Expensive Soup

The company I work for has a subsidised restaurant. The food is not bad quality but despite the subsidy, can still work out quite expensive, so I take a packed lunch in with me every day.
About a year ago, they introduced the ‘Soup Trolley’, which is exactly what it sounds like – a trolley going around all 3 floors of the building, selling home-made soup! 
The trolley service was a huge success and I was in instant fan – the hot soup particularly welcome as the office I work in is very cold due to the high settings of the air conditioning.

Many months had passed before my thick skull actually realised how much I was paying for the soup.
80p a cup, 5 days a week = £4, so on average, £16-£17 a month just on soup! No wonder the ladies on the trolley always had smiles on their faces!
I’ve not totally weaned myself off it yet and will occasionally have one, though probably not more than 3 per month.
We’re moving offices soon and we’re not sure the soup trolley will survive the move. That might be a good thing for my wallet!

4 thoughts on “Expensive Soup

  1. Hi Weenie,

    80p a cup sounds pretty reasonable, especially if you were to buy soup in a shop, but as you eluded to the accumulation of spending quickly adds up. I think it's great that you have the awareness to notice this frequent spend. It's the most important step. At least you now have the choice as to whether to continue spending or wean yourself off it. In an ideal world, you wouldn't need to buy any and you would make your own. However, if you've managed to cut your spending in 1/2 or 3/4 that's an improvement to be pleased with!

    Now you're moving offices it might have that decision made for you……… unless the soup trolley tracks you down! 🙂


  2. Ah… we need to rename the "Latte effect" – it has now metamorphised itself into "The Soup Effect"!!! 🙂

    Another way of looking at this is that if you were retired already and spending 80p a day on soup you would need an extra £7,300 in your retirement account to cover this "habit". When you put it like that is your soup really worth 7 grand? 🙂

    That is taking it to the extreme calculation of 80p x 365 days / 4% withdrawal rate = £7,300, which is slightly facetious, with the obvious counter-point that you need to eat. So if you are having soup for lunch or just having one occasionally, then it's not a problem in slightest, although you've bought up an important point about small and ongoing costs eating away at your savings and retirement funds, which is actually massive as it turns out if there are many of them that add up together

  3. Hi Huw
    Reading all these FI blogs has certainly given me an awareness about my spending and it's not just soup! I often stay behind in the gym after a workout to watch the football at weekends (I don't have Sky either!). Going for the healthy option, I'll usually buy bottled water there but this weekend, I took a bottle of (tap) water with me – £1 saved! There's more to be saved, I shall continue to keep an eye out!

  4. Hi TFS
    Put in that context, that's scary! But yes, small, ongoing costs just add up, in the same way that small savings/investments add up. More of one and less of the other!

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