Leftovers: What To Do


I love food. My husband loves food. Our growing son loves food. Our dog loves food. We’re foodie people. Our love for food means that our fridge is often teeming with leftovers. Pyrex and Rubbermaid in assorted sizes with colorful lids fill our refrigerator’s shelves. Leftover sausages and burgers and rice and Mexican take-out and baked beans and a bowl full of watermelon. I follow the rules of leftovers, keeping them no longer than the suggested time frame, and every week we end up dumping a ton of food. It drives me crazy to see us pouring money down the garbage disposal or dumping it into the trash can.


This is what Real Simple recommends for leftovers. We don’t follow it to the letter, but we try to keep pretty close. No one wants a food-borne illness!

I try to be frugal and pennywise, but I’m at a loss at what to do with leftovers. I don’t love them, and neither does my husband. But if I could find a way to make leftovers new again, I know we would waste so much less and our money would go so much further. I’ve never been an amazing cook — my skill set is in the baking realm — so creativity when cooking doesn’t come naturally for me. I need someone to give me specific ideas on what to do with all the leftovers that fill my fridge. I don’t love soup so that eliminates the most obvious way to reinvent last night’s dinner. It’s so difficult to make food new again.

I’ve tried planning out weekly recipes, thinking ahead at how I could repurpose the food from the days before. That doesn’t work. I either make something so yummy that there are no leftovers, or our schedule changes and we end up eating on the run or just grabbing takeout. It’s frustrating to know that we’re wasting time and money and food.

Any suggestions on how I can help my family be less wasteful? I’m open to any ideas!

This is the thirteenth post in my 30 Days of Blogging series! Want to join in on the fun?

30 days of blogging


  1. Hmm… feed the dog and the chickens? compost. freeze leftovers right away for a night when it’s just eating for one. Leftover night for dinner. Leftovers for lunch. Invite someone over to loves to eat leftovers (I do love leftovers).

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