Savvy saver says lockdown ‘has encouraged people to get out there and socialise’ as she saved over £200 a month using Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Student Jo Threlfall from Leeds, West Yorkshire tells us how lockdown actually encouraged her to go out and socialise as she saved nearly £250 in August alone by using the governments eat out to help out scheme.

The savvy saver benefited from using the 50% discount by dining out in her local cafes, restaurants and brunch spots in her hometown of Leeds throughout August and kept track of her spending.

Jo told

“I normally only eat out on weekends on a Friday or a Saturday night with friends and family, but chose to save cash by eating out only on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to reap the rewards of the month. Actuallyl I was making an effort to eat out more than before lockdown”

Jo tells us in total, the average lunchtime meal she paid was under £6 while eating out for an evening meal cost her under £20 per person.

Jo’s Breakfast/ Brunch Savings – Monday, Tues, Wednesday:
Daily Saving £5.80, Weekly Saving £17.40 = Monthly Saving £69.60

Jo’s Savings on Coffee/afternoon snacks, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Daily Saving £3.10 Weekly Saving £9.30 = Monthly Saving £37.20

Jo’s Savings on Evening drinks and food, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:
Daily Saving £9.62 Weekly Saving £28.86 = Monthly Saving £115.44

Eating out every day

Drinks varied per location as the Jo budgeted how much she was willing to spend per meal out.

Her goal was to spend under £25 for an evening meal with an alcoholic beverage while for a lunchtime treat, she would aim to spend under £10 as this included a latte.

Jo saved over £250 each month

Some of her most significant savings were at some of the most popular coffee and restaurant spots in Leeds such as Mrs Artha’s, 200 Degrees and The Alchemist.

Jo saved £5.80 each day for breakfast, which would normally cost her £11.25, which included Eggs Florentine & an Oat latte.

Her afternoon would consist of a meet up with friends for a coffee and a snack.

Jo enjoyed Eggs Florentine & Oat latte for breakfast.

“I’d usually go for an Oat milk and caramel syrup latte with a vegan sausage roll at 200 Degrees Coffee in Leeds. This would normally cost me £6.10 but I got it for only £3.05.

Jo Threlfall, 28, Leeds said: ” The eat out to help scheme has been a great opportunity to check out some new spots in the city centre and try out new cuisine at a much more affordable price.”

Evenings would consist of a visit to the Alchemist, Trinity Leeds, where Jo would try a different dish each day, ranging from sea bass to Japanese Katsu Curry.

“Fish is normally a more expensive dish which I’d normally have as a treat but with the discount I tried beautiful sea bass, which normally costs £14.50 but cost me only £7.25.

“I also branched out and tried a fee Japanese dishes. The Katsu Curry is now one of my favourites and it only cost me £6.50 with the 50% off. Its normally £13!

“Along with helping out local coffee spots I’ve enjoyed catching up with friends and family at a social distance as we’ve been able to make the most of the warm weather, eat delicious food and save cash.”

Jo's Breakfast/ Brunch Savings - Monday, Tues, Wednesday
– Daily Saving £5.80, Weekly Saving £17.40 = Monthly Saving £69.60

Mrs Artha’s Brunch Meal – total with 50% deal £11.25 – Without discount 22.50 )

Eggs Florentine & Oat latte – £5.80 (Without 50% discount -£11.60)

Grilled cheese & Flat white – £5.45 (Without 50%- £10.90)

Jo's Savings on Coffee and afternoon snacks, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
– Daily Saving £3.10 Weekly Saving £9.30 = Monthly Saving £37.20

200 Degrees Coffee, Leeds

Oat milk and caramel syrup latte with a vegan sausage roll – total with 50% deal £3.10 – without discount £6.20

Jo's Savings on Evening drinks and food
– Daily Saving £9.62 Weekly Saving £28.86 = Monthly Saving £115.44

Alchemist – 50% of food and The Alchemist, Trinity Leeds had a 20% off offer on cocktails before 20:00

Alcoholic Drinks Consumed (20% discount)

Jo – Cherry Poppins- £9.50 & Strawberry Daiquiri – £8.00, gin & tonic – £6.20 – with 20% drink discount £21.33 – without discount – £23.70

Becky – Mini Milk – £8 & Pot O’gold £8.75 & gin & tonic- £6.20 – with 20% drink discount £20.65 – without discount – £22.95

Savings on Food:

Chorizo and Cheddar dough balls £4.00 ( 50% offer £2.00)

Steam prawn dumplings – £7.00 ( 50% offer £3.50)

Katsu Curry £13.00 – ( 50% offer £6.50)

Pan-fried seabass – £14.50 (50% offer £7.25)

Total for food with 50% discount – £19.25 – £9.62 per person

Without discount – £38.50 -£19.25 per person

Meal out and drinks with a 50% food and 20% drinks discount – £61.23 – (four cocktails, two gin and tonics, two main meals and two starters)

Without offer £85.15

Jo’s vegan sausage roll and oat latte for afternoon snack.

Jo told us she had a few tips and tricks for booking her table each time:

“For evening meals I normally visited The Alchemist. I had to reserve a table in advance to be seated outside and they had app for people to order drinks.

They allowed customers to do this via a QR code on the tables outside”

The two coffee spots do not take reservations and it’s a first come first served basis.

“Also you’ve got to make sure you include your track and trace details everywhere you go to eat and drink, so I just made sure I arrived early with all my details to hand.”

The scheme is set to end but there are calls to extend once the deadline of August 31st passes with September traditionally quieter for retailers after the summer boom.