British Workers Spend Too Much Money for Lunch

March 17, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. nerve-wracking 
[NURV-rak-ing] (adj.) – very stressful or irritating
Example: Mondays are usually nerve-wracking since there is a lot of work to do.

2. allocate [AL-uh-keyt] (v.) – to set aside for an important purpose
Example: The government allocates a large amount for education and health services.
3. mortgage [MAWR-gij] (n.) – an agreement that allows a person to borrow money to, buy a property
Example: I could not have bought a house and lot if not for the mortgage.

4. posh [posh] (adj.) – high-class
Example: Posh apartments in Tokyo are expensive.

5. inflation [in-FLEY-shuh n] (n.) – an increase in the prices of products
Example: Because of the recent inflation, my father fears that his salary will no longer be enough to support our family.

Read the text below.

Millions of workers may find lunchtime the best part of an otherwise nerve-wracking day. However, a study published last month showed that buying lunch could be extremely pricey [PRAHY-see] compared with making a packed lunch.

According to the study, British workers spend more money than what they thought on buying lunch and snacks every day. Pret a Manger [pret-ah-mahn-ZHER], a popular food chain in the UK, said that its regular customer pays £4.55 for a lunch composed of a posh sandwich and a dessert.

The poll from revealed that an average British worker usually spends £7.81 per day on lunch, snacks, and other beverages. For a 47-year working life, an average worker spends almost £90,000 on lunch alone. When allocated for overpayment of loans, this amount could be enough to pay a hundred thousand pound mortgage six years earlier.

On the contrary, workers who bring their own snacks, coffee, tea, and lunch spend an average of only £1.50 a day.

A normal worker in the UK earns about £26,000 annually. Hence, spending £90,000 for lunch meals can be like spending a three-year worth of salary. But, employees who often buy more expensive meals spend even more. While some workers spend as low as £3 every day, some spend up to £30 for their daily meals.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the study comes at a suitable time when millions of workers in the UK are on a tight budget because salaries fall below the rate of inflation.  This means an average worker’s salary may no longer be enough to meet the higher cost of living in the UK.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think office workers worry about how much they spend on lunch? Please explain your answer.
·         Can bringing homemade meals really help save money? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How do you compare the quality of food bought from restaurants and food made from home?
·         What do you think are the best ways to cut your daily food expenses?


March 17, 2013