As the cost of living continues to rise, many of us may be rethinking our weekly food budget and weighing up if we can afford to factor in a takeaway meal every now and then.
In this blog, we look at how seasonal veggies can be turned into deliciously affordable homemade ‘fakeaway’ meals that are high on taste and low on cost.
Seasonable produce is key
Let’s be honest … it’s hard to diss on the occasional takeaway meal. It’s convenient, provides some variety to our diet and gives us a break from the kitchen.
The bad news is that most takeaway food is only becoming more expensive, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The good news is that with a little planning, you can turn seasonal produce into a delicious and affordable alternative to buying takeaway.
Never boring, always affordable
A good “fakeaway” doesn’t have to be time-consuming, costly or boring. Best of all, swapping takeaway for a fakeaway can improve your health by increasing your daily intake of vegetables and reducing your intake of saturated fats, salt and sugar.
Seasonal produce will also save you dollars in these tougher economic times. In fact, recent research shows purchasing healthy foods (per the Australian Dietary Guidelines) can save you $75 a week at the supermarket! That’s a nearly $4000 saving every year!
How to create the perfect fakeaway
Planning is the key to creating the perfect fakeaway. Factor it into your weekly food shop and consider how long you want to spend in the kitchen making it. That way, you’ll have ingredients on hand and know in advance how long it will take to prepare and cook.
Pizza is one of Australia’s most popular takeaway meals and depending on what toppings you like and where you get it from, one pizza can cost $20 or more (especially if you use a food delivery service).
For a fresher, healthier, budget-friendly alternative why not try this barbecued chicken and vegetable pizza recipe? It takes 10 minutes to prepare, costs approx. $16 and serves up to 12 people. It’s also really yummy!
The ultimate burger
Prefer a burger? Within 30 minutes, you can have 4 delicious homemade beef burgers on the table that are low in fat, high in fibre and terrific on the tastebuds at a cost of $20 (less than the cost of four “fast food” burgers).
While we can’t totally guarantee you a night off from the kitchen (unless you can convince your partner or friend to cook) our homemade takeaway alternatives using fresh, seasonal produce mean you can have variety and taste at a fraction of the cost.
Explore more takeaway swap recipes, including tacos and bolognaise.
 Eat for health. The Australian dietary guidelines. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/ Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retail Trade Australia. September 2023. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/industry/retail-and-wholesale-trade/retail-trade-australia/aug-2023
 ABC News. 2032. Eating healthily can save a family of four $150 at the checkout a fortnight, research finds. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-27/healthy-eating-can-save-you-money-food-affordability-study-finds/103020276