Use Up Those Leftovers!

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 If you use up your leftovers, you will save money and waste less. Sounds like a plan to me!

Use Up Those Leftovers -  If you use up your leftovers, you will save money and waste less. Sounds like a plan to me!

They say that Americans waste 25% of the food they buy. If this is true of you and me, then that means we could save a fourth of our grocery money by avoiding waste!

Hello! That’s a great way to save: Don’t waste food.

If you’re wondering how to do that or are stuck in that “eat it the same way you served it the first time” mentality, check out these 11 Ways to Use Up Leftovers.

Give Day-Old Bread New Life - Snap up that day-old bread at the store and give it new life in recipes!

Save Money on Groceries

This is part of the How to Save Money on Groceries series. Scroll through the archives to get tips and tricks for reducing your grocery total at the checkout stand.

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  1. Stephanie M. says:

    As soon as I saw that topic today, I thought, “this article is about me.” I am the queen of leftovers. It completely goes against my grain to throw leftovers out. I am grateful that my husband doesn’t shun leftovers because I know quite a few people who do. If I make any kind of roast, we usually eat it as is with all of the sides for two days. After that, if there are still leftovers of the meat, I will usually make it into a completely different meal which, in turn, will give us several other meals, like casseroles or soups. If I don’t have much leftover, I will use it for sandwiches. But either way, it gets used up. If I have about a cup of white rice in the refrigerator, I will turn that into a rice bowl for my husband for lunch at work. I will fry the rice in some butter and then add some frozen veggies and if I have any leftover chicken or other meat, I’ll cut that up and add that too and sometimes I’ll also add some grated cheddar. This turns a small amount of leftover white rice into a lunch my husband loves and nothing went to waste. Many times, I cook too much for my husband and I just so I have leftovers which saves me from cooking the next day, or allows for some freezer meals or gives me an excuse to make some other meal that I would only make from leftovers. As far as I’m concerned, “leftovers are a cook’s best friend!” 🙂

  2. I have a new leftover user upper – for ages it was fried rice – or on a salad [but that’s just for me – kids are haters] but monday I made up a batch of abin5 dough for pulled pork buns on wednesday and used some of the extra to make a stromboli – rolled up a few slices of roast beef that weren’t going to make it to the next day’s lunch, some bits and pieces of cheese that were all over the place – I was the queen of the universe when the kids got home – after school snack for a couple days – score!

  3. We rarely have leftovers last us more than the next days lunch but when I do I always try to find a way to reuse them. Green beans go into the kids school lunches, leftover veggies either get frozen for an upcoming stew or tossed into rice. And meat always gets re-purposed into something.

    It took a couple of years to convince my husband that leftovers weren’t evil but now he’ll eat them without a second thought and then demand more. =)

  4. My wife and I both feel strongly about food waste, so we make it a point to buy only the food we’ll need for the whole week and cook just enough to feed everyone at home. When we have leftovers, we try to be as creative as we can in reusing them, making them over as sandwiches, soups, rice bowls or salads. Teaching our boys to eat leftovers is a challenge, but we’re getting there.

  5. I just did an audit of last month – wow- $714 for a family of four. I used to coupon all the time until we started eating better, too. It has slowly crept up from $350-400 (yes, I know many couponers would feed a family of four for $200 but we liked our salmon and some other splurges!) to this! And my stumbling block is my new membership to Costco. I drank the koolaid and jumped at a Living Social deal in the spring to try it out since so many sing the praises. I have tried to keep a price book and only shop at Costco for the things I find are cheaper but this is definitely where I can drop $100 and a lot of it be snacks/unintentional purchases that I used to make myself. I think I am better off sticking to sales, Aldi, farmers market (kind of far but awesome deals – just got 45 lbs of apples for $16 – lots of apple sauce). For instance, I would not buy my kids the squeezable apple sauce but at Costco, they had a sale on it and it was a lot cheaper so I stocked up. What a lot of waste (which we do recycle the pouches to Terracycle but still) for a 4 bite snack. I will look into buying my own reusable pouches to use. We cut out coffee, soda, most juice a year and a half ago and I still coupon strictly for non-food items but was shocked at my over-$700 number. Anyway, I think Costco may have to go – not worth it for the temptation that I don’t seem to have in regular stores! That is my take-away! Other than that, we don’t waste anything so at least we are using up our money’s worth!

  6. Costco is very tricky. Like walmart, it’s a double-edged sword.

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