Now that we have moved and are getting settled into our family routine again, we are back on our grocery budget. I am also back to being in charge of my kitchen! Sweeeeet. :)
When we were living with my parents, someone in the house (who shall remain nameless ;) hated leftovers – so a lot of food tended to go to waste. Now that we’re back to just the 3 of us, Chris and I are all about using what we have. The creativity part usually falls to me, since I’m the one that cooks. :)
To be honest, I kinda like the challenge for my brain. When I know I have some things that are close to going bad, I’ll make a list on the outside of the fridge as a visual reminder before I even open the door. I don’t know about you guys, but our fridge can totally be like a giant black hole sometimes – so a list helps me to avoid the “When the heck did I buy this
super-creepy-looking food item?” factor. :)
I thought I’d share some ways that I use leftovers, and I’d love it if you’d share any clever things you do in the comments! If you’ve been here a while, you know that I’m all about trying to be thrifty and creative. ;)
Some ideas for you (that work for me):
- Berries: smoothies, pies, cobblers, topping for ice cream or yogurt
- Apples: crisps, pies, apple cake, topping for oatmeal, stove-top applesauce
- Bananas: topping for oatmeal, freeze for banana breads and muffins (also for this pie which I am going to make soon – I forgot that my food processor broke right before we moved!)
- Random veggies but no lettuce: mix with feta or parmesan and a simple vinaigrette for a side dish OR use in an omelet for breakfast (depending on the type of veggies, obviously) OR make a veggie pizza out of it
- Lettuce (not enough for salad): use for taco topping or in a sandwich
- Bread: pulse for bread crumbs, or make croutons if the bread is thick enough
- Eggs: hardboil or make into egg salad (or just suck it up and make chocolate chip cookies….lol)
- Meat: can be made into panini-type sandwiches. I got this idea originally from a Rachael Ray recipe. Hers uses crusty French bread and a beef broth and shallot sauce. It’s delicious, but it also gave me the jumpstart to do this with leftover meat.
So if I have a roast that we have extra slices of, I’ll just stop by the deli, pick up some Pepper Jack cheese, put buttered bread on my George Foreman grill, add the cheese and meat, and voila. YUM. We actually had this last night! :) Dip it in a little hot sauce and it’s seriously awesome.
One last tip: You can always have a potluck-style meal, as well, where maybe everyone has just a few bites of several different items.
Hopefully this list got your creative juices flowing! I’m sure I’ll think of a ton more things as soon as I finish typing this, but that’s all I have at the moment. Okay, now please share: what are your best ideas for re-using food? Please let me know in the comments!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)
Frugal Friday @ Life as Mom