The title of this site tells you it's about complicated cooking, but to make the time for kitchen complications I like to save time where I can.
Here's a tasty, cheap, and easy way to make Thai-style curry that is likely gonna be as good as what you are getting at your take-out joint. Hit your Asian market and look for Mae Ploy brand curry paste. A 400 g tub should cost about three bucks, and it will make several giant batches of very tasty curry. It's a ridiculously good deal.
This post is not a Mae Ploy commercial, though it probably looks like it!