Aprons on – it's time to make lunch and save some money
Saturday 17 January 2009
Saving money is not just about targeting the biggest expenses in your life. Taking one fewer holiday or getting rid of your cable TV could put hundreds of pounds back into your pocket each year. However, meaningful savings can also be made by targeting the small items – such as takeaway coffees and sandwiches – which over a year can cost you much more than you might think.
And, unlike the holidays and TV, making these cut backs doesn't have mean missing out. Simply making your own sandwiches, and bringing teabags to work could save you more than £1,000 a year – and you could find that you're eating and drinking better as a result.
If you're a coffee drinker, you could be spending at least £2 a day on hot drinks and possibly a lot more. A tall filter coffee from Starbucks will set you back £1.55, while a grande cappuccino or latte is £2.35. Once you're at work, even if you only buy an instant coffee or two from the machine, you're likely to be setting yourself back another £1 over the day. Tea is cheaper, but at Pret A Manger a tea is £1.20.
Making your own is incredibly cheap. Tea is about 2p a bag (assuming you opt for PG Tips or Tetley, rather than supermarket own brand), while milk will probably set you back around 5p a cup (assuming around 10 cups' worth out of a pint). So, excluding power, that's 7p a cup – a saving of £1.13 against Pret A Manger. Over a year – that's a saving of more than £271.
With coffee, the savings are even bigger. A pack of premium Guatemalan coffee from Asda costs £2.48, and should make at least 15 cups in a cafetière. That's around 17p for each cup, plus another 5p for milk – a total of 22p, excluding power, compared with £1.55 in Starbucks. That's a saving of £320 per year per cup – or £511 for cappuccino.
Spending £2.50 or £3 a day in a sandwich bar might not seem like a lot, but over a year, that's £600 or £700. Making your own costs you a fraction of this – and lets you have exactly what you want, not just what's left in the shop.
A mature cheddar and pickle sandwich at Pret A Manger costs £2.49 in London. However, following the same recipe (from pret.com), you could make the same sandwich for not much more than £1. Enough wholemeal bread, onions, vine tomatoes, red onions, mayo, pickle, lettuce and mature cheddar will set you back £1.09 by our calculations. That's a saving of £1.40 a sandwich – or a yearly saving of over £330. Our calculations are based on premium brands and produce. If you're willing to use regular tomatoes and red Leicester, you can drive the price of your sarnies well below £1.
Antony Worrall Thompson: My favourite sandwich
2 slices wholemeal bread 5p
2oz (50g) cream cheese 15p
2 tsp diced red onion 3p
2oz (50g) smoked salmon 44p
2 tbsp mango chutney 20p
4 rashers of streaky bacon, cooked until crispy 59p
1tsp cocktail capers, drained 10p
1 tsp snipped chives 5p
Ground black pepper
Total cost: £1.61
1. Spread the bread with the cream cheese, top with red onion and smoked salmon, then add a dribble of mango chutney.
2. Top this with crispy bacon and capers.
3. Finish with a dusting of snipped chives and ground black pepper.
- 1 Ireland gay marriage vote: 'No' campaign appears to concede amid reports of 'yes' landslide victory
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...
Day In a Page
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof