It’s Friday night, you’ve had a long week at work and you’re in need of a beer and a curry; fish and chips; chicken chow mein; or whatever your favourite takeaway dish might be. It’s a familiar scenario in countless homes every week.  But in these times of being money conscious, more and more people are now choosing to opt for a fakeaway rather than a takeaway.

Hang on, doesn’t this defeat the purpose?

click here You could argue of course, that a fakeaway negates the point of one of the most common reasons for ordering a takeaway: the fact that someone else will be cooking your dinner and then delivering it to your door. This is true; there’s no denying it. However if you consider the money you save, the fact that a home-cooked meal is likely to be much more nutritious and you’ll know what’s in it; you’ll see that this makes sense.

Make it fun

Use the prep and cooking process as a way to catch up with your friends or family; this is what handsfree was made for. Or put some music on and have a glass of red wine as you cook, and it won’t seem as laborious as you thought! Once you’ve decided to have a go at cooking your own version of your favourite Indian or Chinese meal, you’ll need to do a little preparation.

Stock up

go If you’re not used to cooking dishes like this regularly, you might need to stock up on some essential herbs and spices. Lots of shops and supermarkets now sell pre-assembled packs of all the spices you need to create a particular dish.  Use ready-made pastes, and even frozen pre-chopped vegetables, and you can have your meal on the table in less time than it takes to phone for a curry and get it delivered. There are plenty of ways to simplify the process too, making it quick, easy and cheap to make a fakeaway.

Make it fun

Use the prep and cooking process as a way to catch up with your friends or family; this is what handsfree was made for. Or put some music on and have a glass of red wine as you cook, and it won’t seem as laborious as you thought! Once you’ve decided to have a go at cooking your own version of your favourite Indian or Chinese meal, you’ll need to do a little preparation.

Stock up

You might need to stock up on some essential herbs and spices,If you’re not used to cooking dishes like this regularly. Lots of shops and supermarkets now sell pre-assembled packs of all the spices you need to create a particular dish.  Use ready-made pastes, and even frozen pre-chopped vegetables, and you can have your meal on the table in less time than it takes to phone for a curry and get it delivered. There are plenty of ways to simplify the process too, making it quick, easy and cheap to make a fakeaway.

3 ways to simplify the process

1. Recipe Boxes

Able and Cole have a selection of yummy recipe boxes. You have a choice of themes to choose from; simple, foodie, light and vegetarian. Then each box has all the ingredients that you need for 3 recipes (you can add more if you wish). You can then tailor the box to your personal taste. I will say that the portions are quite generous (mmmm, leftovers).

2. Start the day before

Make your spice mix the day before or marinate your meat overnight to give yourself a head start. I love this authentic Jamaican Jerk seasoning mix recipe. You can use it on meat, fish and even tofu! Beef burgers can be made a day or two before so that they’re ready to grill when you get home on a Friday evening.

3. Double up

One of my favourite tips is to cook two meals at once. For example, if you’re cooking a lovely spag bol, make twice as much meat sauce and you can use it for a Sheperd’s Pie later that week (or freeze it). Or when cooking brown rice make extra so that you can use it in a stir-fry the next day. Even when chopping onions, chop two and pop one portion in the fridge for your next meal.

You see, all you need is a little planning when cooking for yourself.  Whether you want fried chicken, burger and chips or pizza, or all manner of curried creations, making it yourself will be far better, for your wallet and it’s tailored to your tastes!

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