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Interesting Ways To Use Leftover Food & Avoid Food Waste

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By Andrea

garbage-bag-full-public-domain.jpg I recently saw a show on Dr. Phil about a woman who hoarded a ridiculous amount of food that she and her family never ate.

She had food in numerous refrigerators in her home.  She also had food stored in many other places that had spoiled.  While I know that her case was an extreme one, I couldn’t help but think about how much food is wasted on a regular basis.

Half of U.S. food goes to waste … not only is edible food discarded that could feed people who need it, but the rate of loss, even partially corrected, could save US consumers and manufacturers tens of billions of dollars each year. — Food Production Daily


How To Stop Wasting Food

I would estimate that at one time, 1/4th of my groceries were wasted each week in the form of forgotten uncooked meat, produce, and leftovers.

Even with all my rules on discount shopping, I knew I could still stand to save a bit more money simply by consuming all of the foods that I purchased.   A few ways to save money on groceries include:


Use Leftovers To Prevent Food Waste

In addition to all of these ways to save money on your grocery bill, it is also wise to make the most of your leftovers.  And, try to be more careful with meat and produce — in order to prevent food waste.

The Living The Low-Income Life blog shows how creating meals from leftovers will save you money.   There is a recipe for stuffed shells and a 1-pan leftover meal that were both made with leftovers from previous meals.  One of the meals was technically free!  You can’t do better than that.

I have gotten quite good at making the most from leftover chicken, as well as leftover steak or hamburger meat.  In the winter, I just make a soup or stew out of leftover chicken or broth.  In the winter, I make chicken salad, chicken or beef burritos, and Sloppy Joes.

Another cool side-effect of using leftovers for meals is that I have cut my cooking time in half!  Instead of cooking 5 days a week for 30 minutes to 2 hours, I end up spending only 15 minutes twice a week to make our meals.  That extra time is used to make more money!

I also found that I wasted quite a bit of fruit and vegetables by purchasing them and forgetting about them in produce drawers.  I have always purchased a great deal of produce, in hopes that my family would see it and consume it.  Now, I’ve ended my days of wishful-thinking and I purchase far less fresh produce.  The funny thing is, now they ask me for apples, oranges, and broccoli!  So I purchase each person’s favorites when they ask for them, and much less food goes to waste.

See how to stop food from rotting in your refrigerator.


More Ideas For Leftover Food