Here’s an simple – but effective – savings tip that we often overlook. Eat your leftovers! Again, this is one of those savings tips that I need to perfect because, ahem, I’ve thrown away more than I want to recently.
When you spend precious money on ingredients and food, it is a shame to throw them away. We wouldn’t throw a dollar bill in the trash, but yet we throw away food that cost us a dollar – or more! If we want to save money, we need to use and eat what we buy. If we buy too much, we need to learn from our mistakes and buy less next time.
There are a couple things that can help us with this task of eating leftovers.
First, make sure you can see the leftovers in your fridge. Things that get pushed behind other containers tend to be forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind! I try to use clear plastic and glass containers for this very reason.
Next, set a regular time to eat leftovers. If you pack your lunch for school or work, take leftovers along. If you’re at home, have a family “potluck” of leftovers. Let everyone choose what they want to eat. It’s a fun buffet for the kids and Mom can be happy because everything is getting eaten.
If you don’t like the leftovers you have, re-purpose them. If you have a bunch of rice leftover from one meal and chicken from another, combine those into a chicken and rice casserole. Get creative and see what new things you can do with your leftovers.
Finally, if you don’t intend to eat your leftovers right away, freeze them. You can start a bag in the freezer for assorted vegetables. When you have a spoonful of leftovers here and there, put them in the same bag as a starter for vegetable soup. When you have main dishes that are leftover, divide them into single portions and freeze them for homemade “tv dinners”. They can be eaten for dinner or packed in a lunch this way.
Eat your leftovers and don’t throw away your money. I’m freshly resolved to work harder at using up all of my leftovers. How about you?
To read the 31 other simple tips in this series, you can do so here.