Thrifty Living: The most startling result of running is the cash saving

Which do you prefer? Pounding the streets at dawn or coming home in the wee hours? Sportsheads or luvvies? Sweat or greasepaint? Until this month I was formerly in the latter camp, naturellement. However, since my stint as theatre critic for the New Statesman was abruptly terminated, I have replaced one with the other. And, what do you know? Forcing myself out on to the windy streets for a run does zero for my appreciation of the West End, but it is a peerless way of saving cash. It gives you a lot of other things too, including endorphin addiction, weight loss and stunning quads, but the cash reduction thing is the most startling.

Let's begin with fitness. We all know it's good to be fit. We also all know it's actually quite expensive to be fit, what with the gym, and the gym café, (which charges £3.99 for an orange juice), and towel hire, and personal trainer hire. So dump the gym and go out on to the streets. All you need is a pair of shoes. Old T-shirts and shorts are fine, and running with an iPod is uncool, as well as unsafe. So you don't even need to invest in any hardware. However, you can still make your daily run excitingly hi-tech, thanks to www.nikeplus.com, a Nike site on which you can work out exactly how many miles, or kilometres, you have run that day. It's a totally addictive pursuit. Just trotting around the roads of your neighbourhood becomes an Official Run, measured by the mighty sports enterprise that is Nike.

Now, because you are fit, you don't find yourself wanting to use cabs. Perversely, cabs come into their own, I find, after you have been sitting down in an office all day. There's nothing like 10 hours on an office chair to make you feel like collapsing into the back of a cab. Whereas going for a five-mile canter around the local park in the morning will conveniently put cab desire back where it belongs. In your dreams. Furthermore, you aren't going out to the theatre, or at least I'm not, so no late nights and cab trips home from the Tube.

Booze is next. Yes, you absolutely have to have a drink when you are at the theatre. Especially if you are sitting through a) a very long Shakespeare involving Ian McKellen in the buff, or b) a musical allied to a TV talent show. But when you are in the midst of a running schedule you find you can replace Merlot with barley water. Also, if you go heavy on the booze the night before, you find you will be running with sandbags on the end of your hips, rather than nice springy legs. So you don't.

Eating out also loses its thrill. Everyone eats out when they are going to the theatre or the movies. I know I have previously advocated eating at home before the show (or even taking snacks for the interval), but frankly it's a tough call. The theatre starts too early, and ends too late to justify eating at home, either end of the night. No, you have to eat out after the show, and thus find yourself dropping £40 on supper. Before you flag down a cab. Whereas when you are nicely tired after your early morning run, you simply feel like eating pasta early with the children.

Thanks to your new, slim frame honed by running, teetotalism, cab denial and a sudden withdrawal of restaurant bread, your old wardrobe has a life of its own because you can suddenly fit into it. Mr Millard is looking very dapper thanks to his alarmingly rapid weight loss, meaning he can now get into things he was too fat for not only on his wedding day, but years before that. All sorts of beloved suits, trousers and shirts have reappeared from the recesses of his cupboard. He also swears that since he has lost 7kg he will be thrashing the soles of his shoes a bit less, but I think this is unlikely.

So, the expensive old West End. When will I see it again? Probably not until 13 April, and even then I won't be swanning about in the foyer of some lovely playhouse in Shaftesbury Avenue. No, I shall be in the vicinity of the Savoy Theatre, but only in terms of stumbling gamely past it en route (hopefully) to the finish line on the Mall. Yes, the grim 26.2 miles of the London Marathon has replaced the bright lights of thespianism for me and I'm hoping that the money I am saving by thrashing around the streets of Islington will be matched by the money I'm thus raising for Help the Hospices.

Sponsor Rosie by logging on to www.justgiving.com/rosiemillard

cash@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments