British Pie Week 2020
02nd March 2020
In case you haven't been keeping up on developments in the exciting and dynamic pastry world, the 2nd to the 8th of March is officially earmarked as British Pie Week. We've actually been celebrating it in the UK since 2007, when it was first kicked off by Jus-Rol. If you've never celebrated the noble British pie before, now's the perfect time to get onboard.
We each eat around 36 pies a year on average in the UK, for a typical adult lifetime total of well over 2,000 pies pounded down apiece. Northern Ireland tops the charts, with about 10% of people eating at least 6 pies a month. That's twice the overall national average, with London and the North East struggling to catch up at only 4 pies a month. Northern Ireland also hits the top of the list when it comes to making our own pies, with a typical family baking 2 pies a month at home.
As for the nation's favourite pies, there's a lot of movement in the charts. Research last year put the classic beef & ale in the number one slot, closely followed by apple, chicken & mushroom and steak & kidney. A lot can change in just 12 months, though, with more recent surveys naming the 2020 forerunners as cottage, fish and shepherd's. Steak & Ale has dropped to the number 6 slot, while chicken & mushroom has been beaten down to 5th place by up-and-comer chicken & leek.
If you're wondering why we're spending so much time talking about British Pie Week and not our usual subject of tax rebates – well, you've caught us. There is a definite connection between the foods we're eating and the cash we're claiming back from HMRC each year. When you're travelling for work, it really pays to keep track of the food you're buying. That goes for the meals you grab on the job as much as the snacks you buy on the road. Over a working lifetime, an average Brit is blowing about £90,000 in food alone – enough to pay off a standard mortgage a full 6 years ahead of schedule!
What far too many people never realise is that your food costs can play an important role in your yearly tax refund claims. If you're not keeping records of what you're spending to eat at your temporary worksites, the chances are you're missing out on close to £500 of refund cash every year. Even if you're only splashing a fiver a day on average, that's still £240 a year getting eaten right off your plate by the taxman.
Remember, it's not just your canteen lunch that counts toward your refund. You can make claims for everything from the quick cuppa you bought to warm up before work to your mid-afternoon snack. If you're buying food on your journeys to and from work (temporary workplaces only, remember), those can count as well. If your work has you staying away from home overnight, you've got your evening meal and the next day's breakfast to add in on top. Not claiming back what you're owed is a lot like letting HMRC take the food right out of your mouth.
It's not even a major hassle to keep the records you need, either. A photo of a menu board is a good start, and receipts from food sellers or even cash machines can go a long way toward putting refund money back in your pocket. Throwing these records away is like binning actual cash.