If you are someone who does not have the time or energy to cook daily meals, or if you tend to skip breakfast because you’re running late for work every day and then get drive-thru fast food for dinner on the way back home – this one is for you. I can totally understand where you are coming from and no this does not make you a slob. Life is hectic these days and you are just too exhausted to handle cooking on top of it and that is okay. Meal prepping is one way to tackle this. Yes it takes some work, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually super easy!
Whether you’re living alone, with a partner, with friends, or with family – spending less money on food can be a great way to cut back on your spending. Some argue that cooking is actually more expensive but if you cook smart and shop right – you can make your meals filling, healthy and cheap. What’s the point of spending RM 20 for a simple pasta dish at a cafe when you can make something similar for a quarter of the price? I did a simple experiment to compare the cost of eating out as opposed to home cooked meals for the work week. The results were surprising and encouraging at the same time!
Time is a tricky little thing. No matter what we do, we do not seem to have enough of it! Whether you’re a working individual, student or parent, we could all use some extra time. Meal prepping an hour or two frees up the rest of your week. If you cook quicker, make use of appliances like the instant pot or rice cooker, and choose simple dishes – you may be able to do it in even lesser time.
If money and time are not enough to convince you, because you are one those people who claim that you can “just eat nasi lemak for RM1″ or something along those lines, this one is for you: health. Most often the cheap, easy food we are buying is not good for us in the long term. Specially if we eat this food daily. It is always better to know what we are putting into our bodies. With meal prepping, you can make your food as clean as you want and know exactly what you are consuming.
Different people approach meal prepping in varying ways. This could be according to their dietary requirements, preferences, budget and time. One simple method I started with is as follows:
– Figure out your protein, carbohydrate, veggies and fruits.
– Decide on how many portions you want to make and buy appropriate amounts of ingredients.
– Prep the meals.
– Box away and forget about cooking for the rest of the week!
If you want to avoid eating out completely, or are on a strict budget, you can actually meal prep your entire week’s breakfast, lunch and dinner in one go. Of course, you would have to freeze some of the meals – be mindful that it’s not good to leave most kinds of food in the refrigerator for longer than 4 days. If you are a little more flexible with time, or even if you want some more variety of food – perhaps you can do two rounds of prepping, e.g. on Sundays and then Wednesday evenings. I’m just really lazy so I prefer to do it in one night.
So once all that is out of the way and you’re motivated to try meal prepping, the next question is what are you going to cook/ bake/ make. I highly recommend these YouTube channels for great meal prep recipes and ideas: