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Little expenses are costing us

Adding up the cost of your lifestyle


Irn-BruMoney can be saved by substituting soft drinks for alcohol

All of those little expenses add up and could be seriously hampering your savings potential. Soup containers retailer Inn Supplies has done the maths to work out just how much our love of coffee, booze and cigarettes is costing us:

Caffeine fix

Britain’s coffee market is huge right now. The UK’s coffee shop market was worth £3.4 billion in 2016, up 37% from £2.4 billion in 2011. What’s more, in the next five years, experts predict that the market will grow by a further 29% to reach a worth of £4.3 billion.

And it’s us who are fuelling this growth. Research carried out on behalf of MyVoucherCodes has found that we visit a coffee shop three times a week on average — or 152 times a year.

Costa Coffee has the largest number of coffee outlets in the UK, so we’ll use the chain as our price reference. On average, a medium latte costs £2.45. Based on the number of times we’re likely to visit annually, this means our caffeine addiction is costing us £382.20 per year. If you were to pop into your local coffee store five days a week — once for each of your morning commutes — you’d be spending a huge £637!

What savings could you make if you were to switch your shop-bought coffee for a homemade brew? According to Douwe Egberts, a pack of its 250g ground coffee will make approximately 30 cups of coffee. Assuming that a 1kg bag will cost around £15 (according to Amazon prices correct as of December 2017), this would deliver a price per cup of around 13p.

The cost of milk, sugar, water and the associated energy costs will also need to be added. However, even if this price was to rise to 50p per cup — which is an unlikely high — you could still slash the cost of three coffees per week to £78.

Boozy Brits

29 million Brits have drank alcohol, the Opinions and Lifestyles Survey shows. While the UK clearly has a thirst for alcohol, how we’re drinking it is changing. One YouGov study has found that in 2017, 15% of British adults preferred to drink alcohol at home. The country is clearly split between pub and home drinkers, with the latter growing in popularity as the number of pubs declines.

Our best-loved drink is beer at 35.6%, with wine (32.9%) and spirits (21.6%) following closely behind. 17% of Brits head to the pub 26 times a year (once every fortnight), research by Ritz Crisp & Thin shows — so how much is this habit costing us?

Brits pay £3.58 on average for a pint of lager. Assuming three drinks per visit, each trip to the pub will cost £10.74 on drinks alone. Over the course of the year, this would rack up £279.24 — a cost that could be even greater if you were to increase the frequency of visits or the number of pints consumed.

As of November 2017, we were paying £3.74 on average for a small glass of wine as data from the Office for National Statistics shows. Assuming two glasses of wine per each of the 26 yearly visits, and this will set you back £194.48.

Could we save more by enjoying a tipple at home instead of in the pub? June 2017’s industry figures show that a bottle of wine costs £5.56. With roughly just over four 175ml glasses in each bottle, the associated cost per glass of drinking wine at home shrinks to £1.39 — representing a £2.35 saving. Likewise, consider too that you can pick up a crate of lager for roughly the same price as one visit to the pub, based on our calculations.

If you’re not prepared to cut the pub completely out of your life, why not save some cash by choosing a soft drink instead? These are often considerably cheaper than their alcoholic alternatives. For example, a diluted juice drink can cost under a pound, while a cola or lemonade costs approximately £2.20 — £1.38 less than the average cost of a pint.


It’s no secret that stopping smoking can lead to significant cost savings. In the UK, a packet of 20 cigarettes costs £10.40. For a 20-a-day smoker, this gives a weekly cost of £72.80, a monthly cost of £291.20 and a yearly cost of £3,494!

There is an online calculator provided by NHS Smokefree that can help you work out the savings that can be made.

Whether it’s putting out the cigs, brewing up at home or cutting back on the booze, now you know how much your lifestyle really costs, you can make small changes that could lead to big savings. Of course, it’s all about getting the balance right — and treating yourself from time to time!



This article is supplied under the terms of the DB Direct service

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