6 ways to save money on takeaways
Ah, takeaways – they hold a very special place in every student's heart (and coronary). They also don't have to cost you an arm and a leg!
Treating yourself to a takeaway can be the highlight of your week, especially if you're missing home comforts and your mum's cooking.
But when you're living solely off your student loan, can your budget really stretch to the occasional fast food indulgence? Well, yes it can. In fact, ordering takeaway food can be a lot more affordable than you might think, provided you know how to order in the smart way.
We all deserve a treat every now and again – here's how you phone in the treats without getting tricked out of pocket!
We've put together these five top tips to help you save money when ordering your takeaway.
Gone are the days when you'd ring up your local takeaway to order your food from a now-defunct menu that had been floating around your house for years. Thanks to our trusty pal 'the internet', you can order from constantly-updated online menus from the comfort of your sofa.
With lots of restaurants all competing for your custom in one place, they'll often run special offers to attract customers. These can be anything from freebies when you order over a certain amount, to 25% off your total bill.
And if you haven't got much cash lying around, there's no need to start looking down the back of the sofa. You can just pay online with your debit card at the time of ordering – you can even tip the driver online too!
Take a look at our current food and drink student deals and see if there's anything that gets your tummy rumbling!
Stretch your takeaway further
Knowing that you delivery is costing you more than it would if you made it for yourself can really niggle away at you (and your pockets).
Upping your order a bit (this can also get you a good discount if you go over a certain total) and reserving your leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day will make the whole delivery thing way more economical. Even dive in for breakfast if you feel like it!
Recreate the experience at home
Okay, so we realise that part of the attraction of ordering a takeaway is that it requires very little effort on your behalf, but there's no reason why you can't make your own.
You'll save money, and your creations will probably be a lot easier on the arteries!
We also spoke to a student chef who told us how to recreate our favourite KFC, Nando's and Wagamama meals at home for just £2 per portion - almost as good as the real thing for a fraction of the price!
You can also pick up this Takeaway Secrets book from Amazon to get all of your favourite fast-food recipes.
Get a job as a delivery driver
Credit: Vivian Evans – Flickr.com
Got a few hours spare on an evening? If you're lucky enough to have a car, getting a part-time job as a delivery driver can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash – and you'll probably get free meals out of it too!
Even if you don't have a car, companies like Deliveroo and other online delivery companies have started hiring staff to do deliveries by bike.
Not only will this mean you get lots of free food when money's tight, but you'll be able to burn keep fit and earn few bob in the process!
Read the flyers!
Credit: Michael Coghlan – Flickr.com
Keep your eyes open for special offers coming through your letterbox. If you live in a student area, you'll probably receive masses of takeaway menus every week.
Before you go ahead and chuck them in the bin, have a quick glance to see if there are any good offers available. Some companies offer a different deal each day, including freebies when you spend over £10.
When placing your order, make sure you ask about deals, and double check the figures if you're ordering online. They're not always automatically added, so you need to check that you'll receive the offer.
Also beware that sometimes (rarely, but it does happen) the special offers don't actually work out cheaper. Always do the maths before placing your order.
Search the supermarket for 'takeaway' options
Many supermarkets now offer their own versions of popular takeaways. You can buy everything packed up in a box, ready to just stick in the microwave or oven when you get home.
The prices of these items are often much less than you'd pay for a real takeaway, but are almost as tasty and more convenient. Whether you prefer Indian, Chinese or Italian, you'll find a wide range of choices.
Marks and Spencer regularly offers its Dine In For 2 deal that will get you a main course, a side dish, a dessert and a bottle of wine for two people to share, for around £10. Posher than a takeaway and probably cheaper too!
If you follow these tips, you could find that a regular takeaway isn't too taxing on your purse.
Have you managed to save money on takeaway food? We'd love to know how you did it, so leave your comments below!