A new study has revealed that Chinese cuisine is our favourite type of takeaway - followed by curries and pizzas. It's not surprising, after-all, each cuisine offers an enormous number of crowd-pleasers. However, Paymentsense, who were behind the study, also revealed just how much we spend per order, and our takeaway habit is alarmingly expensive.
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The top ten takeaways:
4. Fish and chips
7. Kebabs or burgers
The priciest takeaways are Mexican dishes - costing an average of £11.90 per person. This was followed by Turkish at £10.79 and Thai at £10.61. In total, six of the top ten takeaways cost more than £10 per person.
Most expensive takeaways
The amount we spend is rising across most of the UK. Between January last year and the same time this year, it was up an average of 9%. The biggest rises were in Northern Ireland, where people spent 40% more, the North East where they spent 36% more and Scotland where they spent 20% more. Only in the South West did the takeaway spend fall.
The average amount spent on a takeaway is £9.75. A study a few years ago for the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health found that one in five people have a takeaway at least once a week. Meanwhile, a separate study for Vouchercodes.co.uk found that young men living in cities eat an average of 151 takeaways a year, while young women eat 126.
What a waste
The sheer calorific content of most takeaways means this level of intake is going to cost you dear in health terms. However, the monetary cost is pretty eye-watering too.
If you were to eat one takeaway a week (and pay the average for it), that's £507 each a year on takeaways. If you were to eat 126 a year, that would come to £1,228.50. And saving this cash is not hard.
Take a Chinese takeaway - which costs an average of £9.86 per person, per takeaway. If you had one a week, it would cost £513.
Even if you were to swap the takeaway for a ready meal, you could save substantially. Waitrose, for example, has a takeaway meal bag for two - including egg fried rice, chicken chow mein, beef in black bean sauce and sweet and sour chicken with 6 vegetable spring rolls for £10. One a week would set you back £260 each.
If you can chuck a few things in a wok, you could get ready-to-eat noodles, pre-prepared stir fry veg, a sweet chilli sauce, and chicken for £4.50 a head (from Waitrose), or £234 a year. If you were prepared to cook from scratch, shop around, and buy basics ranges, you can easily bring this down to £2 a head - costing £104 a year. That's a saving of £403 a year - without cutting back on the amount of Chinese food you eat.
For a family, the savings mount quickly and impressively. A family of four hungry people can therefore save more than £1,500 a year - which could mean new iPads every year or a family holiday every couple of years. Alternatively you could save up for a decade and splash out on a brand new Fiat 500 - or a Mini.
But what do you think? Is the temptation of £1,500 a year enough to wean you off takeaways - or would it take much more than that?