Before the start of this pandemic, the only occasions when I got time off cooking were one of the days during the weekend. Meal planning has never been one of my strong points. Also cooking is not something I always enjoy, especially as I have a list of food restrictions to follow. My husband can’t eat foods with coconut milk and dairy products. Whilst my daughter doesn’t like spicy food and I don’t eat beef or lamb. The list goes longer as we get older.
This was exacerbated further by the pandemic. I had to cook 24/7 and trying to get hold of some food was not easy. Many big supermarkets ran out of ingredients and many basic foods. I got to a point when I was so sick of cooking that we resorted to buying ready-made meals.
After being cooped up inside and adhering to social distancing, it was a great day when our UK government allowed us to dine outdoors. We visited a number of our local pubs and restaurants. Many local restaurants also started doing a takeaway menu and it was great to be able to try different kinds of cuisines, like Korean, Japanese, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Lebanese etc.
As many of us return to normality, people have started to meet up with their friends and family again. For example, I’ve started to meet my group of 10 Chinese friends once a month in Chinatown. There has been a massive increase in the volume of people dining out since the beginning of 2022, as restrictions eased. In some good Asian restaurants in Birmingham Chinatown, there is always a long queue to get in especially if you arrived during peak hours with a big group.
Post-pandemic, my son was craving Japanese food, especially for fresh Sushi rolls and BBQ Wagyu beef. Did you know that searches for Japanese restaurants increased by 222% since pre-pandemic? Also, ¼ of diners are searching for Chinese restaurants and the interest in Italian restaurants has more than doubled post-pandemic!
My favourite cuisine has to be Chinese food. Even though I mostly cook Chinese food at home, I still miss eating freshly made dim sum and handmade noodles. These freshly made foods cannot compare to frozen dim sum or dried packets of noodles that we often buy from Chinese supermarkets.
Recently we have been eating out at least twice a week to satisfy our cravings, but with the increase in the cost of living, we need to look after the pennies during this tougher time. In order to find the right balance between enjoying our life and saving money to get the best deal, we looked into a tastecard which can be bought on monthly or annual subscriptions. With this card, we can get amazing discounts like 2 for 1 meals in restaurants, attractions, cinemas and even pizza delivery. At the moment, they are offering a 90 day free trial. So what are you waiting for? Give them a try and see for yourself.
Of course, we will be using them as well and will let you know what we think about it. Have you used a tastecard before? How have you found using it? Comment below and let us know.
Disclosure: This post is in conjunction with tastecard but all thoughts are my own. Infographic image used with permission.