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A test of self-discipline, it means going without that one thing you’ll really miss, or making a decision to do, or not do, something for 40 days in the run-up to Easter Sunday.
Commencing on Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar (which means it runs from March 2 to April 14 in 2022), a popular Lent sacrifice is chocolate, ahead of all those tempting Easter eggs.
But depending on your normal habits (or vices), you might also choose to give up caffeine, swearing, drinking alcohol, eating meat, snacking or even social media.
With the cost of living rising constantly though, it might be a good idea to abstain from something to save some pennies too.
Indeed, Barclays have done some research to show how the pounds can stack up by giving up popular treats in Lent. Here are four money-saving suggestions from them, followed by three other ideas of our own.
For wine enthusiasts, 40 days without sipping might sound quite a challenge. But Barclays have worked out you could save £12 a week, with a total saving of £68 across Lent.
This figure was calculated based on a person drinking two bottles a week, and buying the UK’s favourite type of wine – pinot grigio – which comes in at £6 a bottle at the UK’s leading supermarket. If you tend to drink more in your household or splash out more per bottle, there will be extra savings.
If you have a sweet tooth, this Lent pledge takes a lot of willpower but the pennies saved might spur you on. Think one chocolate bar a day and bag of sweets a week, costing £1 per chocolate bar (based on the price of Cadbury Dairy Milk at the UK’s largest supermarket) and 79p for a bag of sweets (based on the price of Haribo there), and you’ll be £7.79 a week better off, with a total saving of £44.50.
You don’t need to be a shopaholic to appreciate those little end of week fashion fixes or pay check treats. Whether it’s a denim shirt or new pair of high street trainers, you could be putting £10.97 a week or £63 aside for a rainy day, or better still, a summer break.
These prices were based on ONS research showing this is the average amount spent on clothing and footwear each week.
This really hits where it hurts. How much did we love our takeaways during lockdown?
But based on statistics from KPMG showing Brits spent on average £12.34 a week on takeaways which works out at £70.50 across Lent, this could really motivate you to think classic comfort food and perhaps a Sunday roast, with any leftovers going towards a budget-friendly, midweek meal.
We can hear the groans already. Getting up that little bit earlier to slice and spread is an effort, especially with the need to have everything to hand. So much easier to buy ready-made from a shop in your lunch hour.
But with a triple sandwich costing £3.79 from a major supermarket brand, if you buy three a week, that’s £11.37 swallowed up – and £64.97 across Lent. You’ll be so much better off with a loaf and couple of tins of tuna.
Prices vary by location but chances are you’re paying quite a lot for a cafe latte or cappuccino. Top that with an almond croissant and you’ll likely have little change from a fiver.
Pass on that coffee break with a snack on the side three times a week for Lent, and you’ll have saved yourself around £85.
With lockdown restrictions coming to an end (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 £3.79 on average according to the British Beer And Pub Association’s website, getting a round in comes at a price. And that’s before you buy the tickets for that show.
Actually we’re not suggesting giving up seeing friends for Lent – but for 40 days you could be more cost conscious on nights out. Perhaps try a BYO restaurant so you’re not being hit with a huge bar bill, look out for special Monday night restaurant deals, and when booking tickets online, watch out for hidden extras such as booking fees.
And check out sites such as Groupon (for deals on cinema tickets, attractions, clothing, makeup and even toilet paper), Lastminute.com and todaytix for cut price tickets and more.
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