Whether it's pizza, Chinese, or fish and chips, there's no doubt the range of choice and convenience often leads us to reach for a takeaway. In fact, KPMG suggests two-thirds of Brits order at least one takeaway a week. And when two-thirds of people in the UK don't feel confident about cooking without following a recipe, choosing a takeaway may seem like the only option when you're unsure where to start cooking something new.


However, takeaways are notoriously high in calories and are certainly not the healthiest choice in terms of ingredients and the way they're cooked. They can also negatively impact your savings – research shows that the average brit spends £641 per year on takeaways! And with the current cost of living crisis, consumers will be looking for ways to cut costs.


With this in mind, cooking takeaway-style food — also known as fakeaway — at home may be the way to go to save on cash as well as calories.


We wanted to find out just how much people could save by swapping their favourite takeaway. But what are the UK's most popular choices?


We found out what type of takeaway cuisine people searched for most using Google search volumes for terms like “takeaway pizza” from February 2022 to February 2023. Here’s the results:

  1. Chinese takeaway — 165,000 searches

  2. Takeaway fish and chips — 90,500 searches

  3. Takeaway pizza — 14,800 searches

  4. Takeaway curry —9,900 searches

  5. Takeaway burger — 2,900 searches

To determine how much you could save when replicating these meals at home, we dug into supermarket and restaurant price data to compare the cost of cooking at home vs. ordering in. We also compared the calories between the two by using nutritional information and calorie tracking app, MyFitnessPal.


The main findings

  • Brits could be saving up to a staggering £480 a year by simply swapping their weekly takeaway for a fakeaway
  • Between £12-£37 could be saved a month by swapping to a weekly fakeaway and the average amount that could be saved is £22
  • If a Five Guys takeaway burger was swapped for a fakeaway burger once a week £32.92 could be saved in 1 month or £427.96 over a year
  • If a weekly Wagamama’s takeaway curry was swapped for a fakeaway version, £37 would be saved in a month or £482 over a year
  • When it came to calories, we learnt that Brits could consume 1684 less on average over 1 month if a weekly takeaway became a fakeaway
  • Homemade fish and chips could contain 600 less calories compared to eating out
  • If a person usually ordered two high calorie takeaways per week, such as a burger and fish and chips, but these were swapped for fakeaways for a month, 4,600 calories could be saved

As well as giving you insight into what you could be saving, we asked expert chef Peter Sidwell to share his top tips for recreating your favourite takeaways at home.


Takeaway vs fakeaway: The results and how to recreate your favourites at home

1. Chinese


According to Google data, Chinese cuisine takes the top spot for the most-loved takeaway.

But it’s clear too much can be detrimental to your waistline: the large portion of the popular Chopstix Sweet Chilli Prawn Fried Rice contains a significant 517 calories more than our Shrimp Fried Rice recipe. And if you swapped this takeaway for the fakeaway recipe once a week, you could be saving 2068 calories over a month!


Peter explains the reason for this, "Chopstix’s dish, and South Asian cuisine in general, traditionally contains sauces made with ingredients like sesame oil, soy sauce, and sake, which are high in salt and calories, as well as fat.”


“Chinese takeaway food is also shockingly high in sugar when it comes to syrupy sauces in dishes like sweet and sour, so cooking at home will give you more control over how much is going into your food. It's also easy to make healthier swaps to the lighter version of ingredients like soy sauce and oil. Or, you could simply skip the soy sauce and sake altogether, replacing it with water or broth to cut down on unnecessary calories.


Controlling your portion size can also be more difficult when eating take-out; 60g is the recommended amount for a homemade portion, whereas the Chopstix large box will be much more. It's super easy to reduce the amount of rice and, therefore, your calories when cooking at home.”


And it isn’t only calories a fakeaway can save on: if you swapped this takeaway dish with a homemade one once a week, you could be saving £21.56 a month or £280 a year!


To save even more money when cooking a fakeaway at home, Peter recommends swapping certain ingredients for ones you may already have in your kitchen.


"Chinese food usually calls for many ingredients, which can get costly. But you can easily substitute ingredients like sake for a dry sherry or white wine, which you probably already have in your cupboard. And you'll still be left with the same great flavour!"


