How to Do Meal Prep for Beginners

Working at home are fun. You don’t have to deal with rush hour, traffic jam, and doesn’t need many clothes to work. I mean, it is more flexible to get you own ‘work unifrom”. But working at home can be a mess too since there is no big difference between home and office. If you don’t set your goal of the week, you probably messed up everything and spent your time ineffectively.

When it comes to meal time, it is so easy since I only need few steps to reach the kitchen or the fridge to get the food. Sometimes, I cook fresh whenever I will eat. In short, could be three times a day and the total was around 1,5hours for daily simple cooking. From that, I just realised that this habit is not right. Even I love to cooking and fresh food is best, this is still not right. I need to change.

Meal Prepare to the Rescue

I heard about meal prep but what is Meal Prep? It is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule to make feeding yourself and your family easier each day. It can be the whole week from breakfast to dinner or only the lunch for a week.

It can be as simple as chopping a bunch of veggies for salads and stirring together a sauce for the week, or as involved as cooking and portioning full recipes. Meal prep should make feeding yourself and your family easier. It gives you a head start on the week, and helps you feel more in control of what you’re eating and how you’re spending your time.

Meal prep and meal planning are both strategy that make getting weekday meals on the table easier, it looks same but they’re not. Meal prep is scheduled of time to prep ingredients and/or cook meals for the week ahead, while meal planning asks and answers the question of “What’s for dinner?” by choosing recipes that best fit your mood, needs, and schedule.

Step of Meal Prep

  1. Meal Prep Purpose
    What is your goal for meal prep? When we set our goal about something, it will help you to be realistic and stick to the plan. For me, I want to save time and money. I don’t want to spend 10,5 hours to prepare my food and better to use that amount of time to work on something. I don’t want to have bad food because I forgot that I already buy weeks ago. What’s your purpose?
  2. Planning the Menu
    Let’s say I need quick meal since I want to save my time. Stir fry would be good to go and Rempah tahu as side food with my stir fry would be nice too. Make sayur bening also quick and healthy too. During planning the menu for a week, we can see what kind ingredients that we can use for a week or mix and match.
    Maybe I can start with tofu. I can make tofu menu three times a week. Here’s the recipe:
    ★ Stir fry tofu
    Rempah Tahu
    ★ Pepes Tahu
  3. Do the Meal Prep
    When I have the menu for a week, all I need to do is write it down everything that I need to buy before going to the store. It will help me to avoid buy something unnecessary or buy something too many because it just looks good/cheap at the market. It also save time when I know what I need and I can plan my route inside the market.
    When you get home, it’s the time for prep. It just me, my kitchen, and food container. Time to get work. I also listening the music to lift up my mood or radio to get to know what’s going on outside my bubble.

Tips Meal Prep

Since we will save the ingredients or cooked food, meal prep can be tricky too. Here’s the tip that can help:

  • Containers
    Containers is the essential in meal prep. In short, have enough container. If you start in small plan like lunch for a week, five container would be enough. The good container are airtight and easy to open/close. Usually it also come with the lids to make it more tight. Square shape is best in your fridge and looks more tidy. Instagramable too 🙂
  • Working with the Greens
    As tropical country, Indonesia have lot of green options like spinach, cassava leaves, pok choy, kenikir and the list goes on. Most of the greens are better to cook right away after you back from the market like spincah. Otherwise, it will be bad. Some greens also can be fine in the fridge like pok choy. Choose your green wisely or get to know hot to save your green last longer

It is easier said than done, right? At the first time it will be painful and stressfull because you were not sure what’s the best menu. But hey, experience is the best teacher, isn’t it? As you more do the meal prep, you will master it. It will get easier process and you will be more happy and productive.

Good luck!