August 12, 2010


Using Leftovers

Leftovers have really gotten a bad rap over the years, but using leftovers is a great way to save money and it can make your life easier by providing food for a second or third meal.  So how can you use leftovers in a way that you and your family will enjoy them?

image 1.  Lunch:  For those on a gluten-free diet, lunch can be a challenge.  If you make a gluten-free dinner, why not save some for lunch the next day.  My husband is not gluten-free, but he likes to take leftovers for lunch because he’s not fond of sandwiches.  At work he has access to a microwave which he uses to reheat the food.  I bought these oval CorningWare dishes with plastic lids  to use for his lunches.  The oblong shape allows me to place different parts of the meal in an appetizing way.  For example, he can have meat, potatoes, and a vegetable side by side and not piled on top of each other.

2.  Repurpose:  Use your leftovers in a different way than you used them the first night.  This is easy to do with meals that have separate parts.  The first night, eat them separate (i.e. chicken, rice, veggies) then another night use them in a different way such as fried rice, soup, or a casserole.  Intentionally cooking more than you need the first night so that you can use it for a different meal is also a great idea.

3.  Freeze:  If you don’t like having for lunch the same thing you had for dinner the evening before, you can freeze lunch size portions for another day when you will be in the mood for it.  You can also freeze leftover food to be repurposed later.  Many people keep small amounts of leftovers in the freezer until they have enough to make a great soup.

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the U.S.4.  Buffet:  My kids actually enjoy leftover night.  When I have leftovers from two or three meals, and for some reason they haven’t gotten used up for lunches, I have a leftover night.  I heat up all the food and put it out buffet style for the kids to pick and choose what they want.  I only require that they do have some vegetables.  They love being able to choose what they want and to combine the foods in a different way than they were originally combined.      Image via Wikipedia—not one of our buffets!

How do you use leftovers?

For more money saving ideas visit some Frugal Friday links.


This is exactly how I do it. I use the glass rectangle pyrex containers (about an inch or so thick) for packing my hubby's lunch. I also freeze as you suggested when I have lots of leftovers or he does not need a lunch (like over the weekend). This way there is a variety. Hubs thinks the freezing is a great idea, no ice pack needed.

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