"Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or Do without"
I try to follow it a lot, using it as a way to challange myself in my homemaking skills. I find it works for clothing,household needs, hobbies, gardening and of course food. I have heard from many others about how hard they find it to use up leftovers and food often ends up going to waste at there house. That can be very hard on the food budget! While I won't say that never happens at our house, I try to make sure it is pretty rare. I thought I would share some of the ways that I use up leftovers at our house.
- First of all we do eat a lot of our leftovers for lunches. Ken has a microwave at work (where he eats lunch) and he enjoys getting leftovers for his lunch. I also like it when we have leftovers available for lunch at home because that frees up time (when I would need to be cooking) for me. Also leftovers are usually cheaper than sandwiches or something like that would be.
- If we have a large amount of leftovers from one meal (like enough for another complete supper) I will freeze the leftovers (This works with many meals- not all). Then someday when I am very busy or not feeling well I can just pull out the frozen meal. This is very nice and definitely helps save on money as otherwise I might be tempted to go out to eat or use some more expensive convenience food.
- If there is something that I don't think we will use right away then I will also freeze that in appropriate amounts for Ken to take to work, then for the days we don't have leftovers I can just pull some out of the freezer.
The above ideas work for when you have a complete leftover, but what about when you have just spaghetti sauce or just the noodles or just the gravy, what then? Below are some of the things that we have enjoyed that use up things like that.
- Just the other day I was looking through the fridge to find stuff for lunch and clean it out. I found Plain spaghetti noodles, I tiny bit of cream cheese, garbanzo beans, and about 1/2 cup of sausage gravy. I decided to mix all of it together, sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top and heat it up. Guess what? It was quite good, the kids thought so too. A key to using up leftovers is a willingness to be creative and not be afraid to try something new!
- If you have leftover rice you can make Spanish Rice, Asian Fried Rice or Chicken or Beef and Rice Burritos.
- If you have leftover spaghetti noodles try melting cheese on top or stir fry some veggies and maybe some meat and serve on top the noodles instead of rice.
- If you have leftover Spaghetti sauce put it on top of buns or slices of bread to make individual pizzas (add cheese and possible other ingredients as well and heat under a broiler). Or you could add beans and whatever else you want to make Chili soup.
- If you have leftover mashed potatoes you can make lefse, potato bread, potato pancakes or mix them with a little egg and shredded cheese and make into patties and fry them.
- For leftover Baked potatoes, make potato soup, potato salad or put in you scrambled eggs (which you could then use for a breakfast burrito).
- A little leftover Chili soup, serve of Baked potatoes with shredded cheese or over hotdogs. Or mix with rice (preferably brown in my opinion) and cheese for a yummy meal.
- Leftover hotdogs: use in potato soup or scrambled eggs.
- Old (but not moldy) bread: make stuffing, croutons or bread pudding.
- Little bits of veggies: make soup or throw them in a casserole dish or a stir fry.
- Gravy: Use in soup or a casserole.
- Oatmeal: include in your bread or pancakes or heat a little oil in a pan and put in big spoonfuls of the cold oatmeal and fry, then serve with honey.
- Cornmeal mush: Slice up and fry and serve with honey.
There are lots more ways but if I told them all this post would get very long and I wouldn't get anything else done today! :-) I would love to hear ways that you use up leftovers.
For more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.