Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Small Thing- Leftovers

Pondering this new year I've been updating my menu plans, grocery lists and doing inventory on my pantry, freezer and fridge. One thing that I think we could probably ALL do better on( myself included) is to make sure we make the best use out of our food as possible.

Food is expensive folks. If you grow your own food you put a lot of sweat, tears and time into cultivating it and growing it.

So I think One Small Thing we could all vow to do this year is to USE UP OUR FOOD. Don't throw out leftovers, don't allow produce to go bad, don't let milk, yogurt, cheeses or breads spoil.

I have a couple of tricks for this.
1. Containers.... Silly I know, but make sure to have a stock of reusable containers WITH LIDS, to put leftovers in. I have ones with little compartments in them that I use for mine and my husband's lunch. I pack them up while I'm cleaning up after dinner and we are good to go the next day. Clear ones work best of course so you can see through them. I use them in and out of the fridge. For instance when I make a loaf of bread of rolls, I don't store the leftovers in the fridge, I have a nice Tupperware container that I put it in by the stove. I can see them, I know it's there and I'm much more likely to use it the next day for breakfast, a sandwich etc.

2. Pizza- Extra Produce I can always put on a homeade pizza. If you have just a few peices of broccoli, peppers, fresh tomatoes, etc. just pile them on a nice homade pizza. The nice thing is that you can customize this based on preferences. Maybe half of it ( for my husband) will get the tomatoes, maybe the girls peices won't. It's a great way to get some extra veggies and not let it go bad.

3. Soup- I freeze small containers of left over corn, beans, peas, etc. and when I get enough I put it all in a big pot with some home canned stewed tomatoes and we have delicious soup. I also do this when I make tacos and used browned deer meat. If I just have a half a cup or so left I freeze it and will add it to my soup. I may not have enough for a full serving, but saving up all my leftovers over time makes for a delicious pot of soup.

4. Plan ahead for meals: I sometimes make a large batch of rice, I'll use it through out the week. One day it will be a base for the stir fry, another day it will go in a Mexican casserole, another day I may put it in to beef up my soup. Just because you have an extra batch of something, doesn't mean you have to use it the next night for the same dish. Think ahead and you'll have lots of ideas I'm sure.

This will save you on your grocery bill, and it just makes me feel better knowing that I'm being a good steward of what I've been blessed with.

Anyone else have some creative uses for leftovers?

Linked up to Monday Homestead Barn Hop


  1. Hi Rachel! I really think that saving leftovers for soup is a great idea! And I like the rice one too! Thanks for these ideas; I'm always looking for ways to save in the kitchen! I love to cook, but there are only three of us, so we have a lot of leftovers. Our freezer gets full of soup or beans sometimes, but they are always put to use again. You are absolutely right about food being expensive, so being a good steward is important to me, as well. Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

  2. We just had a late lunch here and it all leftovers! It really depends on the food, but something we like to do with rice is mix it up with some sautéd veggies, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and stick it in the oven. It tastes good and goes just like that. (:

    Planning ahead is definitely a great idea. Thanks for the tips.. (:

    Passing by from the Train BlogHop!

  3. Great tips! Especially the one about the pizza! Thank you! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. Once a week we have a "leftover buffet" (usually on Friday or Saturday). I just reheat whatever leftovers are kicking around that becomes supper. It makes for some strange combos but thats part of the fun!
    See what I'm up to at: