Being the habitually lazy person that I am, I thought this may also appeal to those who lack the time or even perhaps the energy to think about saving money. There is however, a slight catch; following are several questions you must ask yourself now and then may you forever hold your peace.
Do you regularly buy your lunch? Have more than one cafe coffee a day? Perhaps you stop in at the convenience store on your way home from work? Do you shop eBay during your lunchbreak?
I will shamefully admit I am an offender of all the above at some point in time, it was only when my dressage saddle from eBay arrived one afternoon for a horse I do not own that I decided perhaps it was time to curb some of these habits. In order to save without thinking a few nasty habits must be alleviated first.
Lunch at work for 1/10th of the price
I work a long day, sometimes up to 10 hours, by the time I’ve bought my morning coffee and muffin, lunchtime salad and sandwich, afternoon coffee and biscuit I’ve spent over $25. That’s $125 per week x 50 weeks (on a good year) = a whopping $6,250! However, by simply introducing a new weekend ritual I have saved over $5,500.
Each weekend I buy a loaf of bread, make ham and cheese sandwiches and place them in individual zip-lock bags in the freezer. I also take ½ hour out of my time and bake a $3 muffin mix that makes 12 muffins and freeze half of them in individual zip-lock bags. If I feel motivated I also bake a batch of biscuits which costs me about $2 for a batch of 12. It is better to bake these at the same time as the muffins as it saves cost running the oven.
Each weeknight before I go to bed I fill the kettle with 2 cups of water and put coffee and sugar in a travel mug. In my usual morning flurry I flick the switch on the kettle, grab my sandwiches from the freezer and the fresh muffins, pour the coffee and I’m out the door. I keep the sandwiches in the work freezer until each lunch when I slap them in my $9 toasted sandwich maker and I have a lunch that is the envy of the office. Total cost for the week $12 and ½ hour of my weekend!
Cafe coffee without the cost
If your local cafe is anything like mine you’ll know all too well that it’s potluck on whether you get a decent or average skim cappuccino. For two average coffee’s a day I was paying nearly $8 and honestly couldn’t see value in it anymore. My afternoon coffee was my ‘networking’ time though and I thought it would be far too hard to part with, until my work social club purchased a coffee maker for communal use. I pay $2 a week which covers beans and milk and now I have my afternoon coffee in the office. During lunch I go walking with colleagues and use this as my ‘networking’ time instead. If I wasn’t so lucky to have the coffee machine in the office I would occasionally stoop to instant coffee again or investigate the many great instant coffee cappuccino styles instead.
Convenience vs. Cost
So far you’ve saved over $5,000 for the year by taking only ½ hour of your time on the weekend, so why not take another ½ hour on the weekend and plan out some meals for during the week. Monday might be steak and vegies, Tuesday could be fish and chips and so on. By working out what you need for each of those meals and shopping accordingly in one weekly or fortnightly shop you could save on average $20-$50 a week.
Thou shalt not surf the net in thy lunchbreak
Not only is it bad for your eyes, wrists and leaving you prone to Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) it can be devastating on your back pocket, particularly if you are partial to eBay like myself. Why not get up, go for a walk around the block, eat your lunch outside, or socialise in person with friends? You do remember what they look like right? I mean the real person, not the facebook photo? However, if you simply must sit on your backside for another hour of the day glued to your monitor, then at least use it to educate yourself or research some opportunities. Why not check out some of our other tips?
By kicking some simple habits you’ve already saved over $6,000, and it didn’t take much thinking did it?