As far as I’m concerned, ordering in is one of the modern world’s greatest luxuries. Opening that cardboard box and seeing your order slopping all over the place from the dodgy ride in the delivery driver’s car, looking NOTHING like the ad that pinged into your inbox an hour ago and tempted you in the first place, might not look like luxury. But the fact that we can get delicious comfort food without even changing out of our PJs is a marvel.
But takeaway costs a dollar, right? It’s expensive. And it’s sickeningly unhealthy. And it’s super lazy, let’s be honest.
Making your own “takeaway” might sound like effort, but if you’re willing to put in just a little time you can make something fresh, tasty and satisfying that saves some pennies and doesn’t drown your insides in grease. Win-win.
I’ve rounded up some of my favourite make-at-home takeaway alternatives, from pizza to a full blown Chinese takeaway. Give them a try and see the savings – on your purse and your love handles!
Average takeaway cost: £17.99 (based on Medium Pepperoni Passion pizza from Dominos UK)
Average make-at-home cost: £5
Average takeaway calories: 329 calories per slice (based on Medium Pepperoni Passion pizza from Dominos UK)
Average make-at-home calories: 470 calories per whole pizza!
This recipe takes barely 15 minutes from start to finish, and it’s honestly such minimal effort. A whole pizza will appear before your eyes before you know it! Check out my tortilla pizza recipe here.
Average takeaway cost: £10 (based on local takeaway prices for a classic vegetable curry, boiled rice and plain naan bread)
Average make-at-home cost: £8.85
Average takeaway calories: 1,020 calories (based on nutritional information from weightlossresources.co.uk)
Average make-at-home calories: 650 calories
Curries are all about the flavour and, sure, you could order a veggie curry with some plain-ass side dishes for a tenner, orrrr you could make it at home, spice it up to your heart’s content, and save some dollar on the side! Check out my recipe for vegetable curry with rice and tortilla naans here.
Average takeaway cost: £11.45 per person (based on standard cheeseburger and small fries from Five Guys UK)
Average make-at-home cost: £8.35
Average takeaway calories: 1,126 calories per person (based on standard cheeseburger with grilled onions, grilled mushroom, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard and small fries from Five Guys UK)
Average make-at-home calories: 742 calories per person – includes everything in the Five Guys burger, plus avocado, plus a roasted vegetable side salad.
Five Guys is the God of fast food. It’s what places like McDonald’s and Burger King should aspire to be. But you can slash the price and calories by almost half if you make a piled-high burger and chunky veg side salad at home. Check out my recipe for home made beef burgers with roasted vegetable salad here.
Chinese Takeaway Dishes
Average takeaway cost: £15 (based on local takeaway prices for vegetable chow mein, shredded chilli beef and lemon chicken)
Average make-at-home cost: £10.50
Average takeaway calories: 1,050 calories (based on nutritional info from myfitnesspal.com)
Average make-at-home calories: 800 calories
This brings together three of my favourite Chinese dishes – chow mein, lemon chicken and chilli beef – and makes for a mammoth takeaway alternative. Check out my recipes for a cook-at-home Chinese “takeaway” here.