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Top tips to cut at-work spending & save thousands

Top tips to cut at-work spending & save thousands

Category: Money Saving

Updated: 10/11/2016
First Published: 09/11/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Did you know that you could save as much as £2,500 every single year by cutting your at-work spending? According to research from, this kind of saving is easily possible, and all it could take is a bit of discipline.

Coffee cut-backs

The research estimates that most office workers spend £2,340 on lunch and coffees every single year, and that's before we even get to things like the mid-afternoon snack or a cheeky bacon roll as a Friday treat. Looking at it that way, you just need to ask yourself: do I really need that takeaway coffee and shop-bought lunch, or could I make them myself?

If so, it's time to take action, and the money saving website has come up with some top tips that can help you cut back on your workplace spending – and potentially save thousands of pounds in the process:

· Coffee. Grabbing a coffee on your way to work and topping up with another one mid-morning or as a lunchtime treat means your coffee bill is already around £5 a day. Over a working week, that's £25 wasted, and over a year it tots up to a whopping £1,300. We're not suggesting you go entirely caffeine free, but instead of shelling out on expensive takeaways, why not invest in a flask and take your coffee in with you, or even be sneaky and take a cafetiere to work. Or, if your office has tea and coffee making facilities, make the most of them to save yourself the cost and the trouble.

· Breakfast. It can be difficult to find the time to eat a proper breakfast in the morning, so grabbing your breakfast on the way in to work may seem like a great way to save time – but if you're spending £3.50 on a bacon roll each day it can soon add up, leaving you out of pocket by £17.50 a week and £910 every year. Is having those extra few minutes in bed worth almost £1,000 a year? Get up earlier and save the cash instead!

· Lunch. We all love a good meal deal, but popping out for a sandwich at lunch can cost around £4 a day, which tots up to £1,040 in a year. Why not make yourself a packed lunch instead? It doesn't take much to put a couple of slices of bread together, and it could be a great way to use up leftovers from the night before, too.

· Snacks. Many of us long for that sugar hit to get us through the mid-afternoon lull, but that chocolate bar could be costing you. Buying it from the office vending machine will instantly ramp up the cost, and even buying single bars from the shop isn't exactly cheap, either. You may want to cut back on that spend by taking in fruit, cereal bars or nuts – good for your waistline as well as your wallet – but if you really can't resist the lure of chocolate, stock up on multipacks or special offers at the supermarket. You can dole yourself out a daily treat at a fraction of the cost.

· Journey into work. Even changing your journey to work can make a difference: if you drive to work alone it may be worth seeing if any colleagues want to car share, splitting the cost of petrol in the process (and it's good for the environment, too). Or, if you live within walking distance but normally take the bus, try getting up a little earlier and power walk into work instead. You'll save money on the bus fare and can get your daily exercise at the same time.

· Water. Do you regularly buy bottles of water and fail to reuse them? This can cost over a pound a day, so try re-using them for a few days by filling up from the tap or water cooler. You may even like to invest in a flask or proper water bottle – you need never buy bottled water again.

· Lunchtime browsing. If you work in the centre of town or anywhere near a shopping complex, it can be far too tempting to pop to the shops during your lunch break. However, browsing inevitably leads to treating yourself to an item or two, and those impulse buys can soon add up. Try to avoid that sneaky shopping trip if you can, or if you simply have to get out of the office, employ the 10-second rule: when you've picked up an item, stop for 10 seconds and really ask yourself if you need it. Chances are, you'll change your mind.

Think of all the money you could save with these few tips and tricks! The savings from takeaway coffees and lunches is just the beginning, and if you're really disciplined, you could rack up a small fortune. Why not put that money to good use by stashing it in a savings account? It can be a great way to keep motivated, too: every time you turn away from the vending machine or meal deal fridge, put the money you would have spent in a dedicated account, and you'll soon see your balance grow.

"We're meant to go to work to earn money but it's not until you start to add up just how much you spend that you realise how much cash you're wasting," said Darren Williams from "That quick coffee on the way in soon adds up, as does the meal deal every lunch time. These are simple things to fix with a little pre-planning and common sense.

"Organising a car share can be slightly more time consuming, but think of the cash you can save on petrol costs. It'll also make the journey to work more entertaining if you have your work colleagues to gossip with. The best advice we can give is to think before you buy and when you can, think ahead so you go home at the end of the month with extra cash in your bank account."

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.