2. Fish and chips


Fish and chips is a popular choice of takeaway and it’s easy to see why. Golden, crispy cod melts in the mouth and chips, with their crunchy outside and fluffy interior, are what dreams are made of.


But indulging in takeaway fish and chips too often could damage your health, as takeaways tend to use lots of oil which is high in calories and fat. In fact, restaurant fish and chips contain a significant 600 calories more than the homemade version. So if you swapped the takeaway for a fakeaway just once a week, you could cut back on 2400 calories over a month.


When it comes to price, making fish and chips at home costs just £2.64 per portion — around half the price of a Wetherspoons fish and chips at £5.80. If you swapped your Wetherspoons fish and chips for a homemade version once a week, £12.64 could be saved monthly.


When making it at home is so easy and requires few ingredients, why not give a homemade fish and chip recipe a try? Peter explains how some simple swaps can achieve the same delicious results but healthier.


"Fish and chip shops usually use beer in their fish batter, which is high in calories but low in nutrients," explains Peter.


"When replicating the takeaway at home, sparkling water is an excellent alternative with no calories that will still give you deliciously crispy batter! The bubbles help your batter stick to the fish, giving you a light and airy texture. And you just have to follow the same method as you would with beer: pour the sparkling water into your flour mix and whisk continuously until you have a silky smooth batter. But remember not to over-whisk; you want as many bubbles in your batter as possible for extra crunchiness!


When it comes to the chips, try baking them in the oven instead of using a deep-fat fryer. This will cut down on oil which is notoriously high in calories. You could also use a lighter version of oil, or an air fryer, giving you the option of ditching it altogether."


3. Pizza


Of course, pizza is delicious, but it's also notoriously high in calories and fat.


When compared with a portion of Dominos Hawaiian pizza (three slices), the homemade version (half a pizza per portion) contained 95 calories less. And even if you ate the entire homemade recipe, you would still consume 518 fewer calories than you would if you ate a full Domino's medium pizza.


Therefore, homemade pizza may be the key to enjoying your favourite food without the added calories. Not only that, but it'll also cut down your spending: opting for an entire homemade pizza instead of the whole Domino's pizza would save you £16.79 and £5 per portion!


Peter gives us his take on how to reduce your calories by cooking a pizza at home.


"There are plenty of ways you can cut down on calories and fat without sacrificing flavour when making a pizza fakeaway. A simple way to do this is to use a low-fat or light mozzarella, which is 181 calories per 100g, compared to 217 calories for normal. The best bit is the taste difference is usually unnoticeable!


You should also consider sauces, which are typically high in calories. For example, a small Dominos garlic and herb sauce is 169 calories, and a large pot is 675. When cooking at home, you have much more control over these, and supermarkets have plenty of lighter versions. Or you could even try your hand at creating your own garlic and herb dip using light sour cream or fat-free greek yoghurt."


4. Curry


Curry is up there with the UK's favourite takeaways, but it's definitely not the healthiest; the recommended calorie amount for dinner is 500-700, and the famous Wagamama's Katsu Curry is nearly double that! Recreating this dish at home could save you 527 calories and 2108 monthly if you swapped it once a week.


A bonus is that you could save £37 a month, or £482 a year, if you opted for the homemade recipe once a week.


"An air-fryer is the key to getting the same deliciously crispy texture of takeaway katsu chicken without the added fat! If you don't have one of these, try baking your katsu chicken in the oven using a low-cal cooking spray instead of using a deep-fat fryer which requires lots of oil,” says Peter.


“When cooking at home, it's also easy to make simple swaps, like substituting your white rice for brown rice, which is more nutritious. Brown rice contains more fibre, keeping you fuller for longer and you’ll be less likely to snack on other things after your meal.


Takeaways often use panko breadcrumbs which contain unhealthy additives, salt, and refined white flour, which is lacking in nutrients but high in calories. Making breadcrumbs from scratch using wholewheat bread is a great way to avoid these ingredients. And it's super easy!


Simply pulse your bread in a food processor until you have the size you want, season with a little salt and pepper, and pop in the oven at around 150°C. Then just cook for six to eight minutes until your breadcrumbs are dry but not too toasted.


It's also a great way to use leftover bread, preventing food waste and saving money!"


5. Burger


Takeaway burgers are usually loaded with salt and contain an unhealthy amount of fat. So it may not come as a surprise that swapping your Five Guy's burger once a week for a homemade one can cut 2660 calories a month from your diet, or 892 for a Mcdonald's.


