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UK households spend an extra £436 a year on takeaways

Abigail Fenton
A KFC food order. Photo: Aleks Dorohovich/Unsplash
More than 2 million people in the UK never cook at home, according to a survey. Photo: Aleks Dorohovich/Unsplash

Britain is nation of convenience lovers, now spending an average of £53.30 a month on takeaways, according to new research.

A survey by Hammonds Furniture has revealed the UK’s house share-culture could be “eroding” Brits’ collective cooking skills and “contributing to the obesity epidemic”, as 10% of the public now avoid cooking as they share a kitchen with others.

Brits choose to reach for the takeaway menu over cooking themselves due to “laziness”, for “convenience”, and because they “don’t want to use a kitchen they share with other people”.

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The survey also found that more than 2 million Brits never cook meals at home, with the average person cooking just four meals a week.

However, more than double as many women cook everything from scratch compared with men (15.6% compared to 6.2%).

When the results are broken down by age, those between 25 and 34 said they have five takeaways per month, spending £65, compared with just 1.5 and spending of £28.60 from those 65 and over.

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One in five (22%) people living in London choose not to cook as often as they share a kitchen, leading them to spend on average £71.80 per month on takeaways.

One in 10 people living in Bristol are put off cooking due to their roommates and spend an average of £95.30 per month.

This is compared with £41.30 in Manchester, £48.40 in Birmingham and just £30 in Sheffield.

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With the number of people living with roommates rising year after year, especially in London, this could be a “worrying” trend that affects the health, finances, and well-being of those living in shared accommodation.

High-street takeaways are “fuelling” Britain’s obesity epidemic, with almost 6,000 takeaways having opened between June 2014 and December 2017, according to a study by the Food Foundation.

The number of takeaways people purchase per month is also thought to have risen thanks to the popularity of restaurant delivery services, meaning that the public now has more choice available for delivery than the classic pizza, kebab or curry.

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Silvana Lanzetta, an artisan pasta maker, fears Brits are losing more than just cooking skills when they turn to takeaways: “Takeaways give the impression that they save you time which you can use to enjoy yourself, relax, or have some family bonding time. However, we usually just end up in front of the TV or on social media after we’ve ordered.

“Cooking together is a great way to bond with your family, cooking alone is wonderful for relaxation, and as you’ll be using fresh, unprocessed ingredients, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating.”

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Kirsty Oakes from Hammonds Furniture said: “These results show that the UK public see cooking as an activity that takes time, patience and skill, and turn to takeaways to save time.

“It’s understandable that those living in house shares may feel a bit apprehensive to use the kitchen, but cooking doesn’t have to mean hours slaving over the stove. Simply 20 minutes, and then a five-minute clean-up time is more than enough time to make something delicious and healthy.”