Sunday roasts off the menu as one in five say they can no longer afford to use the oven

Soaring energy costs have led increasing numbers of people to use a microwave for cooking, BBC poll finds

The traditional roast dinner has become unaffordable for many Credit: Emma Farrer/Getty Images

Sunday roasts have been hit by the cost-of-living crisis, a survey has shown, with a fifth of people saying they are no longer turning on the oven.

Soaring energy costs appear to already be influencing kitchen habits, with 23 per cent of cooks saying they use the oven and hob less and 21 per cent increasingly turning to the microwave, according to an annual survey by BBC Good Food.

Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) say they are choosing ingredients that are faster to cook or looking for recipes that are speedier to prepare.

Some 26 per cent claim they are less likely to cook a Sunday roast, while a fifth (20 per cent) are no longer baking as many cakes or biscuits, the poll of 2,005 adults and 1,007 children found.

Almost a fifth (18 per cent) said they no longer switch the oven on at all.

Yellow 'reduced' stickers

A fifth (20 per cent) say they specifically look for money off or yellow "reduced" stickers on food when shopping, while 28 per cent plan meals in advance and 23 per cent batch cook to try to cut costs.

A third (34 per cent) say they have stopped buying takeaways and 31 per cent are eating out less often.

However, in a positive development, 64 per cent said they were cutting back on food waste in order to save money.

Christine Hayes, the editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food, said: "These findings reveal the extent to which rising food prices and energy costs have impacted on the way the nation eats in a relatively short space of time.

"Traditional cooking methods, the oven and the hob, are being switched off in favour of appliances that use less energy, and shopping baskets and mealtimes at home are looking very different."

Cut spending on essentials

The findings coincide with a YouGov poll suggesting that one in five Britons have been forced to cut spending on essential food items since November – up from 17 per cent who said the same in July.

Among the lowest-income households – those earning less than £20,000 a year – 28 per cent said they have been forced to reduce spending on household essentials and 29 per cent have had to make cuts to their staple food budget, the poll of 2,242 British adults this month indicates.

Even among households earning £60,000 or more per year, around one in nine (11 per cent) have been forced to reduce spending on staple food items, according to the poll.