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Credit crunch comebacks

We’ve had the recessional reverberations, now we have credit crunch comebacks – a selection of delights, many of them culinary, that are enjoying something of a revival in these cash-strapped times.

baked-beansBaked beans – nothing says comfort like beans on toast and as recessional victims everywhere seek solace, sales of beans are up. At least Heinz ones are anyway. Not only that but faced with a rocky future, consumers are returning en masse to the household brands of their youth – from Birds Eye fish fingers to Bisto gravy, red and brown sauce and even custard, a recessionary revival is well under way, with some of these traditional labels reporting huge sales increases of up to 40 per cent in just six months.

Flatmates – so much for living on one’s own. Between job losses and that infamous thing called negative equity, more are more people are being forced to rent out rooms or move in with family and friends. Say goodbye to modern independence and say hello again those student days of having your own kitchen cupboard (full of cheap rice and pasta) and arguing over loo paper.

Gordon Gekko – the greedy anti-hero of the 1987 film Wall Street is said to be making a comeback in a sequel as Hollywood plans a series of movies inspired by the credit crunch. Originally played by Michael Douglas in the iconic contrast-collar shirt and braces, the character will return in a new film being made by 20th Century Fox. The sequel, to be written by stockbroker-turned-scriptwriter Allan Loeb, will see Gekko released from prison following his 1980s crimes and attempt to recapture his glory days. Good luck to him.

Part time jobs – remember them? It might be another throwback to your student years, but part time employment is all the rage at the moment, not least because some folk are going down to a three-day week rather than face redundancy. This time last year we were all stressed out of our minds with our 70-hour working weeks, and now we’ve more time on our hands than we ever thought was humanly possible.

Turnips – Tesco in the UK has seen a 75 per cent rise in turnip sales over the last year, the reason being that they are a cheaper alternative to many other vegetables. So forget about asparagus and start eating this root veg. It might not taste very nice and it’s a bitch to cut, but hey, it’s cheap and presumably nutritious.

Rental goods – yet another studenty thing to do! Remember when you rented your telly in college? Well you might find yourself doing it again. Apparently recessional shoppers are now renting everything from flat screen TVs to Nintendo Wiis and even handbags. Despite fierce competition pushing down the cost of electronic goods, rental agreements for LCD and plasma TVs, DVD recorders and dishwashers are flourishing while retail sales have dived.

The gentleman – according to Men’s Health magazine, the world is now celebrating the return of the gentleman. The fine beast is reportedly likely to be between 25 and 35, single but with a view to changing that, ambitious, honest and a man of integrity. His style is simple, slim, well-cut and understated. The mag reckons that the global economic crisis is forcing the world to learn a lesson about quality: “We are on a social precipice, where ‘consumer bulimia’, brand obsessiveness and disposability are about to become a thing of the past,” it claimed.

Manners – after years of abuse at the hands of wait staff and shop assistants, the service sector is finally being nice to consumers. Gone is the obnoxiousness of the boom years as politeness has made a welcome return to our lives. Nobody is sure if this is ’cause bosses are forcing employees to be friendly, or if it’s ’cause these people are so happy to have a job that they can’t help themselves, but whatever the truth is, this new pleasing attitude is a pleasure.

Takeaways – now if we had a penny for every time someone said that staying in is the new going out, we’d be loaded by now and not bothered by the recession. But the fact of the matter is that this might now finally be true as more and more people are opting happy to stay home with a Chinese, Indian or pizza than hit any overpriced restaurant in town. With the fine dining days of the Celtic Tiger well in the past, takeaways are back with a bang.

Cash – and finally, after a decade of indulgence folk are copping onto the fact that a credit card is not actually money and charging everything to this piece of plastic might just result in financial strife. Cash is king – don’t leave home without it!


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