Last year we saw the rise of locavores — those dedicated to eating locally. Now it’s all about the scrimpavores, a term coined by Iconoculture. This cultural trend research company suggests the shift to thrift may help make us healthier. People are beginning to trade processed for more of a process in the kitchen. And that means for the first time, non-foodies are starting to act more like foodies in an effort to save money. People are being forced to learn to cook from scratch rather than buying something ready-made to eat at home. In-home meals tend to be healthier and they cost about a third of a meal purchased away from home.
Scrimpavores now have to think more strategically by using items they have on hand, stretching leftovers and working backwards by stocking up when items are on sale and then figuring out a meal. That means a whole new generation of folks are trying to make their way around a kitchen at a time when cooking has become a spectator sport. Throughout the country, the recession has brought back the home cooked meal. Now 71% of all meals are eaten at home, according to the NPD Group.
People who grew accustomed to dining out every night are now taking cooking lessons, devouring food magazines, searching recipe web sites and snatching up cookbooks. Some of the fastest growing items in the supermarket are canning and freezer supplies. Money saved by eating in has given some people the means and justification to invest in kitchen tools, cookware and small appliances like slow cookers.
There’s a tremendous opportunity to give novice home cooks the skills and the confidence to create family meals that are easy, frugal and nutritious.