Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grocery Savings Tip #10

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Tip #10 - Leftovers

Yesterday we talked about wasted food = wasted money. Normally, wasted food is thought of as food that goes bad before we have a chance to use it, like produce, meat, dairy, etc.

But wasted food is also the food you cook and then don't eat it all.

I don't know about you, but even with my large "starving" family we normally always have something leftover. It may not be a significant amount or an entire meal. Sometimes it's just a few of the sides leftover or a small piece of meat. (If it's anything smaller than a regular portion size we let our dogs have it!)

Whatever it may be we always put it in a container and into the fridge it goes... Now what happens after that? Awhile ago the routine was that, about three a week later, we would clean out the fridge and throw out all those leftovers (Again, another treat for the dogs!)

What a waste!

I now try my best to not let any food go to waste = major savings!!!

How do I make sure they are eaten???
  • Weekly Meal Plan - Instead of cooking a new meal, I plan to eat leftovers. I normally pick Sunday's, because we normally all just kinda pick and eat what we want since we are going back and forth to church most of the day. 
  • Lunches - My son and I will have them, since we stay home. Or my oldest daughter will take them to school (she's the only one with access to a microwave.) Who doesn't enjoy a hot lunch?
  • Reuse for New Meals - This is normally with leftover sides. Say I have leftover corn & the next night we are having burritos, I will throw them in. Or if I have a few small amounts of sides I will heat them all up, instead of making new ones & we can pick and choose. This is normally planned ahead, but not always.
  • Leftover Buffet - Again, another part of my Meal Plan. I do this a lot on Saturdays and my kids love it! I pull out all the leftovers and put them on the cabinet. First come, first served.

Tip: I would suggest to try not eating the same leftovers the next day. Break it up.

**Think about how much money you could save a month if you just replaced one dinner & 2 lunches a week with leftovers...

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  1. we routinely use the left over buffet method, in fact that is our meal plan for tonight. I noticed the leftovers filling up the fridge so it is time to use them up. Bonus for me, no cook night for mom!

  2. I also do the leftover buffet and the kids do love it! Just a tip, left over veggies can be freezed to use in soups etc.. even leftover meat can go into the freezer to be used later for soups!

  3. Tshanken - Great idea on freezing leftovers for soups! I'll have to try that! This would be a great use, when you have just a little bit of something left!

  4. We keep a container in the freezer for leftover vegies. If a little bit are left from dinner, they go in our "soup pot". We that container is full, we start another one. Then they are thawed and added to vegie soup. We put in leftover potatoes, roast, gravy, peas, carrot, green beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc. Sometimes when making the soup, we don't need to add any more vegies ~ the containers had plenty.

    1. Mmmmm This sounds delicious! I may have to start doing this. Also nice to have on hand when you need a quick meal!