Despite being a nation obsessed with cookery shows, new research shows Britain has the highest ready-meal consumption in Europe.
Almost two thirds (65%) of Brits admit to eating ready meals five times weekly, while 57% buy readymade fruit juices or smoothies three or more times a week, says household appliance retailer Appliances Direct.
Simply by swapping ready-made products for home-prepared foods, a family of four could cut out 240,000 calories annually - or 32 days’ calories intake - and chop £2,000 off a year’s grocery bill - enough for a holiday.
For instance, a Sainbury’s Italian Spaghetti Bolognese (400g) costing £2 contains a whopping 631 calories, 27.7g of fat and 9.5g of sugars. But cooking the same meal in a halogen oven costs just £1.33 and more than halves the calories and sugar, and the fat content is reduced by almost two thirds, to 3.8g per portion.
Also, an Innocent Pure Fruit Smoothie costs £1.19 per glass and contains 26g sugar and 0.5g fat. In comparison, a homemade smoothie containing the same ingredients costs just 32p per portion has far fewer calories with 90 per serving and 6g less sugar.
Mark Kelly at Appliances Direct, said: "With obesity on the rise and the average UK person consuming 10% more calories than they need each day, what and how we eat has never been more important. It's really important that people think about what they are eating and how that product has been made.
"Home preparing food is one of the easiest ways to cut out excess calories, it saves money, and there are a wealth of new appliances on the market, such as halogen ovens, food dehydrators and juicers, which can make this even easier and quicker and are both easy to use and increasingly affordable. We are seeing consistent increases in sales of these appliances, so the message does seem to be gradually sinking in."
Want to boost your retirment income? Try our recipe for pension success!