One of my biggest pet peeves is people who say they want to cut down on their grocery spending but they “hate eating leftovers.”
Not eating leftovers is one of the biggest ways food is wasted, and food waste can have huge financial implications over time. Not to mention that wasting perfectly good food is not very respectful of those who don’t have enough to eat and are starving (but that’s a rant for another day).
Here are just a few ideas to help you get over the “hate eating leftovers” attitude and save some money in the process:
Have a Fridge Clean-out Meal
Just today for lunch I had a fridge clean-out meal. I had just a bit of 3 different things leftover: a rice skillet dish, a bit of macaroni and cheese, and part of a huge cinnamon roll.
I ate all of these things plus an apple to help balance it out health wise. It was a bit of a strange combination, but now I don’t have to waste those things and I got another meal out of it, which cuts down on my grocery bill.
Make a Soup or Stew
If you have a few vegetables that are starting to turn or a bit of raw meat that needs to be used quickly, make a soup or stew. Soups and stews are great for throwing random bits of veggies and meats into.
In fact, I will be using the last of my celery, onion, carrots, and other veggies, along with a couple of chicken thighs to make a quick and easy chicken soup tomorrow. This is a great way to cut down on fresh food waste. If you still have trouble using all your fresh produce in time, or it happens on a regular basis, perhaps you should cut down on how much you buy at a time.
Rotate Eating Leftovers
Another thing I do to “trick” myself into eating leftovers is to rotate between dishes.
What I mean is if I have leftover main dish from yesterday I’ll make a new side dish to go with it, or if I have leftover side dish I’ll make a new main dish and eat some of the leftover side dish with it. This kind of helps me get over it when I don’t feel like eating leftovers again.
By having at least one new thing in my meal, I am still eating some of the leftovers, cutting down on waste, and yet I still get to have some variety in my meals.
Feed Them to Someone Else
My dad comes over for lunch more weekdays than not. Sometimes when I have more than one dish of leftovers in the fridge I give him the ones I’m tired of eating. The food is still perfectly good, it’s just that I’ve grown tired of eating the same dish for multiple meals in a row. He never complains because I’m a good cook. 🙂
Finding a way to make yourself eat leftovers can be really beneficial to your grocery budget over the long run. If you make a conscious effort to use up everything before it goes bad it’s really not difficult to do.
Do you eat leftovers? Why or why not?