Image source: Poor Richard's Books
We reported last year on the Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, and it seems we weren't far off as cookbooks of all shapes and sizes are flying off bookstore shelves, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.Eating out three meals can cost an average of $30 a day. Times five days a week thats $150, times four weeks, thats a minimum of $600 just on food. While magazine sales are declining, websites and articles on cheap, homemade meals are very popular. An independent research study said that this year 45% of Americans are eating out less in order to save money.
Cookware Sales Rising, Too
Even cookware sales of items under $100 are on the rise as people realize they don't have basic cooking instruments after a lifetime of take-out boxes and restaurant meals. Bon Appetit magazine reports that its had a 39% increase in sales this year. Borders and Amazon both report double digit increases in cookbook sales, particularly comfort foods.
Who is Losing Out?
The Downside: "Casual-dining restaurant chains" are taking a hit, as people will still visit the nicer restaurants once in awhile, but are less likely to eat at the daily dinner spots. Local farmers may also take a hit as people report that they are more likely to choose the frozen (cheaper) vegetables rather than fresh vegetables which are more expensive and don't last as long. The USDA reported that food prices are expected to rise 4% this year, after a 4% rise in food last year which was the highest in 17 years.
So aside from people walking more, biking more, taking more public transportation, saving energy, we can now add eating home-cooked (possibly) healthier meals more often to the list of positives that have come from rising fuel prices.
Has the rise in gas prices changed your cooking habits? Are you cooking in more, or even becoming vegetarian/vegan in order to save money? Found any great cookbooks offering cheap, but healthy meals? We'd like to hear about your experiences.