Forgive any repetition in tonight's blog.
I can't remember if I've written about this before and I'm managing a pretty low mood.
Where I work there is a very nice canteen.
They sell meals, snacks, and cold and hot drinks.
Much of what is sold is made on the premises.
The staff are all polite and friendly and the food is of a good quality.
I eat there when my employer provides food that is complimentary; on a training day or when there is an event.
Every 'normal' work day (deliberate inverted commas) I take my own packed lunch, and have tea bags, decaf coffee and long-life soya milk in a central place near the communal kettle.
Recently a colleague asked me advice about saving money.
They'd got into a situation where they needed to think seriously about their finances: too much was going out each month and they'd been bashing the plastic.
My advice was to cut up the plastic or at the very least cut up all but one and put the last one in a tub of water in the freezer: so it was there for a dire emergency but would need defrosting before use...
Then, to live within a very small budget that covered the absolute essentials: fuel to and from work; value food to top up what was in the cupboards at home only, and to eat from just that source; nothing 'new' bought; all utility bills paid; all non-essentials paused or cancelled; emergency fund begun and built up.
We had a very frank chat.
They talked through some very sensible plans to get out of the mess they'd got into.
So why do I see them every morning buying a takeout coffee from the works canteen @£1.85 a cup?
And each lunch time with either a polystyrene container holding a hot takeout meal @£2.10 or a baguette sealed in plastic @£1.95?
£3.87 a day
£19.35 a week
£754.65 a working year (term time only)
To contrast, my costs approx:
£1.04 a day
£5.20 a week
£202.80 a working year
(Tea bag 2p
Soya milk 1.5p
Half tin tuna in oil 50p
Third bag salad 30p
Half pepper 15p
Carrot and onion 5p) ** although mostly I eat leftovers from dinner the night before.