In Hackney and the City, Bags of Taste is a local charity which runs a course to promote dietary change in adults, specifically targeting spending on takeaways, by providing cooking equipment and ingredients to take home (see case study in Box 7). The course uses cooking and budgeting skills to prepare healthier versions of takeaway foods with online support, homework activities and the offer of low cost equipment to purchase. At the end of the first two years of the project they have found:

  • household food bills were reduced by £15 per week as a result, equating to a saving of £763 per year
  • 87% of participants report that they have saved money on their takeaway and ready meal spend by an average of £12.50 per week.

Box 7: Case study – Bags of Taste course participant

Jimmy, 66, was a self-confessed take away fan. He popped out for a kebab, fish and chips or a Chinese takeaway at least four times a week.

He came to the four-session Bags of Taste course at the Round Chapel, Clapton, in December 2015 and cooked a variety of dishes including Singapore noodles. He posted a photo of every dish he cooked on the ‘Bags of Taste’ Facebook page and now volunteers at the charity doing cooking demonstrations.