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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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