Sunday, October 10, 2010

Leftovers: do they work for you?

I was discussing leftovers with my Mom recently - the gyst of the conversation is that Mom doesn't always want to take the leftovers to work from last nights meal, and Dad rarely eats leftovers.

So - while it works for my family to have leftovers for lunches, maybe your family needs to freeze leftovers for a few days or weeks before that meal sounds good again. Or, maybe your family needs to halve recipes so you don't have leftovers as you just don't ever use/eat them.

Bottom line - obviously, leftovers are only a good deal (time wise and financially) if you EAT them before they go bad!!

Another alternative - make a pork roast, for example, and then the next day make pork fried rice. This is my Dad's specialty with leftovers - transform them in to something new!

*Along the same lines - do you notice that you are routinely throwing out produce? Maybe its that bag of salad you intended to have for lunch at work, maybe it's a few apples each week. If you don't eat it, QUIT buying it! Literally - cash in the trash is killing your budget. With some self restraint, you can make a mid-week stop at the grocery store if you go through all your oranges, apples and bananas. BUT - I wouldn't take in my check card. Take a list of what you need and just a bit more cash than you think you'll need. Chances are you won't want to run out to your car to get your other cash or your wallet, and you'll be much more careful about what you are buying. Otherwise, these mid-week trips can ruin your budget just as much as throwing out food you didn't eat!

Meal Planning 10/10-10/20/10

Poorman's Lobster
Stir fry w/ brown rice
Santa Fe Rice and Beans
Sloppy joes (we just use a can of Manwich,  which are on sale this week for $.90/can, and ground beef or ground turkey over hamburger buns.)
Baked ziti
Chicken and wild rice soup
Loaded baked potato soup
Crock Pot Chicken and stuffing
Beer battered fish
Stuffed shells
Steak soup - so simple, and if you keep those random veggie leftovers and freeze them, this is a great soup to use them up in if you don't make your own soup stocks!
Taco Chili
Macaroni, cheese and tomato bake
Grandma's cheesy chicken casserole
Beef stew
Mock chow mein (on the blog, but the link isn't working? Hmm...)
Broccoli cheese soup
French onion soup

Staples for lazy days, lunches, snacks:
A few frozen lunches in case I need to grab something on my way out the door
Some canned soups for lunches at home or work
Makings for sandwiches
Macaroni and cheese
Hot dogs
String cheese

Side dishes: I keep rice, potatoes, etc. on hand for sides as well as frozen and canned veggies.