Do you eat takeaways?

I most certainly do.

As much as I would like to be the kind of person who only eats home made, organic, local food I’m not. I do prepare a lot of my own food, but a takeaway is still a nice treat.

It’s probably a habit I got into as a student, pizza is easy and creates very little washing up (and the boxes are recyclable, which didn’t bother me as a student, but it does now) I also travel a fair bit and it’s not that easy to cook in a hotel room and eating out EVERY night not only interferes with my ability to watch the Apprentice on TV but also costs a fortune, way more than a takeaway.

I recommended Greasypalm before when I was talking about ways to have fun with no money, and one of the sites I use regularly through Greasypalm to get cash back is Just-Eat.co.uk

They’ve recently just re vamped their website, and the reason for this post is that they asked me to review it. I was a little unsure at first as it’s not fashion, beauty or green or women’s issues, which are my main focus, but it is a service I use, and one that you might find useful and it’s my blog, and I can write about what I want, so ner. Also most of the takeaways on the Just-Eat site are independent, local businesses and sites like Just-Eat and it’s competitors offer them a chance to compete with the national corporations that already offer online food ordering.

According to my account I placed my first order with just eat in January 2008, so I’ve been using it for over a year. There are other takeaway sites, I personally have used Hungry House (it takes Paypal, so very handy), and there is also Order Takeaway , Fancy a Bite to Eat and Eat it now, which I haven’t used (and aren’t on greasypalm!)

I think Just Eat and online ordering in general has 2 main benefits for me. One is that all the takeaway menus that get stuffed through my door now go straight in the recycling bin so they’re not cluttering up my tables, drawers and door mat. The other is that, as a frequent traveller, I can put my post code in, wherever I may be, and find all the local takeaways that will deliver a nice hot pizza directly to my hotel room and also, most importantly, local reviews, so I don’t poison myself on a dodgy kebab.

Other reasons I actually like and use Just-Eat are that I earn 2.25% cash back with Greasypalm every time I order, so it saves me money, and for every £2 I spend I get 400 Just-Eat points which you can use in their points shop to donate money to charities such as Oxfam and Action Against Hunger, Or you can save them up for an X-Box 360 if you are a little more self serving.

The new site design is much slicker and easier to navigate, I do, however, have a complaint. Dum dum dum!

I am currently in the OX16 postcode. When I enter that post code I get a huge list of takeaways that deliver to OX1, so if you live in a postcode area with 2 digits you might want to double check before placing any orders as this is a bit of an issue, but hopefully one that they’ll fix as I’ll be disappointed if they let me down!

‘Green’ your takeaway

Getting a takeaway can be damaging to the planet and your health in several ways. The packaging, petrol used to get the food to your house and the wastage when you order too much are all problems. So let me finish off with a few hints to ‘green’ your takeaway this weekend.

  • Keep or recycle the packaging

Many Chinese and Indian restaurants now deliver food is reusable containers with plastic lids instead of the tin kind. Keep them, wash them, and never buy tupperware again. If you’re not lucky enough to have one of these then remember that tin foil and cardboard can all be recycled.

  • Don’t be afraid of leftovers

Only put what you think you can eat on your plate, you can always go back and put more on if you’re still hungry. The leftovers can be frozen and re heated next time you fancy a takeaway, thus saving you money as well as the carbon emissions from the little man on a moped that brings you your food.

  • Think about what you order

Not just from the point of view of wet her it’s going to make you fat or not (it will, all of it, trust me!) but also from an ethical perspective. The chicken in your chicken chow mein is unlikely to be free range and neither is the egg in your egg fried rice. Shop responsibly as you would in the supermarket, choose vegetarian dishes or meat like lamb or beef which has less issues associated with its farming (this is debatable, in an ecological sense, but in terms of animal welfare I believe this is the case, please tell me if you know differently!)

Photo Courtesy of Plindberg