- Home Cooking News

Food Trends on a Budget

BBC Good Food’s annual Good Food Nation survey has, amongst other things, taken stock of the effects of the Energy Crisis on domestic food trends. We have taken a look at the survey and other findings reporting cost-saving changes to shopping, cooking and dining habits and share some of these thoughts with you here.


Zero to Waste

The Sunday Roast is being replaced by simpler fayre, saving both money of buying the prime joint and energy cost of pre-heating and roasting the meat in the oven.


Zero to waste is the tip here.

  1. Cooked lamb can be wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Frozen, it can be kept for a month.
  2. Both can be re-heated with a blast in the Air Fryer, Microwave or in the steam over boiling vegetables.
  3. Cut re-heated lamb into bite-sized pieces to create a warm salad or wrap, with Stokes Mint Sauce and yogurt or crumbled feta.



Free Range corn fed chickens are still good value. Combine planning with a little organisation to:

  1. Spatchcock the bird to reduce its cooking time,
  2. prepare a vegetable tray bake with a drizzle of oil,
  3. stir our Cider & Horseradish Mustard into the veg,
  4. don’t pre-heat the oven,
  5. cook the chicken and vegetables together.

What are the alternatives?

Christine Hayes, Editor in Chief of BBC Good Food, said: “These findings reveal the extent to which rising food prices and energy costs have impacted on the way the nation eats 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.”

Planning meals in advance (28 percent) and batch cooking (23 percent) were two of the most popular ways people felt they could control costs.

Takeaways and eating out has also taken a big hit with a third of people saying they have stopped buying, or are buying fewer takeaways and 31 percent admitted they are eating out less.

Over half the respondents (52 percent) said they were keen to discover new budget-friendly recipes so they can continue to eat interesting meals. And this tightening of the budget has had a small but positive impact in the way we consume with over three in five (64 percent) agreeing that they are cutting back on food waste in order to save money.


  1. Make simple food taste better, more interesting, ‘different’ with great quality cooking and pouring sauces.
  2. Get the best from your sauce / food combinations with Stokes simple recipes for simple ingredients – HERE.

Air Fryers vs Ovens – which is cheaper?

Large ovens may be able to cook bigger foods, cook more at once and be well-insulated,” but “their size may mean more energy is required to get them to temperature, and more energy could be lost if access to food is needed during cooking,” according to air fryer manufacturer Ninja.

If you have a small air fryer… there’s no need to heat up your whole oven to cook a single portion.”

Research by Utilita in August 2022 revealed that the annual savings of using an air fryer could be up to £279.66 per year.

Air fryers on average were found to run at £55.91 per year, versus gas cookers at £121.06 per year and electric cookers at £335.57 per year.


  1. Anything you can cook in the oven, you can cook in an Air Fryer.
  2. These crunchy Cauliflower Wings (recipe HERE) are even crispier finished off in an Air Fryer.
  3. Just take 20C off the temperature and 15 to 20% off the time … and crunch.


Chicken & Chips


A parallel Which survey found that the air fryer cost 18p and cooked a perfect roast chicken – juicy flavoursome meat with a crispy brown skin.

If you were to cook a roast chicken once a week for a year, this equates to a saving of nearly £11 compared to cooking in the oven – that’s a lot of chicken though!

& Chips.

Which? found that the cheapest appliance for cooking chips, and the quickest at 23 minutes, was the air fryer. It only cost 10p to cook two portions of chips, compared with almost three times (29p) that amount to cook the same quantity of chips in the oven.

The Roast Spud Revolution

The quickest and cheapest appliance for baking a large potato was easily the microwave – taking just 8 minutes to cook a soft and fluffy jacket potato and using just 5p worth of energy.

The air fryer also proved its credentials, taking half the time of an oven and only using 9p worth of electricity.

However, as with a lot of the other recipes Which? cooked, if you want to cook more than one potato at a time you may find yourself limited on space with several of the appliances tested.


  1. If, like us, you like a soft fluffy centre wrapped in a beautiful crispy skin, soften the potato in the microwave and finish them off in an air fryer.
  2. For these Sticky BBQ Cheese and Crispy Bacon Skins, follow the recipe – HERE and adjust for your preferred cooking method.