The average UK family with children throws away £700 worth of food a year, that’s £60 a month. All that food has to be replaced, meaning more shopping, more cooking and more expense. We’re sure you’d like to avoid those extra trips to the supermarket and save money, and so here are a few ideas about how you might spend it if you can save it.
A saving of £60 a month over a year – £700 – could make a big dent in the cost of Christmas. In 2015, polling company YouGov found that British households were each expecting to spend an average of £796 on Christmas presents, food, drink and extras like cards.
Love travel? £700 could pay for a mini break to Venice, Prague or Budapest with British Airways. Or you could buy an annual family membership to the National Trust (£111) and still have £589 left to spend on travel, food and accommodation while visiting.
If you’re a driver, £700 will cover the cost of replacement tyres plus an annual service and MOT on many popular family cars, like the Ford Focus, at Kwik-Fit. Or it could take care of pretty much all of the cost of an average car insurance premium. According to confused.com, that’s £737 a year.
If you’d rather not spend your savings, then paying off debt might make sense for you. £700 would take a significant chunk out of the average UK household’s credit card balance of £2,434. It would also cover over two months of the average UK mortgage interest payment – currently running at £271 a month according to themoneycharity.org.uk.
Raise a glass (or a mug) to savings
Finally, if you like a tipple now and again, £700 is the cost of 200 pints of beer in the pub (at just under £3.50 for an average pint) or 100 bottles of off-licence wine (for a medium-priced £7 bottle). If you’re not a regular pub-goer but like a caffeine kick you could spend your savings on up to 250 coffees instead.
From spending... to earning
Spending is only half the equation. And that’s where the numbers get juicier still.
The £60 a month or £700 a year you could be saving is the amount after income tax and National Insurance contributions.
And to get another £700 in your pocket, you need to earn it through your salary. Let’s say you earn the average salary of £26,500 for a full-time worker. To take home an extra £700 net, you’d need to earn another £1000 a year in gross salary.
It all adds up to... throw less food away = spend less on food = more money to spend on the things you love. Amazing.
We’ve used average figures in this article, and your situation could be different depending on a whole range of factors including your age, salary, family, and where you live in the UK. Figures correct as at November 2016.