I am trying to cook more food at home to reduce cost of eating out. What ingredients would you recommend for meal planning? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 15 Mar 2020

I am trying to cook more food at home to reduce cost of eating out. What ingredients would you recommend for meal planning?

What are some good meal plans that I can follow?

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J
Jane
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 16 Mar 2020

I bring my own lunch almost every single day since I started working. I wanted to save money and also eat healthier (I know if I buy lunch everyday I would be more prone to buying something fried or unhealthy welp) My office pantry (unfortunately) does not have a microwave so my recommendations are mostly food that I don’t mind eating cold/room temperature.

Some things I’ve meal prepped:

-soba noodles

-pasta

-sandwiches

-wraps/burritos

-salads

-sushi

-cauliflower “fried rice”

-poke bowl

-yesterday night’s leftovers (ahahaha)

On top of this I usually bring a fruit like an apple or a bunch of grapes for my snack. I save about $150 every month compared to when I went out to buy lunch everyday. The time I spend cooking is about ~20mins so I just get up earlier in the morning to prepare food. I know there was one week when I purposely cooked more for dinner everyday so I could use the leftovers and I didn’t need to wake up early to prepare lunch ahahahaha. Just look online for recipes and go with what works best for you.

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Jia Min
Jia Min
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 09 Apr 2020

Here is a list of basic ingredients for cooking that you may consider:

Oils & Vinegars

Olive Oil - There are different types of Olive Oil. It would be handy to have the type for cooking and another for salad dressings.

Vegetable Oil - Canola oil or Sunflower oil are fairly good options.

Sesame Oil - For Asian recipes, this oil is versatile and adds an additional layer of flavours to your food. You may use it as part of a marinade for your meat or simply drizzle some Sesame oil over cooked porridge/congee for a nice aroma.

Balsamic Vinegar - Tastes sour and tangy, great for Western recipes especially for salad dressings (Tip: Pair Balsamic vinegar with Rocket (also known as Arugula), its tasty!)

Spices & Seasonings

Salt

Sugar

Pepper (Black Pepper & White Pepper)

Paprika

Red Chili Flakes

Dried Thyme

Dried Oregano

Turmeric

Sauces

Light Soy sauce

Dark Soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Oyster Sauce

Plum Sauce

Ketchup

Chili - Belachan, Sriracha, Tabasco, etc.

Others

Garlic, ginger, onion, rice, pasta, etc. ​​​

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Clara Ng
Clara Ng, Community Manager at Seedly
Level 6. Master
Answered on 23 Mar 2020

Hi Anon!

I've prepared for meals to bring to work in the past and having the right ingredients is really the key for these meals to last through the week! In fact just last week, one of my colleagues meal-prepped his lunch to bring to work for the week. But on Friday, his sweet potato turn slightly greenish and weird tasting! So we definitely want to avoid that!

Ingredients that have low-water content are usually the best for meal prepping. These include ingredients such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, carrots, corn. You want to avoid ingredients with high-water content as they may cause your food to turn wet or moist, which is not good.

As for the staples, rice or pasta are usually my favourite go-tos. If you are having salads, you can consider adding dried foods and fruits such as raisins, cranberries, nuts. Also refrain from adding your salad dressing when packing as your veggies might get soggy by the end of the week. You should pour the dressing when it's time for you to eat it.

Hope this helps!

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Brandon Ho
Brandon Ho

23 Mar 2020

@kenneth she's calling you out
Clara Ng
Clara Ng

23 Mar 2020

@brandon hahahah ssshhh
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Crystal Tan
Crystal Tan
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 17 Mar 2020

Being a broke student abroad once, I can definitely relate!

Here's what kept me afloat on a super low budget in an expensive city (aka Singapore):

Grocery Shopping List

I. Highly durable ingredients

Root vegetables (Carrots, Corn, Potatoes)

Hardy fruits like Apples, Pears & Oranges

Onions & Garlic

Olive Oil (I highly rec you invest in a good one :") it's worth it)

II. Necessary Nutrients

Eggs

Meat - Chicken / Pork / Beef etc (Can be frozen to last longer)

Fish (Can be frozen to last longer)

Veggies - Broccoli (most hardy), Tomatoes, Capsicum (for that burst of color) & other greens

III. Healthy Indulgences

Yoghurt (Tims' Dairy is amazing)

Dried Cranberries / Fruits & Nut mix

Avocado

Peanut Butter

These are just things off the top of my head. With these ingredients, you can already make some super amazing stuff:

Guacamole dip!

Fresh fruit yoghurt!

Apple slices with peanut butter!

Full dinner meals - complete with egg, veg, meat!

PS: What I love about this grocery list's ingredients is that they're really flexible: I can steam, stew, stir-fry, even throw 'em into soups and 1000 different flavors emerge -- frying 'em onions & garlic in fragrant olive oil is the secret key.

Anyway, that's how I survived my eat-at-home days :") it doesn't have to be a constraint, but an experiment! Hope that helps.​​​

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Cedric Jamie Soh
Cedric Jamie Soh, Director at Seniorcare.com.sg
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 20 Apr 2020

Quinoa and chia seeds are my favorite healthy food now (been cooking them a lot recently).

I mix chia seeds with milk or yogurt when I want something sweet to eat.

Quinoa for something savory and I eat it instead of rice for lunches.

Quinoa healthy cooking recipes

Chia seeds healthy cooking recipes

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SW
Shaun WQ Lim
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 24 Mar 2020

I prefer simple and easy to clean up methods.

For my case, I do steaming and veggies.

And without the usual salad dressings or sauces.

Olive oil and vinegar mainly.

Less of a mess to clean up which makes it easier to stick to the plan. Path of least resistance!

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LZ
Lim Ziqing
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 15 Mar 2020

Bread, pasta and cauliflower are what i eat when i meal prep.

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Yang Teng
Yang Teng
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Aug)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 15 Mar 2020

All depends on you. The thing about meal planning is it allows for flexibility. You can check out the various videos on Youtube for some examples.

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