Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips



For the past 12 years I have given up caffeine and alcohol for Lent every year.  For the uninitiated, that’s the 40 days and 40 nights from Ash Wednesday (usually in February, but this year in March) to Easter.  It’s a type of fast.

I do it for healthy living reasons. But it also has a financial spin off.  I figure that I save at least the cost of five cups of coffee at a cafe a week – amounting to a minimum of $20 and also maybe one bottle of wine a week or perhaps a couple of glasses of wine in a restaurant. That adds up to about $15 to $20 a week.  That’s a nice saving over five weeks.

The maths isn’t quite that simple however. When we went out for dinner at the lovely Manuka Restaurant the other night I bought a $4 Feijoa juice.  But I’m sometimes naughty there and have two glasses of wine over an evening. That amounts to $14 to $18.  So I saved some money.

The other dilemma is how to do the maths at home. I’m not having coffees out, which means that I’m having more hot drinks at home. Some years I allow myself decaf (bought from Chiasso, so not cheap). This year I’m not having decaf, but I’m still having Rooibush tea and Inka, neither of which is cheap. Overall, however, they cost less than Chiasso decaf beans, so I’m saving money.

The best thing is that I feel so self-righteous for five an a half weeks.  It’s not suffering at all.

2 Comments to


  1. On March 24th, 2011 at 3:07 pm cedar51 Says:

    good for you

  2. On March 24th, 2011 at 5:55 pm Rob Hosking Says:

    Inspired by a few people I know (including yourself) I thought I’d do the Lent thing this year.

    Alcohol and chocolate.

    It was going very well untll the neighbours, who run Wellington’s best wine shop, dropped off some half-drunk bottles of wine from a tasting session they’d had.

    Because the bottles were open, they had to be drunk. And Claudia can’t drink at the moment.

    And I do have this thing about waste. “A sinful waste” is a very Presbyterian phrase and one which I absorbed at a tender age.

    So now I’m just off the chocolate. And beer and whisky.

You must be logged in to post a comment.