Why You Should Eat Your Leftovers
There are some people out there who just won't eat leftovers. It could be an extra serving from last night's [enter favorite food here], that was to-die-for and was left completely untouched. Some people would firmly reject it. Of course, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. If you're like most of us who are currently fighting for more hours at work and struggling to pay the bills, you might want to think twice about that anti-leftover policy of yours.
I used to be the kind of person who at least saved the leftovers, but never actually got around to eating them. It's not that I had anything against them, it's just that there was always an abundance of food in my kitchen, and leftovers were never my first choice. I would let the leftovers from each night's dinner pile up in my fridge, until I became overwhelmed by the sheer amount. I would then throw everything out in a desperate attempt to rid my fridge of clutter.
Fortunately, it wasn't my finances that changed my habits, but concern for the environment and a newly obtained thankfulness of my access to food. I was horrified at my wasteful lifestyle and decided something had to change immediately.
Make Some Changes
I started creating new rules for the way that my household handled dinners. There are only two of us, and it's sometimes really hard to cook for just two. Still, we changed things significantly. Here's what we did:
- We try to plan for three to four dinners each week. We shop for groceries often, and each time we purchase only what we need to make that night's meal.
- We made efforts to decrease the amount of food we cook at one time. If that's not possible, we plan the next night's meal around the leftovers.
- We have leftovers for lunch. Sometimes this prevents us from having the same thing for dinner two nights in a row. Since we changed our shopping habits, I often don't have a whole lot of choices for lunch, so I am more likely to reach for the leftovers.
This new attitude toward food has taught us a lot. We find ourselves eating out less often (no more all we have is leftovers, lets order pizza! syndrome), we have greatly reduced the amount of food we waste, and we have saved ourselves lots of money in food expenses.
Eating leftovers might be a big help in cutting down on living costs if you're having a hard time. It's just a matter of establishing new rules in the kitchen and training yourself to follow them.
Make Them Bearable
- Place them in a sealed container and store them in the fridge. This will help keep them from drying out and becoming gross.
- Eat them for lunch. I've found that having leftovers for lunch is much more tolerable than having the same meal two nights in a row. You may not agree, but it's worth a shot.
- Incorporate them into a new meal. You don't necessarily have to just reheat and serve. Try to think up creative ways to serve the leftovers. Pairing them with different side dishes than the night before, or adding a new ingredient are great ways to do that.