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Cooking and Utilizing Leftovers to Save Money on Food

February 21st, 2010 at 11:34 am

Today, well, techincally yesterday now, was a no spend day. I didn't go anywhere or do anything and didn't even have the urge to order take out. Controlling leftovers and food waste is one of the things I'm focusing on to save money, the grocery budget being one of the places where we probably waste the most money.

For lunch we made calzones out of one of the leftover pizza dough balls. We divided it into four portions and I mixed some tomato sauce and herbs with a 6 ounce can of tomato paste. Each small piece of dough was rolled into a circle and filled with leftover ground beef, diced ham, onions, bell peppers in my case, mozzarella cheese and the sauce. My mom made one with just ham and cheese in it. The dough was folded over to make a half circle and crimped with a fork to seal. I pierced each one with a fork in a few places to vent steam and laid them out on a cookie sheet, baking them for 20 minutes in a 425 degree gas oven. They were great, some leftovers got used up, and the kids were happy.

For dinner we made some of the on sale salmon, on sale broccoli, and potatoes from mom's garden (free). I did up a lot of the broccoli and extra potatoes. We have enough broccoli for two more meals and enough potatoes for three. I like making big batches because then you only use the electricity or gas once for the initial cooking and then can warm up the rest in the microwave in the future for just a short amount of time instead of going through the whole long process and the expense again of heating water and boiling food. In this case they are planned overs as opposed to leftovers. That's something I heard them called in a magazine once and it stuck.

I like having planned overs, because it gives me the incentive to use the food in the fridge instead of going out and grabbing burgers or pizza or chicken somewhere. Tomorrow all I have to do for dinner is pop some chicken legs in the oven for an hour and the rest of the meal is taken care of. Mom will probably make gravy out of the drippings because she seems to think that all meals that have meat need gravy, but that's her time and energy, not mine.

Lunch will be quesadillas made of shredded leftover pot roast, some cheese, and some tortillas that need to be used up quickly. They're additive and preservative free so I only have about five to six days from when I open the package to get them used before they go bad. Also we will have coleslaw made from the on sale cabbage I bought the other day and a carrot that needs to be used up.

Someone left the bread open this morning and it got kind of hard so breakfast tomorrow will be french toast and then I'll probably use the rest in meatloaf the day after.

I also got around to counting the money in the toy bank and scrounging up what was on the furniture to add into my coin jar counting. It's almost up to $30, so not bad at all.

$16.59 beginning balance
.38 found on dresser and nightstand
+12.08 amount in TARDIS bank
$29.05 ending balance

1 Responses to “Cooking and Utilizing Leftovers to Save Money on Food”

  1. Kristin Tillison Says:

    great job using what you have. I need to get better at that myself. Smile

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