In keeping with our theme of keeping our grocery budget under control,
one of the things we’ve challenged ourselves to do is eat all of our leftovers before they go bad! We’ve actually been doing really well at this!
We had just eaten all of our leftovers and were going to make something from the freezer that evening, but it sure made her worried!
Over the course of these last few months of combating the rising cost of food, I have come up with a few simple strategies to use up those leftovers!
Cook Exact Portions:
I know I said easy, and maybe this one doesn’t fit that description, but cooking exact portions not only cuts down on the amount of food that ends up as leftovers, it helps to ensure you won’t get sick of the same food!
The principle is simple – don’t cook for a family of 6 when there are only two of you! If you’re wanting to make some extra for an easy night later in the week, go for it, but keep it reasonable!
Hold a Contest:
There is nothing like competition to make a irritating task fun! Whether it’s just you and the hubs, or getting all the kids involved, I find that making using leftovers a game brings mealtime to a whole new level!
We like to do a sort of “Chopped” challenge, with a basket of surprise ingredients that each contestant must make into a meal. The whole things promotes creativity, fun, and family, and that’s a win-win! (Bonus: you could include a prize for the winner!)
Put Leftovers Towards the Front
Package your leftovers nicely. No one wants to eat food in a container they can’t see through, and I can also guarantee you your family is not going to stoop down and dig to the back of the refrigerator for yesterday’s food.
With that in mind, I have found that moving leftovers to the front-most portion of the fridge for easy access greatly increases their chances of consumption.
Create a Tradition
The simplest of the solutions, if you don’t like eating the same thing two days in a row (or more), then make one day of the week “leftover day.” Growing up, my family did this on Sunday night, because no one wanted to make dinner after church. I think it was also nice for my mom to start the new week fresh with no leftovers in the fridge.
Do whatever works for you, but setting a certain day of the week as leftover day makes it an easy night for you and gets those leftovers out of the fridge!
Leftovers used to be the bane of my existence. I hated eating them, and I hated throwing them out when they started growing things on their own!
Luckily, with these 4 strategies, we’re eating all of our leftovers, every single time! And it’s working so well my mother in law was concerned about us!
How do you use up your leftovers? Any strategies you’d like to share?
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