It’s really expensive to eat in London

Following the topic of the expense of London living, we’ve talked about housing, travel and now we’ll talk about food…

Eating in London has always been a bit pricey, especially if you are someone of refined taste. We have some of the very best in taste sensations and a few Michelin starred restaurants to boot. On a more day to day basis, there a plenty of boutique cafes to grab a quick bite with your friends or sneak in a cheeky lunch close to work.

If you don’t get a long lunch, you might be more likely to pop into your local supermarket (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op or M&S if you’re fancy) in your break or on the way to work and get a meal deal. You’ll get a standard sandwich, sub or salad with a snack and your choice of drink. Meal deals are a little restrictive, as the sandwiches are all pre-made. Enter Subway: where you can get a bespoke sub or salad made with all the toppings. It’s really popular too, I’m sure you’ve had a few. I’ll admit I was swept into the craze, buying many many subs and the occasional salad.

Let’s think about this logically though… it’s on average a good £3-5 for a meal deal, a good £3-5 for Subway lunch, and on the more extreme end, a good £9-12 on a boutique-y cafe lunch. That’s per day, it adds up. The meal deals and trips to Subway amount to around £84-140 a month, while the cafe lunches are around £252-336. That’s quite a heft on your paycheck, and that doesn’t even include food at home.

There’s also the matter of picking up breakfast from the coffee shops (Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Costa and Cafe Nero), I’m talking a pastry and a small coffee, but again this isn’t exactly cheap. It can be around £5, so let’s add £140 a month to whichever lunch option you go for. So some of us are willingly spending a good £400 on eating out for convenience.

I mean, I get the point of social dinners and the occasional team lunch, or dinner (hopefully, expensed). But do we really need to blow that much a month on food when we could make breakfast, lunch and a coffee to go?

Although, I hear some places offer free breakfast to their employees, have a full service coffee machine and snacks in the office, so it’s likely we’re just being a little lazy or extra?
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