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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keepin' My Money Tueday

If you are just tuning in... on Tuesday I post about ways I am keeping my money. You can find out innovative ways Marin and I are Making Money on Monday! So far I have posted a few ways I am "Keepin' My Money" including, WRITING down a budget, saving a rainy day fund (aka: Emergency Fund) in my ING account, setting my priorities for spending, and couponing and scoring deals to lower my grocery and household budget.

Today's topic is....


I wish there was some music I could put here where it would go, "Dun Dun, DUN!" You know like a mystery/suspense film - what is going to happen next???? Hahaha!! The dreaded leftovers. Okay, but really, that is what is post is about. Eating leftovers - and it doesn't have to be a horror film folks!

What I Do With Leftovers

At the end of each meal there is usually at least one or two serving of what we had for dinner left over and immediately after dinner we pack it up into to-go plates or bowls for work the next day. It is just part of the routine of cleaning up after dinner. The truth is...when there is only one serving left over we duke it out over who is going to take it the next day. (The alternative for lunch to left-overs is the cheap-quick meals I pick up at the grocery store - like - frozen dinners, Campbell's soup at hand, other non-refrigerated heat and eat meals). Neither I or my husband eats lunch out!

Now you may be gasping at this point - but it isn't because I wouldn't LOVE to eat out for lunch, and it isn't just because of my budget and because I want to "keep my money" (although this is a motivator).... The truth is neither my husband's job, or my job is one where eating out is really even a choice. He gets a quick lunch break when he can squeeze it in and I am a teacher with a 30 minute lunch break (and that time includes the time it takes me to deliver the kids to the lunch room, get them seated, going to get my lunch from the fridge, re-heating it, scarfing it down, and then picking the kiddos back up from the lunch room. NO WAY would there be time for me to get in my car and drive somewhere!!

Other than lunch...what else can I do with leftovers

Another option for leftovers is to "re-make" them. I don't usually like to have the same dinner twice in a row. So let's say that I had baked or grilled chicken for dinner tonight along with some sort of starch and a veggie. Well, if there is chicken left over there is no need to have the same thing! You could make chicken quesadillas, or chicken casserole, or chicken sadwiches, or my favorite...chicken and spinach alfredo pizza! Leftovers are then disguised as something totally different - who would even call that left overs!!

Another trick

Okay but, what if it can't be "magically" remade? Put it in the freezer. That's right. Maybe you don't want it again right now...but one night when you are in a hurry and you might be tempted to feed the fam take-out or fast food you can pull it out for a a quick meal - no work required and probably WAY better for you and the fam! I often make a double batch of spaghetti sauce or soup and freeze it just for this purpose. Then I can have spaghetti, pizza, or lasagna in a snap!

Okay, I know I have only skimmed the surface. What other things do you do with left-overs (besides throw them out!) I can't wait to hear what you other "frugalistas" are doing! =)

Last, leave a comment if you have questions or comments about posts you would like to see on "Keepin' My Money Tuesday." - Be it ideas for the next posts like "How do you... " or "What have you found that...." etc. If you have a great idea for how we can "Keep our Money" email me and maybe you could do a guest post! Finally, I will be happy to answer any questions. If I don't know the answer I will point you to someone who does! :)


Karen said...

The only other thing we do with leftovers that you didn't already mention is have leftover night. After I've cooked several nights in a row, inevitably there's a "favorite" meal for each person in the family so we all enjoy picking something from the spread I pull out of the fridge. And dinner was technically just FREE as the cost was already calculated in the previous whole meal!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a blogger, but I would LOVE to see a roundup of favorite ways to "re-make" leftovers. I'm always at a loss as to how to creatively serve up last night's dinner again. What to do with steak, potatoes, spaghetti, rice, etc. I'm sure there's tons of great ideas out there!

jmisgro said...

If we have leftover mashed potatoes I make potatoe pancakes with them.
First put the potatoes ina bowl with plenty of room to mix other things into it. I dice up a small onion and add it. Sometimes I throw in some garlic or garlic salt and maybe some Italian seasoning. You could use whatever spice blend you like. Then I add some milk to make it thinner. You want the mixture almost as thin as pancakes but not runny. I have a frying with a bit of butter and olive oil heating up. I like the flavor of those two combined. And then I fry the potato pancakes until them are golden brown. I flip them onto a paper towel or brown bag to absorb the oil.
I have even added some broccoli and cheese to these. Very tasty!

Momma2Mia said...

Although the inital invstment is up there a vaccume sealer is awesome for saving extra leftovers!!

I love our we can make double abd triple recipes and then portion it into one dinners worth of portions, then freeze, and seal( I say that backwards because with liquid items you can freeze them first then seal them after so that all the air can get sucked out)Then we thaw and reheat, boil in the bag (chili, soups, stews) or remove from bag and bake (uncooked pans of lasagna sealed in the pan..etc.)

Also it allows for us to buy meats in bulk, then portion into our family size portions, or buy large portions of ground beef then portion into 1 or 2 lb portions that will last longer since they won't have any air in the package they won't get freezer burn. This allows for things to be used at a much later time, since some things can last up to 6 months or even longer if you have the freezer room! (we have a chest freezer)

ADDAmy said...

tonight we had chicken fried rice with my aunt's leftover grilled teriaki chicken - it was supposed to be our Wed meal but I could not resist the switch for a free meal (had rice and spices and used my garden veggies)
this past weekend I remade leftovers not once not twice but three times... once I made blueberry muffins and added in our leftover oatmeal it was quite good! and once I made chillimac out of our leftover hotdog chilli -it was child friendly (but I would not "remake" it again) and on sunday I made phillycheese sand. out of our leftover morton's filet and mushrooms (added onions and white american) they were AWESOME!
I am enjoying trying to "remake" my hubby does not "do" leftovers so if I dont eat them for lunch I try to reincorporate them (ie hide them!) even if it means bumping my menu plan a few days

Chris said...

I usually make a salad concoction for lunch with the previous nights leftovers. My family eats mostly chicken breasts so the
leftover chicken gets diced up and tossed in. Leftover pasta gets turned into pasta salad.

Having a vegtable garden in the summer really helps out with these leftover lunch ideas.

Misty Kearns - said...

Denise, just want to say I came across your blog a few weeks ago and just love it! I read it every day & have your button on blog too! Thanks for all the time and work you put into helping all of us!

I love this topic! I am single and I really don't like to cook for myself as I end up with a lot of leftovers & boy do they get old fast! It's great to mix up your left overs and make new meals with them, helps me from not tossing leftovers because I get tired of eating the same thing 5 days in a row, lol! I hate wasting food and throwing things out.

Another great thing to help save money is to shop and buy in bulk, then cook in bulk and freeze your meals. This will save you $ in the long run as well as time and help you eat healthier too. I use Tupperware's Rock n Serve containers for this as you can refrigerate, freeze, microwave and serve all in the same container. Plus they are rectangular so they stack and fit in the fridge and freezer really well.

I also like to prepare my meals or leftover meals for the next couple days and put them in our divided dishes then pop them in the fridge. This makes for a really easy grab and go lunch or dinner and keeps me from eating junk food and stopping at the drive-through. I know the leftover meals will stay good and fresh in my Tupperware too.

I'm also pretty lazy in the kitchen so I don't cook very often, when I do I will cook up several things in bulk then freeze them so I can eat off of that for a while or until the mood strikes me to cook again, lol!