Sunday roasts dwindle as cost of cooking crisis hits home

Annual Good Food Nation survey finds a fifth of Britons no longer turn on their oven to save money

Families have crossed Sunday roasts, stews and home baking off the menu and in drastic cases no longer use their oven, as soaring energy costs force big changes in the kitchen.

One in four home cooks said they were less likely to prepare a roast dinner, while a fifth were not baking as many cakes or biscuits, according to the annual Good Food Nation report.

The survey, which looks at shopping, cooking and eating habits, found big changes in behaviour linked to cost-cutting as families struggle to cope with higher energy and food bills.

Nearly 20% of those polled said they no longer turned on their oven, while 23% said they were using their oven and hob less. People were opting for meals that are quick to cook in order to keep a lid on their energy use, with a fifth reporting using a microwave more.

Christine Hayes, the editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food, said its report revealed how rising food prices and energy costs had changed the way the nation was eating in a relatively short space of time.

“Traditional cooking methods, the oven and the hob, are being switched off in favour of appliances that use less energy, and shopping baskets and mealtimes at home are looking very different,” she said. “People have told us they are eating out less and ordering fewer takeaways, and more children are taking packed lunches to school.”

The survey of 3,000 adults and children showed evidence of strict budgeting. Expensive foods like red meat, organic produce, fish and dairy were being crossed off the shopping list, with shoppers hunting for reduced stickers and visiting multiple shops for the best deal.

Asked how rising costs had affected their family, children reported they were eating out less and having fewer takeaways. A fifth also noticed they were eating more frozen food, while 15% said they were having more things from tins and packets.

The top things home cooks said they were not doing as much of – either due to the cost of the ingredients or energy use involved - included making roast dinners, “anything that required too long on the hob”, baking cakes and biscuits, casseroles and “anything that goes in the oven”.

Planning meals in advance and batch cooking were two of the most popular ways people felt they could control costs. They also admitted to eating the same meals more often and taking fewer risks on dishes they had not tried before.


Zoe Wood

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
UK cuts back on cooking Sunday roasts as energy bills soar
Cost of living has made more than a third of adults reconsider cooking end of week meal, survey finds

Tobi Thomas

26, Feb, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
Colder early winter in Europe could worsen cost of living crisis, say forecasters
European meteorological agency warns La Niña weather pattern makes cold and dry snap more likely

Matthew Weaver and Alex Lawson

03, Oct, 2022 @4:00 PM

Article image
Cost of living crisis: protests to launch across the UK
Enough is Enough campaign garners 300,000 signs-ups with 50 rallies planned next week across Britain

Zoe Wood

12, Aug, 2022 @12:07 PM

Article image
UK energy bills crisis could set back health equality by decades, say experts
Chancellor told failure to act would hit services as poverty, cold and missed meals increase sickness rates

Peter Walker Political correspondent

19, Aug, 2022 @3:47 PM

Article image
Tories in disarray over energy crisis as Truss urged to spell out plans to help
Some MPs backing leadership frontrunner showing signs of jitters over lack of response to soaring bills

Rowena Mason and Aubrey Allegretti

26, Aug, 2022 @5:21 PM

Article image
Sunak attempts to ease cost of living squeeze as interest rates climb
Analysis: Chancellor says £9bn package will take sting out of UK’s economic woes – but is it enough?

Larry Elliott Economics editor

03, Feb, 2022 @2:51 PM

Article image
Cost of living payments and a windfall tax – Rishi Sunak’s measures at a glance
Chancellor announces new policies to tackle energy costs and inflation – here are the main points, with political analysis

Richard Partington and Aubrey Allegretti

26, May, 2022 @12:03 PM

Article image
Citizens Advice says record number sought energy help in November
Number of people unable to afford prepayment meter top-up is higher this year than in past six years combined

Rupert Jones

15, Dec, 2022 @12:01 AM

Article image
John Lewis boss calls for Covid-style cost of living aid package
Dame Sharon White follows Tesco head in urging UK government to help with rising energy and grocery bills

Mark Sweney

12, May, 2022 @8:22 AM

Article image
Concern in Merseyside as the cost of living crisis hits
From Bootle to Formby, people are worried about bills and frustrated Sunak’s measures were not introduced sooner

Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill

27, May, 2022 @8:02 AM