10 cost-cutting tips to save British workers £2,500 a year

7 min read

12 January 2016

Former deputy editor

Daily spending on seemingly insignificant items during the working day can add up to a whopping £2,340 a year, so we’ve got ten cost-cutting tips to help you save yourself from frivolous purchases – including the ten-second rule.

January spells time for change in many households, as Brits look to turn over a new leaf as part of the New Year’s resolutions trend.

Many will look to curb their eating habits after indulging during Christmas, others will join a gym, while saving money is generally a big priority.

When it comes to the latter, we can help. While we can’t provide you with the funds you need, we’ve got ten tips that could help fatten your bank accounts.

A study from has revealed that the average office worker spends a huge £2,340 a year – on coffees and meal deals.

That figure climbs further when factoring in added expense for those who skip breakfast at home in exchange for a bacon sandwich at the café across from the office.

Darren Williams from, said: “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.

“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.”

London is set to face three 24-hour tube strikes on 26 January and 15 and 17 February. The RMT Union’s London district organiser, claimed “the behaviour of London Underground’s senior management team have left us with no other choice”.

5 reasons to transform your commute and cycle to work

It prompted London Underground’s COO to hit back by saying the union’s campaign “is absurd and detached from the real world.”

With the chaos just weeks away, Williams said a car share could be the solution to save cash long term.

“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,” he detailed.

“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.”

Continue reading on the next page for the ten tips that could save you thousands of pounds each year.

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The ten tips for saving cash at work are:

1. Coffee

Buying a coffee on the way to the office and mid-morning can cost £5 a day – even more depending on the size and costs of nearby merchants. As a result, that’s at least £25 a week down the train, which totals £1,300 annually. Use a flask from home or the office facilities instead.

2. Breakfast

If early mornings aren’t your thing, you may want to lay in as late as possible and grab a bite when heading to the office. A bacon roll a day will cost £3.50, £17.50 a week, but getting up 20 minutes earlier will save £910 a year.

3. Lunch

You may have a love of meal deals from your local supermarket, but the average will cost you £4 each – £1,040 a year if you buy one each day. Prepare a packed lunch or take in leftovers from the night before.

4. Snacks

So, you didn’t buy a meal deal, but crisps and chocolate bars to get you through the afternoon will soon mount up. And while your money will decrease, your weight will increase. Fruit and nuts will keep your bank balance – and weight – in check.

5. Journey into work

If you’re lucky enough to have a commute that doesn’t involve public transport and drive to work then why not share with colleagues to cut costs? Alternatively if the bus or train is failing to deliver then you can always get up earlier and ride or cycle.

Read more on working expenses:

6. Water

Obsessed with Evian or Voss? Yeah, that’s going to be at least a £1 a day, so make the most of the office water machine.

7. Your lunch break

Working near the town centre will make it all too easy to have a stroll and treat yourself for all of the hard work you’ve been doing. Be strong! Spend the hour reading, walking, knitting – anything but spending.

8. Meeting mates

Instead of going for a liquid lunch or restaurant, get your hands dirty and prepare something yourself. Like Come Dine With Me but without the hilarious narrator.

9. Book / clothes swaps

Set up a swap circle with your colleagues and trade books, clothes and other items you’re fed up with, gaining something new in exchange – all without spending a penny.

10. The ten-second rule

Finally, if you’ve somehow smuggled yourself into a shop at lunch – despite everything you’ve just read – and find something you want to buy, count to ten and ask yourself if you truly need it. Chances are that you’ll walk away empty-handed and with a clear conscience. 

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