Love your lunch! 10 money saving tips to lunching for less - advice from www.moneytactics.co.uk
It seems that our daily working lunch is the least valued meal of the day in the UK with few of us taking proper time away from our desks. According to Moneytactics.co.uk research, however, when it comes to expenditure we’re each spending on average £6.96 a day on food on the go. This equates to over £2500 a year and over £211 a month.
Most people know that if we make our own sandwiches and take them into work we can save some money - but the reality is that we don’t relish the idea of curly home prepared sandwiches every day; they never seem to taste quite as good as the ones from the shop. Hectic lifestyles often don’t allow us to pay enough attention to our meals with lunches often proving the poorest meal of the day in the UK compared to our continental neighbours. We all know that if we eat too much and don’t take any exercise we’ll become overweight. Likewise, we all know that if we spend more than we earn we are on a road to financial difficulty. So what can you do? There are only so many days where you can force yourself to eat the £2 meal deal for a sandwich, bag of crisps and a drink and making your sandwiches at home everyday might not be a realistic commitment. Moneytactics has pulled together top 10 tips for planning and preparing a good weekday lunch: 1. Change your “throw away nation” attitude. Think how leftovers can be used to make satisfying lunches. When preparing a meal at home think about how you could extend it to make an additional lunch that you could heat up in the microwave at work, or perhaps taking some leftovers to make a jacket potato filling. 2. Plan your weekly shop in detail; think about every meal for the next seven days. Pay as you go shopping is a false economy and often generates waste when buying ingredients for a meal at a time. 3. Organise your schedule and allocate time for preparation of your lunch; the easiest time to do it is when you’re clearing up after the evening meal. Leave your lunch in a prominent place so you don’t forget it in the morning! 4. Freeze homemade dishes instead of just using the freezer for storing pre-packaged item. Unable to finish today’s casserole? Don’t throw it away, freeze it and you’ll be glad it’s there another time. 5. You don’t have to slave away going through recipe books; keep it realistic. If the preparation time takes longer than 30 minutes or uses obscure ingredients you’ll rarely use, forget it. Find some recipes you enjoy; make a bigger quantity and freeze the surplus or plate up a portion to be warmed up in the oven or microwave at work. 6. Get to know the stocks, herbs and spices which are used most frequently in dishes and keep a ready supply of these in your cupboard. These can be a great way to liven up a chicken salad and adding a twist to a Bolognese-type sauce to create a chilli for tomorrow’s lunchbox. 7. Got a microwave at work? A tin of soup and a couple of slices of bread is a good lunch and half the price of a supermarket sandwich. 8. Re-align your financial reality – remember that a trip to the coffee shop, pub or deli is a treat to look forward to and not a given if you can’t organise yourself better. Plan a treat every couple of weeks and always set a budget for what you can spend. Pay cash for it, don’t rely on credit. 9. Take away the take-away: there isn’t really a healthy take away so resist and put the enthusiasm into a home cooked meal or salad which will help both your physical and mental well being. 10. Share your lunch ideas with your friends and workmates. Build up a list of your favourites and once you have a good list it will become second nature and not such a chore to prepare them For other great money saving ideas and household finance tips, please visit www.moneytactics.co.uk