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Save Money on Food: Intro to Meal-Prepping

lazada malaysia

 

Let me start this post by saying that it contains affiliate links from Lazada Malaysia, because I’m trying to be a smart cookie. All the links have no extra cost to you, so if you enjoyed this article, please support me by using them links. If this works, I will do a post on how to make money with affiliate marketing. Good news for you interested to find out how to earn extra income online, no? 😉

Now that the obligatory disclaimer post is out of the way, I also want to add that I’m already a big Lazada fan anyway. I do my online shopping there all the time.

Here’s one of the ways to save money on food: Meal-prepping

WTF is Meal-Prepping?

Meal-prepping is  simply prepping your meals in advance and it is awesome. I love the process. It usually takes me a couple of hours upfront but I have enough food for the rest of the week. When I was working in an office, I brought food from home almost every day. Because I worked in Bangsar, lunch in that area costs RM10 on average. 22 days of work a month, RM10 a day, and you’re looking at RM220 on lunch costs.

Too much. I don’t even like outside food that much. I don’t look it, but I’m health conscious. I don’t like taking MSG. I don’t like knowing that my vegetables were probably not washed properly. I don’t even like  transacting cash at restaurants because physical money can be bleeping dirty.

By meal prepping, my entire groceries bill for the month usually hover around RM250-350 for all breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So you tell me if meal-prepping works or not. I swear this is true – I actually calculated my cost per meal in this post – it was RM2.86.

Meal-prep recipes tend to be simple and revolves around food that keep well. Their only downside is that you must be okay with having the same food over and over again in the course of a week. I know some people hate not having variety every day. If that’s the case, this probably isn’t the best money-saving tip for you. But try it anyway – start with just 2 days’ worth of meals and go from there.

What You Need For Meal-Prepping

Ideally, a kitchen with all the whizzbangs and the gizmos. But basically, just:

  • Ingredients
  • Things to prep ingredients with
  • Things to cook ingredients with
  • Shitload of food containers
  • Refrigeration

I’ll even give you some beginner recipes to start with

  • Sandwich bread + pre-roasted chicken + cucumber/raw salad [tools: knife]
  • Rice/pasta/Noodle + boiled chicken + ready made sauce + boiled vege [tools: knife, pot/rice cooker with steamer/microwave]
  • Fried rice + any leftovers protein and vege [tools: knife, wok/frying pan]
  • Roasted potatoes/root vegetables + chicken baked in tin foil [tools: knife, oven]

Usually the combo is carb+protein+vegetables. This is a really, really good website for meal-prepping. So many ideas and pictures! Level up if you have the cooking skills.

lazada malaysia meal prep
Image credit to http://mymealprepsunday.com

Things to Get from Lazada Malaysia to Start Meal-Prepping on a Budget

Note: I spent some bleeping good hours to search for these products so you don’t have to. They contain affiliate links. All picture credit goes to respective owners.

Food containers

Just get a lot of the same kind. They don’t have to be expensive, but don’t get the disposable ones. From experience, those are just frustrating – they were cheap but cracked so easily and spilled everywhere. Also, get the stackable ones – you’ll thank me for this. Also, don’t get odd shapes. Unless you’re really confident in your tetris skills.

Here are some affordable options available in Lazada Malaysia. They all have good reviews (except the IKEA one, what’s up with that?), and cost around or under RM30 for each set.




I used to hate Tupperware with a passion – I thought they were overpriced. Turns out, they are really BIFL (buy it for life) material. My Tupperwares last way longer than the rest of food containers. If you have a Tupperware budget, these are the cheapest I found on the website (ie under RM80 for 4).


And IMHO this looks perfect for meal prep. Expensive, but it is a set of 10 so RM20ish each.

 

Oven and Rice cooker with Steamer

In my opinion, oven+rice cooker with steamer combo is enough to make really great meals.

For oven – rub a whole chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick it in the oven. Roughly cut chunks of pumpkin, potatoes, onion, garlic and other root vegetables, spray some oil on them and sprinkle salt and pepper and stick it in the oven. Boil a lot of rice. Food for days. So. Easy.

Here are some affordable options available in Lazada Malaysia. They all have good reviews, and range between RM90ish to under RM180. Click on individual pictures for more details about the products. Get the more expensive ones if you want to, I’m just saying these are enough to start with. Note: My mom had a halogen oven. It’s really good.




As for rice cooker, I use mine to cook rice, boil pasta, make soup, and use the steamer attachment to steam vegetables, fish, or tofu. I mean, why get an additional kitchen appliance (standalone steamers) when you can get a two-in-one?

With rice cookers, don’t even bother getting anything less than 4L (litre) ones. Meal prepping is for volume, not individual portions. Here are some affordable options available in Lazada Malaysia. Like the ovens, there are more expensive options available, but get one that suit your budget. I have the one in the middle (but in pink) and this price is cheaper than when I got it from Jusco. I added the one at the bottom because it reminds me of Japanese rice cookers – those are futuristic af.



Speedy choppers

Speedy choppers are under-rated. They make chopping up (softer) vegetables so much faster and cleaner. I don’t like the choppers with too many attachments, but that’s just me.

Here are some affordable options available in Lazada Malaysia.

I drool for this red beauty. This pretty Tupperware one is expensive but my cousin have one and shit it’s really good. Get it if you have the moneh.

Kitchen strainer

You’ll probably wash a lot of things at once. Make it easier by using a kitchen strainer like these. Just chuck all the ingredients inside and just leave it under running tap until the water runs clear.


Baking trays/pans

Baking trays and baking pans are crazy handy. I do my food prep right on them. Imagine – lay the chicken pieces on the baking pan, add all the seasonings on them, toss them around with a pair of thongs, then just pop it in the oven. I don’t need to use extra containers for food prep. Less bleeping things to wash!

Ideally, you should get high quality ones for these. But there are some options under RM50


Other obvious things

Knife, chopping board, big bowls/containers, peeler. Get thongs as well – the process to put food in containers will be so much faster. Lazada should have all of these, but they’re probably cheaper and easier to find in Mr DIY.

(did I miss anything? Let me know in comments!)

Save Even More Money at Lazada

By using their discount codes. There’s so many available, I lost track of them. Just go to Lazada and I’m sure there’s some promotion going on. They make it hard to miss, tbh.

Other alternative to Meal-prepping?

Too busy for meal prep but like to cook? Try UrbanStove – they deliver pre-prepped ingredients for you lazy busy time-efficient people in Klang Valley (I kid, I kid lol). RM98 for 3 meals a week for 2 people (RM16.30 per meal), or RM160 for 3 meals a week for 4 people (RM13.30).

Actually, hmm, this makes a pretty good and affordable date night idea, especially for couples who like to cook and/or adventurous eaters. RM16.30 per meal for hours of togetherness while you cook, serve, and eat together? Sounds romantic <3

… Like really I will legit marry whoever can cook me these dishes. Urbanstove has good reviews all around here, here and here.

urbanstove

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