You could also be cutting down on spending: switching your burger takeaway for a fakeaway once a month will save you £7.88 for Mcdonald's or a significant £32.92 for Five Guys.


Peter gives us some insight into why creating a homemade version is better for your health and gives us some tips on how to do it.


"The problem with takeaway burgers is that they're often loaded with ingredients high in calories and fat. When making homemade cheeseburgers, you're in control, so you can easily reduce the calorie content by choosing healthier ingredients," explains Peter.


"Be mindful of the fat content in beef mince; while 500g of regular mince contains 337 calories when fried, the same amount of lean mince has only 174. The meat is a huge part of your burger, so opting for a leaner mince could really lower your calorie intake. Or, for an even lower-calorie alternative, you could try subbing mince for veggies instead – like this beetroot burger.


Sauces can also make a difference; a portion of Five Guys mayonnaise is 155 calories, whereas Hellman's Light Mayonnaise is only 40 calories per serving. So, creating a burger at home is clearly the healthier option.


Another ingredient to keep in mind is the bread roll. If you're trying to lose weight, wrapping your patty in a lettuce leaf is a healthier, low-calorie alternative."


Enjoy your favourite takeaway for less

"It's clear that fakeaways can save on calories, as well as cost, and this data proves it! With the cost of living crisis and the rising price of ingredients, opting for a homemade meal instead of spending hard-earned money on takeaways could really help out," says Peter.


"With the neverending range of choices and the convenience of having food delivered to your doorstep, it's no wonder people get into unhealthy habits when it comes to ordering food. And people may be reluctant to get into cooking due to a lack of knowledge or fear of getting something wrong — especially if they haven't done it much before.


But you can still enjoy delicious takeaway-style food at home and cooking is a valuable skill to have. It can actually be fun once you get into the swing of things!


If you're new to cooking, there are plenty of recipes and how-to videos to watch online to get you started. My top tip is to take it slow — try starting with something simple to build your confidence, and don't worry if something goes wrong. Practice makes perfect!”


Investing in basic cooking equipment like non-stick pans, baking trays, and utensils means you’ll have the essentials needed for making various recipes. Discover our full range of cook and bakeware at CookServeEnjoy.



Google search data

To determine the top five takeaways people in the UK are searching for the most, we analysed Google search data from the past 12 months (February 2022 to February 2023), for 20 of the most popular takeaways. We also observed the year on year change.


Search terms for each included the word “takeaway” followed by the cuisine. For example, “takeaway pizza”.


Search terms with the highest volumes were chosen as the top five most popular takeaways, and are as follows:


Takeaway Cuisine Search term UK Search Vol. (last 12 months) YoY Change

1. Chinese

“Chinese takeaway”


+ 50%

2. Fish and Chips

“Takeaway fish and chips”


- 45%

3. Pizza

“Takeaway pizza”


+ 49%

4. Burger

“Takeaway burger”


- 45%

5. Curry

“Takeaway curry”


+ 21%


Calorie data 

Once the top five takeaways were determined, the next step was to collect calorie information. For each cuisine, a generic homemade recipe was chosen, as well as a popular UK-based takeaway equivalent.


  • Homemade meal — The calorie data for the homemade meals was collected using the MyFitnessPal app. Each ingredient in the recipe was scanned and logged, and the calories were added up to reach a total for the recipe.
  • Takeaway meal — The calorie information for the popular takeaway meals was collected from the respective restaurant’s published nutritional information, which is available online.

The takeaway calories were then compared to the “fakeaway” calories to work out the difference.


Price data
  • Homemade meal — The cost of the homemade meal was determined by adding up the cost of the quantity of individual ingredients in the recipe, using the "basic" version of each from a major UK supermarket chain. Food prices constantly change, so it's important to note that this data was collected in March 2023. The study also assumed that the ingredients, oil, salt, pepper, and water, wouldn't have to be purchased, so these aren't included in the price calculation.
  • Takeaway meal — The cost of the popular takeaway meals was collected from the published pricing information, which is available online.

The takeaway price was then compared to the "fakeaways" price to determine the difference and how much consumers could save if they swapped their weekly takeaway for a homemade meal for one month.