn a language. You’ll be surprised how many things you can do in that hour that don’t involve spending money!
8. Smooth it over
Smoothies are the latest healthy trend. If you’re hitting the smoothie counter every morning, you could be spending over £3 a day. Instead, opt for making your own with the help of a blender. This means you can choose what goes into your smoothie and you can make it cost effective by going for cheaper fruits and vegetables that are in season.
9. Slow cook
If you’re too busy or tired to cook in the evenings, don’t reach for the takeaway menu! Invest in a slow cooker. Prepare before you leave the house and switch it on to do its work while you’re out. You’ll come home to a home-cooked meal that’s cheaper and healthier than an Indian takeaway! The GHI have Tried & Tested all the most popular models here.
10. Do a book swap
Books are a wonderful way to relax, but can be expensive to buy them all the time. Set up a circle of friends and colleagues who love to read as much as you do so you can swap with each other when you’re done. If you’d rather read electronically, get yourself an e-reader – many of the books you can buy for these devices are free or under £1.