Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Packed Lunches

If, like me,you have to provide lunches during the week you know they can be more expensive than a hot lunch at home. But a packed lunch you make at home can be substantially cheaper than one that you get on the run.
For example:
Sandwiches at Tesco (according to the website) range from about £1.00 to £2.50 just for one round of sandwiches.  If, like my husband, you like 2 rounds of sandwiches that could be £5
An apple will cost about 25p
A single packet of ready salted crisps is 49p
A carton of juice or water (if you buy them singly as 500ml bottles) can be between £0.48 and £1.48
so a single lunch on the run of just 2 rounds of sandwiches, an apple, crisps and a drink could set you back £7.22. That's over £36 a week (or £1696.70 a year!)

If we cost the same meal made at home: (all costed from Tescos website)
Bread =£1.20 a loaf for a nice seeded loaf (800g) assuming there are about 18 slices of bread in a loaf (800g loaf / 44 g slice) four slices of bread will set us back 28p
Margarine - something like "I can't believe it's not butter" is £1.24 for 500 g,  Even if we assume we use a generous half a tub per week for sandwiches that's 12.4 p per day
Assume we use 1 tomato per round of sandwiches and that they cost about 14p each (organic tomatoes on the vine that is...) 28p
sandwich meat - roast beef or pork OH will not eat just normal sandwich ham:( £2 for 100 g; that's about 4 slices so about half a pack per day £1
apple 25p
value ready salted crisps are 68p for 12 (about 5p each) but even if we buy the premium ones at £2.89 for 20 that is only 15p each
mineral water is about £2 for 6 (prices vary by quite a lot) so 33p per bottle (or 15p per carton if we choose the value orange juice  cartons as in this example here)
Total =£2.41 per day (or £2.25 if using fruit juice cartons)
We could downsize this even more by using the supermarkets own brand, value where possible, and using home grown veg and cheaper meat it could probably be below £2 easily.

to summarise:
on the go £7.22/ day £36.10/week £1696.7/year for a 47 week working year
made at home £2.41/ day  £12.07/week £567.29/year
potential annual saving =1696.70 - 567.29 = £1129.41/year

From this you can see that the cooked meat is the most expensive part of the whole thing.  Due to this we tried something new this bank holiday weekend. As usual we had a roast dinner (roast pork this time) and instead of using the leftovers for main meals we sliced them up ready for sandwiches.  With 505 g of meat left over this should last us the entire week for OH (school holidays).  Pork joints for roasting are £5.49 per kilo.  Cooked sandwich roast pork is £2 for 132 g. - yes I did have to cook it but I would have used the oven anyway so the fuel is, in this case, free.  We use 4 packs of sandwich meat per week (DS1 doesn't like the texture, autism thing, so he has sausage rolls instead)  If I could bear to do this across the entire year =(4*£2)*47 = £376 per year v.  (4*0.132)*47*£5.49= £136.24 = another potential annual saving of £239.76

"Ah yes" I hear you cry "But I'm extremely busy and I don't have time" (yep this was me folks!)  In reality it takes me approximately 5 minutes to make 2 rounds of sandwiches.  If you stop and think about it you couldn't have made to order sandwich bars if it took longer than this.  Or, in other words, it takes about the amount of time it takes to make a hot drink in the morning. How long does it take you to "pop out for lunch"? I bet its longer than this too!
So, saving both money and time, bring back the sandwich box!

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