Takeaways are a common go-to for busy families, students and working professionals, but they’re often hard on both our wallets and our health. We often turn to takeout when we don’t have time to cook, can’t be bothered or when we have a hankering for a burger or a curry. They’re a great option to have sometimes, but we shouldn’t be turning to takeaways too often.
If you’re someone who gets cravings for burgers, pizzas or curries you can still have all your favourites, while sticking to your budget and eating healthily. All it takes is a little DIY — we’ve put together a fantastic range of recipes for homemade takeaways, so you can get through the week without dropping the big bucks on burgers but still feast like a king.
Why should I make takeaways at home?
You could argue that there’s no reason to make something yourself when the chippy is just down the road. However, there are lots of great benefits to making your own takeout.
1. Cooking is cheaper than buying takeout
There’s a common idea that takeout is cheap, but the reason for this is volume. A pizza shop makes lots of pizzas, for example, so it’s cheap for them to make a pizza. They then sell that pizza to you for $15, when it cost them less than $5.
Meanwhile, it would cost a similar amount to buy four pizza bases, a bottle of pizza sauce, a block of cheese and some pepperoni from PAK’nSAVE. But then you’d have the ingredients to make four pizzas, instead of just one. Even when you add extra toppings, it can be cheaper and healthier to do it yourself.
2. You have more control over what you’re eating
Takeout is delicious, but we don’t always know what’s going into it. There can be a large amount of fat, salt and sugar in takeaways that add up to far more than our bodies need. When you make your own takeaways at home from whole, raw ingredients, you get a better understanding of what you’re putting into your body.
You can also make healthy substitutions. For example, you can add low-fat yogurt to a homemade curry, instead of full-fat cream. Or use lean premium beef mince for your burgers instead of full-fat mince.
3. You can bake, not fry
Just about every fast food shop makes good use of their deep fat fryers. From chicken to fries and onion rings, deep fried food can certainly be tasty but it’s also laden with excess fat that just isn’t necessary for your health.
When making takeout at home, you can make the same foods but use your oven to bake them. Even a small spray of oil before baking can give you deliciously crispy food, without the same amount of fat being absorbed into your food. Or leave the oil off entirely for even healthier at-home treats.
4. Use up leftovers
Burgers and pizzas are a fantastic way to use up your leftovers. If you’ve got leftover roast meats or vegetables, why not put them to good use on a pizza?
Experiment with your leftovers to discover new favourite flavour combinations. Try topping your pizzas with broccoli, roast potato, mushrooms, salmon or even broken up meatballs!
With burgers, you can try incorporating different ingredients into your patties for extra texture and flavour, or just use them as filling options.
5. Get the family involved
Finally, teaching the kids to love making food is a great way to prepare them for life. Get the kids involved making their favourite takeout at home. There are all sorts of easy, safe tasks that can be picked up by kids of all ages, such as measuring ingredients, stirring or cutting soft foods.
When your kids understand what goes into the food they eat, they get a better appreciation of how to create different flavours and maintain a balanced diet.
Claire Turnbull's easy homemade butter chicken
Buying takeaways can get expensive, so we have teamed up with Claire Turnbull to help re-create your faves! We will help you break out of the habit of ordering in and instead give you everything you need to cook these meals at home. Try her homemade butter chicken. It's time to Eat Well and Pay Less!
Easy homemade takeaway recipes
Whatever your favourite takeout is, you can make it at home. Try out these tasty takeout recipes below, next time you have the hankering for a cheeky bite.
Homemade pizza recipes
Homemade burger recipes
Homemade curry recipes
Chinese-style takeaway recipes
FISH AND CHIPS AT HOME
Fish and chips is a Kiwi classic! Unfortunately, it can also be quite heavy on saturated fats. Fortunately, fish and chips are so easy to make at home — you don’t even need a recipe.
Just head down your nearest PAK’nSAVE’s freezer section and try out Pams Classic Crumb Fish Fillets or pick up another flavour such as battered, lemon pepper, or tempura.
Throw them in the oven with Pams Chunky Cut Fries and a light spray of oil, and you’ve got fish and chips for a fraction of the cost with a fraction of the fat.
Homemade sushi recipes
Sushi is often a healthy choice, but it can be expensive. It’s also a super easy and fun food to make at home with the kids. Get together with your prepared ingredients and teach the kids to fill and roll sushi.
This chicken recipe saves you time by using Wattie’s tinned chicken with lite mayo. The tinned chicken is easier to spread onto your rice, it’s nice and cheap, and best of all: you don’t have to cook it! Of course, you can swap out the vegetables for any you like. Or try using tinned tuna instead of chicken. Try our chicken sushi recipe here.
Looking for more?
For more inspiration to spice up your weeknight meals, check out the full range of extra savey recipes from PAK’nSAVE.