Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Using Up Leftovers

We use our leftovers for lunch. I pack my husband’s lunch as I am making everyone’s plate for dinner or I do it when I am cleaning up after dinner. I pull out the leftovers for lunch for the kids and me the next day and we each make our plates.

My family is pretty good about eating leftovers most days I just set all the leftovers out and they choose what they want. On a week when no one is choosing to eat the leftovers and making a sandwich instead I will make everyone’s plate to get them eaten.

When I pull out the leftovers and make a plate for everyone I evenly divide the leftovers between us. If there is not enough I will make a vegetable or fruit or bread item depending on what is needed to round out the meal. If we have a sauce or gravy leftover I may put it over toast, biscuits or mashed potatoes. If I have a small amount of meat leftover I may dice it up and use it in a casserole, stir fry or fill a soft taco shell for lunch.

If we have lunchmeat that need eaten I will turn on the oven to 350 and make a stack of slices for each person and a piece of cheese. I toast bread for everyone and when the cheese is melted I make the sandwiches.

For breakfast I will make a quick bread and any fruit we have leftover I will cut it up and share between everyone. If we have applesauce that needs eating I will get out our little custard size bowls and fill a bowl for everyone and maybe a diced apple on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I can get pretty creative trying to figure out how to use up our leftovers but I have to get even more creative sometimes if I am trying to use up a leftover and there is not enough to make a full serving for everyone. I have divided 2 apples between 6 people to get them used up or made toast and everyone gets a half a slice with jam. The surprising thing is my family just thinks I am making a nice meal for them and doesn’t realize I am using up odds & ends. Otherwise why would mom slice our apple when we can do it ourselves or put the jam on our toast?

If we have too many condiments in the fridge I will sometimes try to figure out how to use them up. If someone opens up one to many ketchups I may make BBQ sauce. If we have jam that needs used I will make Almond Thumbprint Cookies or melt it slightly and serve it over pancakes.

We keep sour cream and chip dip around a lot and if it needs used up I will make beef stroganoff and use what ever amount I need. The family does not notice I used chips dip because it’s just seasoned sour cream anyway.

I once had bought ricotta cheese for lasagna and had a lot leftover so I went to allrecipes.com and did an ingredients search for ricotta cheese. I ended up making a Ricotta Cheese Cake it was basically a cake with ricotta cheese as the filling and everyone liked it.

I love using allrecipes.com for ingredients that need used. For instance if we haven’t had beans for a while I will put in whatever beans I have and see what the search turns up to make. Then I will see if I have the other ingredients needed to make the recipe.

I keep a zip-lock bag in the freezer and when we have leftover veggies or meat I dump them in the bag. When the bag is full I make a pot of vegetable soup.

What creative things have you made with your leftovers?

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy's Recipes
Frugal Friday's


  1. Thansk for sharing your tips, Jennie! :) Would you mind adding a link back to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays? :) Thanks! :D

  2. Great tips..thanks for sharing!

    Waste not, want not, right?


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