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Top 10 quickest ways to save money – daily

Updated on May 22, 2012

Top 10 quickest ways to save money on a daily basis. Save money before work, during the day and after work. Includes a healthy breakfast; bring your own coffee / tea; make your own lunch; and car share.

Healthy breakfast - Starting your day with a healthy breakfast (such as homemade muesli with fruit) will help cut down costly snacks during the day.
Healthy breakfast - Starting your day with a healthy breakfast (such as homemade muesli with fruit) will help cut down costly snacks during the day.

1. Have a hearty breakfast (roughage & fruit)

We all know and are constantly told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite this the continuing trend is for people to skip breakfast or eat some breakfast snack on the go. My suggestion is STOP SKIPPING BREAKFAST. After a good night’s sleep, your body needs a decent kick-start to maintain its energy levels going through the day. Skipping breakfast means that your body is playing “catch-up” for the rest of the day.

START the day with a hearty breakfast and save money. It doesn’t need to be an expensive or indulgent breakfast – in fact, it will help eliminate the constant snacking that you do during the day and the cost incurred in feeding this habit.

- Home made muesli with fruit (banana / apple)
- Two rounds of wholemeal toast with jam / marmalade
- Coffee / tea + Orange juice / apple juice.

SAVING: The cost of all those snacky bars, etc. per day.


2. Make your own lunch

A standard meal deal might cost you around £3 – that’s £15 a week and around £60 a month! Why not make your own lunch? An average sandwich, piece of fruit is around £1. Making your own lunch will save you around £40 per month. Yes it does involve a little bit of planning, but really the time taken to make a sandwich is around 1 to 2 minutes, so really it’s not a huge amount of extra effort to save money (you can even use a re-usable sandwich wrapper and help save the planet).

SAVING: around £2 a day.

3, Bring your own flask with tea / coffee

It’s tempting to stop off for a coffee at your favourite coffee franchise on the way to / from work. But it’s expensive! Your average Starbucks / Costa Coffee coffee choice is £2.50 (which excludes all the cookies / cakes / etc. temptations!).

If you are serious about saving money, make yourself a big flask of tea or coffee and save yourself a serious amount of money!

P.S. If you are hooked on the taste of (say) your Starbucks coffee, Starbucks does sell instant coffee so you can still get that taste at a fraction of the Starbucks freshly made version.

SAVING: around £2 a drink.

There is an alternative to Starbucks - bring your own coffee
There is an alternative to Starbucks - bring your own coffee

4. Bring your own tea / coffee (for the hourly(?!) cuppas)

If you don’t have to pay for your drinks at work, skip this.

Otherwise, if your work give you access to hot water or a kettle, bring your own tea or coffee in. Again, this will give you the cheaper option than going to Costa Coffee / Starbucks every couple of hours and the money you save will soon mount up.

SAVING: around £2 a drink.

5. Bring in fruit for your snack(s)

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A Mars a day, helps your teeth rot away. Okay – well worked sayings, but the pointer from a health perspective is obvious. The same can be said for the cost implications. The cost of a Mars bar or Snicker is around 65p. The average cost of an apple or banana is 40p. So the savings per item are small, but you’ll probably find as its fruit, it will keep you going for longer before you need another one. I.e. a Boost bar will give you an instant sugar hit, whereas an apple will deliver an energy boost over a longer period of time.

SAVING: around 25p per snack.

Car share - half the cost of fuel to work.
Car share - half the cost of fuel to work.

6. Walk / cycle / car share

The cost of fuel (petrol / diesel) is currently at an all time high. That means that the cost of filling up the average family-sized car has now touched £100 (at 140.2p per litre). This is ahead of the fuel duty rise later in 2012 which will add a further £3.80.

Net, if you live near to work – walk! If you live a cycle-distance away from work – cycle. If you know someone who live near you or passes near to you on their way to work (either someone who works at the same place as you or near to your work) – car share.

Most work places have car share schemes or notice boards with people seeking car sharing, so hook up with someone and save a significant amount of cash – and help reduce your carbon footprint. (There are several car-sharing websites. Try these:; ; )

SAVING: Varies – but potentially eliminates or halves your petrol cost to work.

7. Work from home

We live in the 21st century. I’m not sure whether the majority of employers know that, as working from home (even though easily possible – and has been for the past 15 years) seems to be an alien or taboo subject.

That said, Friday working from home seems to be a growing trend so there is some movement.

It’s worth asking your employer to work from home one day a week, which will immediately save money. You might need to prove that you are trustworthy, etc. if you are fairly new in your role. Otherwise, make sure your work from home environment is conducive to work (quiet, minimal distractions, etc.).

SAVING: This will save you one day’s travel costs and all associated work costs (parking, snacks, etc.) plus the commuting time.


8. Cut down on alcohol

If you stick within your safe weekly limits, the proposed minimum pricing on alcohol is forecasted to increase your annual bill by £71.

If you drink over the safe weekly limits (men: 21 units; women: 14 units) then you will obviously be hit even harder.

Either way, if you want to save money now, reducing your alcohol intake is quick and easy.

Target to get to a point where you are only having a drink with your evening meal. If you currently have 21 units a week, this will reduce your intake by 14 units a week (or 1.5 bottles of wine per week).

There are now a wide range of alcohol-free alternatives.

SAVING: From £7.50 per week (assuming the wine has is 12% AbV; and the average cost of a bottle of wine is £5).

9. Stop smoking

Average cost of a packet of 20 cigarettes: £7.

Average number of cigarettes smoked per day: 20.

SAVING: £7 per day.

10. Reduce ready meals - make something quick & easy

We are all busy and convenient ready meals is just part of our daily lives. However, the cost of this convenience is considerable. The average ready meal costs around £3.00 per person when you factor in addition vegetables to actually make it a meal.

The cost to make your own quick, cheap meal is £1. Yes, it might take a bit more time to make but probably less time and effort than the round trip to the supermarket to get something quick to put in the microwave.

SAVING: £2 per meal (per person).

Summary of Savings

Have a hearty breakfast
£1-2 / day
Make your own lunch
£2 / day
Bring your own flask with tea / coffee
around £2 a drink
Bring your own tea / coffee
around £2 a drink
Bring in fruit for your snack(s)
around 25p per snack.
Walk / cycle / car share
Varies (halves your petrol cost)
Work from home
Day’s travel costs
Cut down on alcohol
£7.50 per week +
Stop smoking
~ £7 per day +
Reduce ready meals
£2 per meal (per person)

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