Besides New Year’s resolutions, Lent is a great time to give up something you normally enjoy.
A test of self-discipline means going without that one thing you will really miss, or making a decision to do or not do something for 40 days as Easter Sunday approaches.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar (meaning it runs from March 2 to April 14, 2022), a popular Lenten sacrifice is chocolate, ahead of all those tempting Easter eggs.
But depending on your normal habits (or vices), you can also choose to give up caffeine, swearing, alcohol, meat, snacks, or even social media.
With the cost of living constantly rising, it might be a good idea to abstain from something to save some pennies too.
Indeed, Barclays has done research to show how the pounds can pile on by forgoing popular treats during Lent. Here are four money-saving suggestions from them, followed by three more ideas from us.
For wine lovers, 40 days without sipping can seem like quite the challenge. But Barclays has calculated you could save £12 a week, with a total saving of £68 during Lent.
This figure was calculated based on one person drinking two bottles a week and buying the UK’s favorite type of wine – pinot grigio – which costs £6 a bottle in the UK’s leading supermarket. If you tend to drink more in your household or splash more per bottle, you’ll realize additional savings.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this Lenten promise takes a lot of willpower, but the pennies saved might spur you on. Think a bar of chocolate a day and a bag of sweets a week, costing £1 per bar of chocolate (based on the price of Cadbury Dairy Milk in the UK’s biggest supermarket) and 79p for a bag of sweets ( based on the Haribo price there), and you’ll earn £7.79 a week, with a total saving of £44.50.
You don’t have to be a shopaholic to appreciate these little weekend fashion fixes or treats. Whether it’s a denim shirt or a new pair of trainers, you could put £10.97 a week or £63 aside for a rainy day, or better yet, a summer break.
These prices were based on ONS research showing that this was the average amount spent each week on clothing and footwear.
It really hits where it hurts. How much did we like our takeaways during lockdown?
But based on KPMG stats showing Britons spent an average of £12.34 a week on takeaway food, which equates to £70.50 during Lent, it might really get you thinking about classic comfort food and perhaps a Sunday roast, with leftovers going towards a budget-friendly midweek meal.
And here are three more economical things to ditch for Lent…
5. Store-bought sandwiches
We can already hear the moans. Getting up a little earlier to slice and spread is an effort, especially with the need to have everything on hand. It’s so much easier to buy ready-to-wear in a store at lunchtime.
But with a triple sandwich costing £3.79 from a major supermarket brand, if you buy three a week that’s gobbled up £11.37 – and £64.97 during Lent. You’ll be so much better off with a loaf of bread and a few cans of tuna.
Prices vary by location, but chances are you’ll pay quite a bit for a latte or cappuccino. Top that off with an almond croissant and you’re likely to have little change from a five.
Spend that coffee break with a snack on the side three times a week for Lent, and you’ll have saved around £85.
With the end of lockdown restrictions (depending on where you’re based) it’s so tempting to really go for it. With pubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, festivals… you name it, all vying for our business, is it any wonder we don’t want to stay home?
However, with a pint of lager costing an average of £3.79 according to the British Beer And Pub Association website, getting a round comes at a price. And that’s before you buy the tickets for that show.
In fact, we’re not suggesting giving up seeing friends for Lent, but for 40 days you might be more cost-conscious on nights out. Maybe try a BYO restaurant so you don’t get hit with a huge bar bill, look for Monday night restaurant specials, and when booking tickets online, watch out for hidden extras like reservation fees .
And check out sites like Groupon (for deals on movie tickets, attractions, clothing, makeup and even toilet paper), Lastminute.com and todaytix for discount tickets and more.
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