One of the easiest ways to save money is saving something most people never think twice about before scraping them into the trash: leftovers. Eating leftovers is one of the simplest ways to stretch your grocery budget when trying to save money, plus it’s a great way to cut down on potential food waste.
Get the most out of your leftovers
Keep in mind there are some ways of storing leftovers that are better than others! Use the following tips to make sure you’re using your leftovers in the best, most financially-savvy ways possible:
Simply sticking your half-eaten dinner plate in the fridge probably won’t do any good. Storing leftovers incorrectly causes them to go bad faster. Make sure food is properly covered in the fridge, either with plastic wrap, or by using plastic food storage containers. Don’t forget to make sure to reheat food at high temperatures so you can kill any bacteria. Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for too long before putting it away, either.
Don’t waste anything
If a dish calls for peeled potatoes, think twice before you toss the potato skins in the trash. Instead, use them for an easy lunch, or side dish of baked potato skins. Top the skins with cheese, bacon bits and sour cream. If you’re chopping up either beef, or chicken, for dinner, be sure to save the bones. Bones help when making an easy soup stock. In other words, just because you can’t use something in one meal, doesn’t mean it can’t be used in your next meal! Think ahead. Be creative.
Plan for the week
Sitting down for 15 minutes on a Sunday night can save you boatloads of cash, as well as stress, the following week. Plan out what meals to make. Consider what ingredients you’ll can stretch, as well as reuse in more than one meal. For instance, if you make tacos for dinner one night, use leftover chicken or ground beef in a salad or soup the next evening.
If a recipe calls for a certain ingredient you don’t have, there’s no need to drop everything to run to the grocery store. Improvising, along with using what you already have in your fridge, or pantry, saves money, Plus, it allows you to get the most out of your groceries. Who knows—your improvised version might be tastier than the original recipe!
With a little planning and ingenuity, your next meal will turn into your next three! What are your favorite ways to store, or reuse, leftovers?
Author Bio: Katie F. writes on behalf of Hefty®. Visit www.hefty.com for disposable cookware and storage containers perfect for holding all your leftovers.