home baking

Lockdown restrictions have put a stop to many of our plans during the past year. However, according to new research from American Express, 54% of people in the UK have taken steps to prevent lockdowns from spoiling their fun.

Since the onset of the pandemic last March, more than half of us have celebrated at least two special occasions with household or bubble members. We have spent an average of £68 on these celebrations, spending a total of £1.9 billion nationwide. Spending on lockdown celebrations included food, drink and decorations, with celebrations including birthdays, anniversaries, having a baby and graduating.

31% of those surveyed held a party at home with members of their household, while 30% said they decorated their home with balloons and candles. 27% reported ordering a fancy, restaurant quality meal during lockdown, and 27% organised a virtual get together via a video call.

The research also found that, for those who have spent more on celebrations during lockdown than they would have ordinarily done, the biggest motivation was to make the special occasion as memorable as possible. 13% said they spent more on occasions so they could share photographs with their friends and followers on social media.

Other motivations for spending more on lockdown celebrations included relieving boredom, having more disposable income to spend, or because of lockdown restrictions. Two-thirds of people agreed that pandemic restrictions made them realise they want to celebrate special occasions even more in the future.

Here are five tips for making the most of lockdown celebrations.

1 – No fancy restaurant? No problem! – Why not recreate that restaurant ambiance in your own home? Put on some background music, decorate your table with a candle and tablecloth and order in food from your favourite restaurant. Alternatively, look out for restaurants offering home meal kits that come complete with ingredients and instructions to make a knock-out meal.

2 – Dress up for a night on the (kitchen) tiles – With almost a third of us having held a party with members of their household, it goes to show that you really can’t beat celebrating in person. If you’re guilty of spending day after day in your tracksuit or lounge clothes, mark the special occasion by getting dressed up in your favourite outfit.

3 – Treat yourself with points and rewards – However you choose to celebrate your upcoming milestone moments, remember to put your spend on a Card that earns cashback, rewards or points for your purchases, which you can then use to treat yourself and your loved ones.

4 – Let them eat cake! – No celebration is complete without cake. If you’re living with a group why not host your very own bake-off? Or if you’re isolating on your own and don’t fancy a whole cake to yourself, cupcakes are a great bake for manageable treats that can be spread across the week.

5 – Housebound Treasure Hunt – Hiding treats around the house is a great way to get up and get moving, especially when there’s a tasty reward to be found! A perfect activity to occupy kids and the young-at-heart adults alike.