Swapping fast food for home cooked meals = happy bank balance


We’ve all experienced the moment when you get home after an awful day and the last thing you want to do is stand and cook for another hour. Enter your local takeaway!

These days, it’s far too easy to be lazy and order food instead of making it – with apps, you often don’t even have to leave the house or speak to someone – but the cost of constantly eating fast food isn’t practical for anyone, especially students.

The average cost of a meal in a fast food restaurant varies across the board. In McDonalds, a McChicken Legend meal with medium drink and medium fries will cost you £5.19. A Whopper meal with the same sides in Burger King costs £5.89, and making up the equivalent in KFC with a fillet burger, fries and a regular drink will cost you £5.62. As if these options aren’t expensive enough, there aren’t many people who can resist the urge to upgrade to a large meal in McD’s for just 40p.

This might not seem like a lot of money to some people, especially if they only eat from fast food restaurants as little as once a month, but due to the ease and speed of these chains a lot of people find themselves popping in daily. Using front runner McDonald’s meal prices as an example it’s easy to see how much money you could be wasting on fast food. Eating a McChicken Legend meal for lunch every working day will set you back £25.95 a week, and if you repeat this throughout the year it would run up a bill of £1349.40 – and that’s not even thinking of the impact it’ll have on your health! This is a stark comparison to those people who only dabble in fast food once a month, meaning they would spend £269.88 in a year, which is still a lot of money.

Beyond our favourite burger joints, whether it’s Chinese, Indian or a chippy, your favourite takeaway will set you back around £5 to £10 per person every time you order. Even as a weekly treat that could add up to £520 a year or more. The use of apps to order takeaways is even more damaging because the true effect of what you’re spending isn’t apparent when you’re pressing a button to confirm your card details are the same instead of handing the physical money over to the delivery man.

With a little more effort and time you could be making something that will probably taste better for a fraction of the price. So what can you whip up in the kitchen on your own?

DIY burgers

This beef burger recipe from BBC Good Food comes in at just 84p per person if you buy the ingredients from Asda. It’s really easy – and your home made version is going to be far more filling than the flimsy patties you get in high street chains.

Sweet and sour chicken

This sweet and sour chicken recipe, also from BBC Good Food, costing less than £1.70 per portion if you get your ingredients at Asda or Waitrose. Definitely one to impress your pals with.

Healthy Donner kebabs

TV chefs the Hairy Bikers have got some fab ‘fakeaway’ recipes, giving a healthier spin on our favourite takeaway classics. Check out this tasty Donner kebab – not half as greasy or pricey as your local.

A quick curry

Madhur Jaffrey’s quick korma recipe is jam packed with tasty ingredients – the initial spend on the spices required will set you back, but once your cupboard’s stocked, you’ll not have to call your local Indian again!

Perfect pizza

Two for one pizza deals might be appealing, but this Jamie Oliver recipe is a fraction of the price – and it’s a lot healthier too! Jazz it up with your favourite toppings.

While taking to the kitchen might be a bit more effort, your wallet will definitely thank you for it. So go on – hit up your local supermarket, get your ingredients together and get cooking!

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