Yes, we get it. Sometimes life gets in the way. We’re as guilty as anyone at being waaay too readily convinced to choose the easy option, reaching for the phone and opening that app the moment that the suggestion leaves our companion’s lips. And sure, the occasional takeaway should not be demonised. But when it becomes a regular thing, a default option rather than a treat, it becomes a problem. So if you feel like things are getting out of hand, here are 5 IDEAL ways cut back on your takeaway habit.

BUY GROCERIES

It goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway; get stocked up! Of course you’re more likely to order a takeaway if your fridge is constantly empty. Set aside money for a weekly food shop and actually go shopping. Because those in the grips of a takeaway habit look for any excuse as to why ordering one is the right thing to do.

Consider setting up a weekly online shop if you think you don’t have time to go to the store; you could get a weekly recipe box like hello fresh or Gusto delivered straight to your door and play masterchef instead of couch cook. These subscription services drop of a box of all the ingredients you need to cook wholesome meals at home each week, complete with easy step-by-step recipes which take hardly anytime to rustle up – so there’s really no excuse not to cook.

THINK ABOUT ALL THE OTHER THINGS YOU COULD BUY

DLM Distributions, who offer a newspaper distribution service, looked at how much us Brits spend on takeways. It reveals we spend an annual £30bn on takeaways and fast food. That’s some serious dosh. Indeed, according to research, ordering takeaways cost Britons £1,000 per year — around £80 per month on average. If you’re living in London — the price rockets, with monthly takeaways costing £107 per person. When you add things up and consider the bigger picture, the absurd costs get real. Just think about all the other things you could buy with that money – a holiday, a car, a few brilliant meals at Michelin starred restaurants…

BULK COOK ON THE WEEKEND

We’ve all been there; a long, stressful day at work and a late finish leads you straight into the takeaway on your way home, the ingredients for that Bolognese safe in the fridge for at least another day. A study by Just Eat revealed that those who admitted to a takeaway habit offered a lack of time as the primary reason for ordering in, and it doesn’t help that there are so many delivery services available at the touch of a button and deals aplenty to entice you.

So, set aside some time on Sunday and make a few different dishes for the week. Kee[ them safe in the freezer and you won’t be tempted with takeaways and going out for a ‘quick bite’ after work when you’ve got a delicious homemade meal waiting for you. Also, don’t be ashamed to be that person sifting through the reduced section – just freeze your bargains and use them to cook another time.

REMEMBER THAT COOKING IS GOOD FOR YOU

We all know cooking at home is better for us – and it’s important we all spend more time in the kitchen for a myriad of reasons. Researchers have concluded that those who frequently cook meals at home eat more healthily and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. A study published by the John Hopkins School of Public Health has claimed that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who eat out or order in with regularity.

There are so many reasons to spend more time in the kitchen and there are so many benefits to cooking for yourself and others. Cooking is therapeutic; good for the soul as well as the taste buds. Preparing a meal for others makes us feel happy and connected, bringing people together and enhancing social interaction. There’s also an element of self care in cooking. When you cook good food for yourself, you’re nourishing your mind and body and a sense of purpose and pride is restored.

LET YOURSELF ORDER ONE OCCASIONALLY

We should all treat ourselves once in a while. The need to occasionally pamper ourselves is fundamental to human happiness. Maybe we’ve had a long week and need a reward. A takeaway, from time to time, is the perfect indulgence. Plus, the more you deprive yourself of something, the more you crave it. Just treat it as a treat, not a habit. Job done.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.