Do you find yourself staring at the drafty void of an empty bank account? Watching half your money disappear into the thin air also known as sky-high rent prices? Calculating that you’ll be approximately 253-years-old before you’ll be able to buy a house?
Well I have some good news. It has been revealed that the secret to being able to afford your own home is as simple as cutting out expensive sandwiches. (Terms and conditions apply: Only works in conjunction with cutting out nights out, takeaways, holidays, Lottery tickets, mobile phones and any other activities which bring mild joy to our debt-ridden lives, plus receiving monetary aid from parents).
In all fairness though, grabbing a quick lunchtime snack can be completely extortionate (£3.50 for a sandwich, packet of crisps and a bottle of water, no thank you). Finding a lunchtime option that both tastes good and doesn’t break the bank can be tricky, but with these top tips you’ll fall in love with lunch all over again.
Don’t fall into the Meal Deal trap
The most common rookie mistake for anyone new to the lunchtime sandwich game – Meal Deals are a rip off. Yes, your entire life is a lie.
Meal Deals play off our laziness. Shops know that we can’t be bothered to trail around looking for the cheapest options, so they shove everything at the front, and stick a random price on it.
A sandwich, snack and drink for £3 might seem like a great deal, but if you hunt around you can actually half that price. My best buy to date? Two sausage rolls, a banana and a packet of Munchies (and the bottle of water I filled up at home), for a solid £1.45. I mean, I can’t vouch for the healthiness of this meal, but getting a pretty filling lunch for less than the price of your bus fare isn’t too bad.
Avoid packaged foods
While we’re on the subject of shopping around, stop buying packaged fruit and veg! You might get charged £1.50 for a pre-packaged pot of melon and grapes, but a banana will only set you back a few pence, and you can get a big bunch of grapes for a quid that will last you all week.
It might seem convenient at the time, but not only is it crazy bad for the environment, you’re wasting your precious pennies on a piece of plastic you’re just going to chuck in the bin.
If you’re not picky about use-by dates, then this is the one for you. At a certain magical moment every day, a shop assistant will come around with a sticker machine and start reducing the products about to hit their use-by date.
First on their list? Sandwiches. Time it right and you can get there just in time to be greeted with an array of discount sandwiches that will definitely (use your own judgement here) still be fine to eat the following day if you keep them refrigerated. This is great for nabbing those healthier salads and can also be helpful at forcing a bit of variety into your diet.
Do It Yourself
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s home made sandwiches. Memories of plastic ham and bland bread from school days make the thought of making my own dinners massively unappealing. But if you use fresh ingredients, find some fillings which work for you and switch it up every now and then, you’ll save a boat-load and make some pretty tasty food too.
The only downside is the extra five minutes in bed you’ll have to sacrifice to make them each morning.
Make HUGE dinners
If sandwiches really aren’t for you then try making super big portions of your evening meal. This can actually often be way easier than making a meal for one since supermarkets tend to sell things in big sizes, and then you can use the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Plus, a nice big bowl of spaghetti bolognese will help keep those munchies at bay for the rest of the afternoon way better than a sandwich would.
Download these nifty apps
If you want to grab some really cheap deals, then these apps are absolute lifesavers.
This amazing little app allows you to snap up food that would otherwise be thrown away, for super cheap prices. A whole range of your favourite local cafes and restaurants are on there, and you simply select your favourite store, pay a fraction of the price you would normally (typically around £2.50-£3.50), and then head there at your allocated time to collect your food.
However, most often you don’t get to choose what you get, so it isn’t a great option for picky eaters, and collection times are after the lunchtime rush, in the late afternoon/early evening, so you might have to save your food for the following day, or take a snack to keep you going!
Going really back to basics, Olio allows you to collect your neighbours’ leftover food. For example, if Karen two doors down has a whole bunch of tomatoes left over from a dinner party, she can post them on the app and you can go pick them up. Cheap food for you, plus you’ll be combating food waste!
Don’t walk past Subway
The aroma will draw you in. And before you know it, you’ll be paying a fiver for a foot-long with three different types of melted cheese. Resist.
So there you have it. The key to being able to afford the house of your dreams is as simple as cutting back the cost of those pesky sandwiches (Apparently). Alternatively, you could use the spare cash to pay for that well earned holiday, and lobby the government to create more affordable houses and control rent prices instead – just an idea.