It’s no secret that groceries are getting more expensive by the minute and making your meal plan fit into your budget is getting harder to do. There are some luxury items we can go without, but the everyday meals are hard to cut back on, especially on those things that our families love. So, how do we stretch a buck without giving up too much?
As food gets more expensive, the one thing we can do to keep our bills in line with our budgets is to cut out the waste. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind a steak or buying a nice, large pork shoulder if I know that whole thing is going to end up nourishing my family, but even the cheapest things at the store are too expensive if they end up in the trash.
How do you use leftovers to save money?
The key to getting everyone on board with eating leftovers, is to do what I like to call the Leftover Makeover. There are many times I don’t mind eating leftovers in the same form they were the night before, but many things lose their appeal once they’ve gone cold. Leftover Makeovers use up everything in the fridge and keep our meals fresh and interesting.
Last night's steak is tonight's steak quesadilla. That one lonely salmon baked salmon filet is turned into beautiful Salmon Cakes.
Cooking With Leftovers is all upside?
Leftover recipes save time because the hard stuff was cooked ahead of time. They often take less of the more expensive ingredients like meat and dairy. They give new life to food that was destined for the waste bin. Cooking smart can keep your family eating like kings on a shoestring.
Leftover Chicken Recipes
Chicken is used so much in daily cooking that it is easy to find yourself with leftovers. Whether you cooked the super economical Whole Roasted Chicken, or have pieces of breast and thigh meat, chicken is one of the easiest leftovers to find a use for. That whole chicken can be used right down to the carcass, but the trick is making leftover chicken interesting.
Leftover Beef Recipes
Beef can top the list of high priced grocery items, so making good use of every bit will make those splurge meals extra satisfying. Steak in particular can be hard to use up. A hot juicy steak is delicious, but a cold leftover steak warmed in the microwave is just not appetizing. All it takes is a little imagination to transform those cold hunks of leftover beef into a mouth watering meal.
Leftover Pork Recipes
Many pork cuts are sold as large, economical portions. If you have an average sized family, it may seem difficult to find ways to use a large baked ham or a whole pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is most often turned into pulled pork which can be reimagined into nachos, potato topping, Chili Relleno filling, and much more. Baked ham is a bonus because it comes cooked and can be turned into so many budget friendly and time friendly meals.
Leftover Turkey Recipes
Turkey is the mother of all leftovers. Most of us go way overboard, during Thanksgiving, roasting a giant bird for our families only to be left with mountains of meat. We are all too familiar with those late night turkey sandwiches, but the real conundrum is how to use up all that meat in creative new ways so we don’t feel like we are just choking down the same old thing for a week.
These amazing recipes pump up some classic turkey makeovers and introduce us to some exciting flavors around the world. No more turkey doldrums! Maybe we’ll be inspired to cook this delicious bird year round.
Leftover Potato Recipes
Potatoes are a great leftover and can easily be remade into something new and exciting. The best part about turning potatoes into fun fritters, pasta, or even waffles is that they are so filling and don’t require adding a lot of other expensive ingredients. This inexpensive side dish turns into an even cheaper main dish.
Leftover Rice Dishes
Rice is another great leftover. I would highly recommend purposely making leftover rice. It is super inexpensive and can be made into time and money saving friend rice dishes with new and interesting combinations.
Leftover Side Dishes, Bits, and Pieces
Side dishes and small bits of food often get tossed because it is hard to find a use for them. Take it from these great cooks that odds and ends can be delicious.
Sweet Sweet Leftovers
Turning leftover cranberry sauce, cream, and breads into fun desserts or breakfasts is a huge budget saver. Baking and desserts can often put a bigger dent in the budget than we would like for things that we don’t technically need. Rather than give up on sweets, use up those leftovers to create a sweet treat without the big bills.