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Home : Tips & Techniques : Plan your Leftovers

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Plan your Leftovers

Contributed by: Monica Resinger of The Homemaker's Journal

Using leftovers not only saves money by using up foods that you have on hand, therefore decreasing shopping trips, but it can also save time. The most obvious way you can save time using leftovers is that the dish is already cooked and all you have to do is warm it up the next evening for a meal. This, however, can get boring. Another, more exciting way to use leftovers is to plan your leftovers.

To plan your leftovers means to plan on cooking more of something in your current meal to use for an upcoming planned meal. For example, if you are having roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, and roasted vegetables for dinner tonight, you could plan on cooking double the amount of roast beef that your family normally eats so you can use the extra in tomorrow night’s dinner which is planned to be open faced, hot roast beef sandwiches and green salad. You could even go the extra length and make double the amount of mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables to make potato pancakes and pasta salad with sliced roasted vegetables to go with the open faced hot roast beef sandwiches. You would have most of your upcoming meal already prepared for you.

Of course, this takes a little time to plan, but cooking this way will save you a lot more time than what it took to plan it and as a bonus, you‘ll be saving oodles of money! Planning will ensure that you have the right ingredients on hand for your planned meals.

To plan your leftovers, you just need to think about the way you use your leftovers. You could sit down with a notebook and pen and write down all the ways in which you use leftovers and ad to it when you find new ideas. Make a few pages for each different type of leftover such as 'chicken', 'beef', 'potatoes', 'bread', 'vegetables', 'pasta', etc. If you'd like to skip this part or need more ideas for what to do with your leftovers, check out my e-book ‘The Leftover Recipe E-book’ here: http://homemakersjournal.com/leftovers.htm

Once you have written down all the ways you use leftovers, you can then plan your meals for the week in either your notebook (this is a great idea because you can use it over and over again) or on a calendar. Say you want to have chili and cornbread this week. Plan on making a double batch of chili to use the next night for chili dogs (or maybe even a triple batch so family members can use some for lunches). Once you have your menu planned, then you’ll need to make a shopping list to ensure you have all ingredients needed.

copyright, 2003, Monica Resinger

About the Author: Monica Resinger is the founder and editor of The Homemaker's Journal, a FREE, jam-packed daily e-mail e-zine that publishes the collective advice of thousands of homemakers in all home and garden topics! Become a part of The Homemaker's Journal and get or share solutions to your homemaking problems! Join now by sending a blank e-mail to: HomemakersJournal-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Or, for more information, click here: http://homemakersjournal.com/freeversion.htm


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