Eager to save a few euro over Lent? Here's 7 things you can try to give up
Apart from New Year’s resolutions, Lent is the prime time for giving up something you normally enjoy.
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 euros and cents too.
For wine enthusiasts, 40 days without sipping might sound quite a challenge. But based on drinking a bottle a week at a price of €12 per bottle, you could save a total of €72.
If you tend to drink more in your household or splash out more per bottle, there will be extra savings.
2. Chocolates and sweets
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 costing €1.49 per chocolate bar (based on the price of Cadbury Dairy Milk at one of Ireland's largest supermarkets), and you’ll be €10.43 a week better off, with a total saving of €62.58.
3. Clothing and footwear
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 that money aside for a rainy day, or better still, a summer break.
An average of €34 per week is spent by Irish households, according to the most recent CSO report on household expenditures. Cutting back on buying new clothes over Lent could save you €204.
This really hits where it hurts. How much did we love our takeaways during lockdown?
A Eurostat report from 2020 revealed Ireland spends more than double the EU average on eating out. All those curried-chips add up!
5. Shop-bought sandwiches
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 the savings are big.
You’ll be so much better off with a loaf and couple of tins of tuna.
6. Coffee shops
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.
7. Going out out
With lockdown restrictions coming to an end, 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 €4.38 on average according to Pint Price, getting a round comes at a cost.
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 Bring Your Own (BYO) restaurant so you’re not being hit with a huge bar bill, look out for special deals, and when booking tickets online, watch out for hidden extras such as booking fees.
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