Leaner and greener: how we are coping with economic crunch

As Britain continues into the fourth year of the economic crisis, new research from May Gurney reveals an increasing trend towards self-sufficiency and a search for the ‘good life.’

Wednesday, 18th July 2012, 10:01 am

The findings from support services specialist May Gurney, provider of essential services to 24 million people, reveals that more than one in three Brits (35 per cent) are now using leftovers more in cooking and almost one in four (23 per cent) have started to grow their own vegetables in a bid to reduce their grocery bills and cut the amount of food they throw away as a direct result of the recession and spending squeeze.

Previous research conducted by WRAP in May this year showed that Britons were throwing away more than £12 billion worth of food that could be eaten each year but May Gurney’s most recent study shows that Brits are beginning to realise the impact the amount of food they chuck away is having on their wallets.

In the past two years, around 18 per cent of Britons have learnt to cook in order to buy less ready-meals and cut costs.

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Further to this, seven per cent of Brits have started to make their own jam, 13 per cent make their own bread and eight per cent are actively learning to cook ethnic or regional cuisine to replace takeaways.

John Wilkinson of May Gurney said: “As the Office of National Statistics revealed that families faced the biggest squeeze on household incomes last year since the 1930s resourceful Britons are finding new ways to cut costs, including growing their own, throwing away less and making more home-cooked food.

“It is a positive thing that people are throwing away less food, and it is good news for their bank accounts and the environment that they are growing food and finding creative ways to use leftovers.

“Our research does demonstrate that there is an increasing appetite for recycling among UK residents which councils should tap into. Food waste is the biggest contributor to landfill.

“18 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year therefore the more councils work to resident’s needs, the more they can benefit from new ways to generate precious revenue streams and avoid unnecessary landfill fines.”