Who would not love to come home and eat takeout for dinner every night? Believe it or not, it is possible; you can enjoy your favorite meals at home and without the expensive costs, too. With just a bit of minimal preparation, takeout can be yours tonight without breaking the bank. Creating your own takeout meals at home is the most affordable way to enjoy your favorite dishes every day of the week. There is no need to rush to a restaurant across town when you are craving a juicy burger and fries. Save your money and make them at home instead. Planning is the best way to ensure you have the necessary ingredients when a hankering for your favorite takeout strikes. Prepare a grocery list at the beginning of each week that includes the ingredients for your favorite Italian, Chinese or pizza or use the recipes below. If you always have the items needed to make your favorite takeout, you will be more likely to make takeout at home than to get dressed on a lazy Sunday afternoon to go shopping. Burgers & Fries 1 lb. ground beef 1 pkg. dry marinade mix, any flavor 4 to 6 Yukon gold potatoes Salt and pepper Spices, optional Use your hands to mix the ground beef and the dry marinade. Separate the meat into four portions and create a hamburger patty with each portion. Grill the burgers or broil them in the oven for 7 minutes on each side. Wash the potatoes in warm water to remove any excess dirt. Slice the potatoes into thin, rectangular slices, measuring approximately one-half inch wide. Preheat oil in a deep fryer or large pot until the temperature is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the French fries in the oil for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the French fries with salt, pepper and your favorite spices. General Tso’s Chicken Meat: 3 pounds chicken, cut in chunks 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 teaspoon pepper 1 egg 1 cup cornstarch 1 cup vegetable oil Sauce: 1/2 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup water 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 2 teaspoons ginger 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup vinegar 1/4 cup sherry wine 1 – 1/2 cup chicken broth 1 tablespoon dried red pepper Prepare the Chicken: Place the chicken, soy sauce, pepper and egg in a large bowl and stir together. Add 1 cup of cornstarch to the chicken mixture and stir until the chicken is coated. Pour 1 cup of vegetable oil over the chicken and stir to separate the pieces of meat. Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chicken pieces for 3 to 5 minutes in the hot oil. Drain the cooked chicken on a paper towel or in a metal colander. Make the Sauce: Stir together the cornstarch and water. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and combine until the sugar dissolves. Pour the sauce into a large saucepan or wok. Heat on medium temperature until the sauce is bubbling. Add the chicken to the sauce and stir to coat the meat. Cook the chicken in the sauce for approximately 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve over rice or broccoli florets. Pizza Homemade Crust 1 cup warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1 /4 teaspoon salt 2 – 1 /2 cups flour 1 package of yeast Place the above ingredients in a bread machine, in the exact order they are written or as directed by your bread machine manual. Select the pizza dough or dough setting and press start. Roll the prepared dough into a large circle, on a lightly floured surface. Pizza Sauce 1 large can crushed tomatoes 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings 1 teaspoon brown sugar Place the tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasonings and brown sugar into a medium saucepan and heat on medium temperature for approximately 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Top the pizza crust with homemade sauce, and then add your favorite toppings like mushrooms, onions and peppers, sausage, pepperoni or bacon and pineapple. Place the pizza on a large pan and bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Baked Ravioli in Marinara Sauce 1 package frozen ravioli, cheese or meat 1 jar marinara sauce 1 package shredded Italian cheese Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a pot of water on the stove, to boiling. Place the ravioli in the water and cook as directed on the packaging. Drain the water from the ravioli and place the pasta in a large baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the ravioli. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the pasta. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. To save even more time during a busy week, prepare your takeout meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer, in individual size dishes, until you are ready to eat them.