We’re spending more time and money on good food. But it’s not necessarily restaurants dishing it out as research shows the home cooking industry is booming. Are you cooking to save money or for fun?
A recent report by retail experts Conlumino showed that we spent more than £1bn on cooking utensils and baking gadgets between 2007 and 2011 – a 3.1% rise on the previous period.
Come dine with me
Socially, home cooking and entertaining is seen as a way to have a good time without spending a fortune. Conlumino research showed 30% of respondents said they’d thrown a dinner party in the six months to May 2012 – a 12% increase on the previous year.
Household budgets played a big part in experimenting in home cooking. Partly because of this high-end retailers such as John Lewis are introducing value ranges, while budget ones such as Wilkinson are bringing in premium items, to cater for growing demand for a range of cooking utensils for all wallets.
But there was another suggestion in the report as to why we’re cooking more – others are influencing us.
Most influential were TV programmes such as Masterchef and the Great British Bakeoff, which are said to be inspiring us to be more creative in the kitchen.
The idea of cooking due to austerity and changing habits certainly tallies with me.
Chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have helped me make better use of what I once wasted, with stale bread becoming croutons and bones used for stock, (both of which I recommend as they taste good and save money).
And thanks to TV advice and websites (I tested out a tasty satay after Lisa Galliers shared her peanut butter tip) and gifts of cook books, I’ve tried new ways of cooking.
I am also lucky that I have a butcher background and therefore, have access to quality meat. It only seems right to make the most of it.
Friends’ tips also influence me – since moving in with my girlfriend, both of us have expanded our cooking range and abilities, though it helps that we both come from homes where a lot of tasty home-cooked food was made!
I think then that I know why I am cooking more, but do you? And should more be done to encourage more people to get cooking to save money?