With so much football to watch and so much beer to consume while watching it, the World Cup can be an expensive month for England fans.
Your partner may grouse about the cost of yet another night spent at the pub cheering on the Three Lions (or whatever team from whatever far-flung nation you’re choosing to support in group D) but would you really save dough watching from your couch?
We’ve done the maths:
The weather is hot, England (or Iceland, whatever) is winning, or losing, and the beer is tempting and cool. Budget four pints for the standard match and then an add extra for overtime and a debrief. In London five pints would set you back more than £25 but you live in a perfectly average place. Say Swindon. With the average pint across the UK now costing £3.60, you’re looking at a tab of £18. And then there are the crisps and pork scratchings to soak up all that booze: add £2. That’s before the celebratory (or misery-drowning) drinks, but just for this evening let’s be sensible and head back, a little buzzed, just after the end of the match. That will appease the family.
You’ve been drinking so you won’t want to drive. In fact, you thought ahead so you took a taxi to the pub. There are pubs on your doorstep but this is your favourite one, the one with the delightfully sticky floors and the flat screen TV, the leather seats and the real ale selection, the Quavers and the carpet pattern that’s trippy, but not nauseating. The one your friends frequent, the one where they know your name. It’s two miles from your house—which is conveniently also the distance Private Hire Taxi Monthly uses to compare cab fares across the UK. Let’s say you’re paying the mode two-mile cab fare: £5.80, as charged in places as distinct as Rugby, Stockport, and Glasgow. You paid that on the way there but now you’ve got to repeat the journey, but with your friend Joe in tow. Add an extra two miles to drop him off at home, a little sozzled, and vow to extract the cost from him in pints later, but probably forget. That puts transport at around £17, nearly as much as the alcohol. At least you didn’t let Joe convince you to spring for a kebab…
Total: £18 (drinks) + £2 (crisps) + £17 (transport) = £37
The beer is certainly cheaper in the supermarket or offie; that’s why Brits are finally buying more beer in retail shops than in pubs. Let’s say you’re drinking lager: £3.75 for a four-pack. Multiply that by five cans and you’re looking at £4.69 for the match. But you’re surely not expected to watch the game alone, so you’ve invited over four friends and while they may tote along a bottle or two (always Simon with the IPAs), it’s only common decency that your fridge is fully stocked. Five four-packs should keep them appeased—that comes to £18.75, more than you’d spend on drinks in the pub— then add 3 bags of Walkers at £1.50 a pop and next match you’re definitely doing this at Joe’s place…
And then there’s the fridge to keep them cool. Now we’re not saying chilling beer for football matches is the only reason you’ve got that fridge and of course you have your wife’s avocados browning in there and your kids’ string cheese. But those things and the rest of the family’s penchant for elaborate meal-prep are the reason you have the huge 525 litre fridge freezer, the one that’s costing you £52 a year to run. Just think: it’s costing you a whole 14p in electricity to keep your beers cold for halftime. Definitely should have gone to the pub.
And what about the cost of running the 60-inch TV you definitely haven’t purchased just for the World Cup because you absolutely saw the kids watching Peppa Pig on it this morning? It’s setting you back £33 a year in electricity, nearly 10p on match day. Should we count the electricity needed to keep the lights on? Nah, we’ll give Sarah that…
One thing that’s definitely hitting you hard in the wallet is the TV license though: £150.50 a year, 40p a day—add that to your home tab.
Total: £18.75 (drinks) + £4.50 (crisps) + 24p (electric) + 40p (TV license) = £23.89
Fine. It is cheaper to watch at the World Cup at home, but if you didn’t go the pub how would you ever get those pints Joe owes you?