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Stretching Food

January 6th, 2018 at 09:25 am

Alliecat's plan with the ham this week got me thinking on ways I stretch food as well. I do this a lot, it is pretty automatic these days. So I thought I'd list what we do to stretch meals.


I like to build dinners around a large, whole chicken, one that is five or six pounds. The first night I will roast the whole chicken and we eat the dark meat and wings for dinner with potatoes and green beans. The second night I will make enchiladas or quesadillas with some of the leftover white meat chicken and serve that with rice and salad. Then I will pick the bones clean and take a cup of diced chicken and make chicken-fried rice, and the fourth night I make broth with the bones all day, strain it, pick any remaining chicken off the bones, and then make chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings soup, adding in another cup of diced chicken that I'd saved from the carcass.


Another good one is a large pot roast where you eat regular roast the first night (save your juice from cooking) with potatoes and carrots, French dip sandwiches the second night with the juice you saved for dipping mixed with a little bouillion), then shred up half the remainder and mix it with teriyaki sauce and honey and serve over rice and then dice the rest and make roast beef hash the fourth night. I generally make extra potatoes the first night to be used in hash, so I'm only cooking them once.


With a pork roast you can eat a third of it the first night and pull the rest of it with some barbecue sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches and then bbq pork pizza, and pulled pork with cheese in tortillas wrapped like a burrito. You can even add a can of beans and a 4 oz can of diced green chile pepeprs to the last one to extend it further and change the flavor up some more if you like those things.


With ham, of course we eat off it one day, make warm ham sandwiches the next day, dice up the leftovers and use them in omelets, on pizzas, and in stir-fried rice. Anything we can't use in the first few days we freeze in dices. I've even made up TV dinners with ham, mashed potatoes and ham gravy, and green beans and frozen them for those nights when I don't feel like cooking.

What are ways you all stretch food to cut your grocery expenses?

3 Responses to “Stretching Food”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great post!

  2. snafu Says:

    I keep lists of Plan Overs, in a 3 ring binder. Column #1 Meat/protein, Column #2 Carb [kasha, lentil, rice, pasta, potato, quinoa], Column #3 'Vegetable, leafy greens, yellows. I make up names just like the restaurants do because if I call it left overs or casserole, it's rejected! Based on what's at hand, just like a Chinese Menu, pick from columns 1, 2, 3. It's helpful to have a nice dessert for 'afters.'

    When I was desperate, with too many one serving 'sandwich sized snap boxes in the fridge, we started 'Buffet Fridays.' Set everything out on the bar counter, teens & friends welcome to eat whatever they wished with some easy peasy home made or store bought condiments/sauce.

    Poultry/Turkey leftovers

    chicken caesar salad
    mulligatawny soup
    pot pie
    chicken, cheese and noodles
    chicken fajitas
    chicken salad sandwiches
    chicken a la king
    Spanish rice
    taco salad

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I'm with you on the whole chicken. I don't roast it; I cook it in a Crockpot because I want lots of broth too. I make two-three meals off of a small to medium size chicken.

    If I'm going to roast vegetables, I try to roast more than what we would eat for one meal and then use part of them for another meal or two such as for a pot pie or soup or casserole.

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