Research reveals the UK’s favourite family meals
Inflation sat at 14.9% in the year to July 2023, so whilst it is easing compared to earlier months in the year, 2023 hasn’t been easy on the purse strings. According to ONS data, more than half of adults bought less food when shopping in the two weeks to 23rd July 2023.
The same data revealed that 56% of adults surveyed said their cost of living had risen in the month to 23rd July and of these 97% said it was due to the rise in the price of food shopping. With this change in shopping and food habits due to the cost of living, we are also seeing a bigger appetite for budget recipes to make the most of staple ingredients.
According to Google Trends data, searches for ‘budget recipes’ are up 44% in the past year, whilst ‘cheap meal ideas’ searches are also up 32%. The impact of the cost of living on people’s shopping and eating habits is clear, with more and more families looking for ways to save money on meals and cooking at home.
In order to determine the UK’s favourite family meals, we started with a list of 20 of the most traditional UK meals – classics such as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and lasagne making the list.
To come to our final top ten list, we counted the number of searches made each month for the recipes in the UK. Our final ranking was based on this number and we can reveal that fish and chips came out on top – no surprise there!
A British classic, the fish and chips couldn’t be beaten as the number one family classic that Brits’ want to eat and cook for themselves – with a total of over 350,000 average monthly searches for the nation’s delicacy.
In second place, another British classic – toad in the hole. This lovingly named dish features yorkshire puddings and sausages, a comforting yet simple dish to whip up for the whole family.
Following closely behind in third place, is spaghetti bolognese – a not very ‘British’ dish if we’re being honest, but one British families love nonetheless. This tasty Italian dish is a great meal for the whole family – a recipe you can load with vegetables, and cook in a slow cooker whilst you’re working, it’s simple, nutritious and enjoyable. Followed closely by lasagne, which if you’re making bolognese, why not turn it into a hearty lasagne?
Coming in at fifth place, we’re back to the British staples with cottage pie – this warming and comforting dish is commonplace in British homes. Another meal that is perfect for pairing with and loading with vegetables to increase that nutritional value and hide goodness from the children!
The Average Cost of Your Favourite Family Meals
Now that we know what the top ten favourite family meals are in the UK – we decided to rank these meals in order of cost per recipe.
In order to find the average cost per recipe for each of these family meals, we found a standard family recipe for each that served four people. Then, we collected costs from across the UK’s major supermarkets – Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda. From this, we were able to find out the average cost to reveal the cheapest meal to make.
Taking the top spot by an impressive £2.02 per recipe is toad in the hole. This staple meal is quick and easy to make and can be paired with all of your favourite vegetables or served alone. Substitutions can also be made to make this dish suitable for vegetarians or switch to your preferred sausages.
Coming in at number two, another classic meal – spaghetti bolognese. This cheap, yet cheerful and nutritious meal is an easy family dish to cook up. At an average cost per recipe of £4.91 you can feed a family of four spaghetti bolognese for less than £5, or have four batch cooked meals that will last through the week.
In third place, we have the humble sausage casserole. Coming in at an average cost of £5.34, – another easy and nutritious dish that can be whipped up for the whole family.
Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances
According to the Energy Saving Trust your cooking appliances are in the top 5 most energy consuming appliances in your home. They estimate that around 4% of your energy bill is spent on powering kitchen appliances, however, they do say that smaller appliances are more energy efficient than a conventional oven.
“It is not only the cost of food that adds up when cooking at home, but also the energy your kitchen appliances use.”
Air fryers are much more energy efficient than a conventional oven as they only heat a small area to cook the exact amount of food you need. With a faster preheating time, you’ll find you are using it for far less time than you would your oven.
Based on the July 2023 Price Cap, you could save up to £55 per year on your energy bill by using a Satisfry Air Fryer. The smallest in the group, the Satisfry Small, saves you up to £55 where the largest model saves you up to £47 per year. So, even if you are cooking for the whole family – you can still save money on your energy bills with Russell Hobbs.
For easy batch cooking and family meals, a slow cooker is the perfect kitchen addition – and what makes it even more perfect is that it can save you up to £79 per year. Slow cookers are one of the most versatile and efficient cooking appliances, they make cooking easy and simple – whether you want to batch cook meals or make a family serving that will be ready when you come home from work, they are easy to use and make even more delicious meals.
Many of the family favourites can be cooked in a slow cooker, from stew to bolognese and curry.