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"I'm Too Good For Leftovers!"

Updated on August 30, 2012

Warning Warning Warning: This is a Preachy Hub

Let me clarify a few things first:

  • I love my friends.
  • I know I shouldn't be a judgemental person. I don't want people to judge me for what I am or what I do, so I should try to be more understanding

Ok, that being said, dear readers, maybe you can clarify some things for me?

  • Americans are all whining and moaning about tightening our belts during this horrible recession. We complain about the rising price of gas, cigarettes, liquor, etc. But yet, "Almost 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America each year". (Source:
  • I realize that some of this food is wasted by the food industry, but a lot of this food is wasted by individual families. Trust me, I've seen it.

Nothing disgusts me more than the wastefulness of people. I know several people who absolutely refuse to eat leftovers; in their household, tons of food will go to waste because they are too spoiled to take it for lunch the next day.

Thank Goodness my family isn't like that! Well, I think it depends on how you're raised. Spoiled children, raised by a mother who was basically a short-order cook, will grow up expecting the same. They will turn their noses up at anything else. My husband and I were raised to eat what's in front of you and like it, or go hungry.

Here are several reasons why you shouldn't waste food

  • Obviously, saving money on food. No-brainer, eating leftovers saves your family money.
  • Less trips to the supermarket. Personally I HATE grocery shopping, it's a huge chore. It not only costs me money to shop, but money for gas, and time lost when I could be working on writing or household chores. So, you are saving: money, gas (and less pollution!) and valuable time.
  • Less time in the kitchen. I like to cook, but there are times I don't. Reheating food is a life saver!
  • There are still starving people in the world. Yes, every mom has said it. And, there is also another saying: "Live simply, so other's can simply live." There are 700 million hungry people in this world. How can you possibly justify being selfish and spoiled when so many people do without?

Leftover Turkey?

Turkey Wedding Soup:

  • 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach
  • 4 oz of turkey-cooked, cubed, or shredded
  • 4 oz of ground beef-in meatballs, cooked
  • 2 TBS onion-chopped
  • 2 TBS of celery-chopped
  • 1 egg-beaten
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simmer turkey, beef meatballs, onion and celery in broth for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bow, add Parmesan to beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Add egg mixture, spinach, and spices to soup. Stir to distribute egg mixture. Simmer 5 min. and serve hot.

But...I just can't do it!!!

However, I realize despite all these valid points, people will continue to be stubborn and waste perfectly good food. I plead with you, if you are one of these people, I suggest:

  • Only cook enough food for one serving. Not every economical, but neither is wasting food!
  • If you have a ton of leftovers at the end of a party or get-together, ask everyone if they want to take something home. Oh, me! Me! I'm not proud! Means less cooking for me!
  • If you want to try out a new brand of cereal or other product, buy the smallest portion available. Therefore, if you don't like it, only a small amount goes to waste.
  • Recycle your wasted food. Start a compost pile, or give your day old bread to the birds.

Sometimes, you have to throw it away

Now, there are cases which you shouldn't keep food, purely based on safety. I'm not crazy enough to eat something if I think it's going to make me sick! Obviously, you should throw away food for these reasons:

  • Doesn't smell or taste right. Well, some people would argue that all leftovers never smell or taste "right", and there's no help for these sort of people! But there are people who live on the other extreme; they will eat something that's questionable (safety wise), just because they zealously cheap and/or lazy. That's dangerous and just plain silly! So blanket rule: if it smells or tastes funny, throw it away.
  • Improperly stored, refrigerated or canned. You should refrigerate leftovers right away. If they have been left out in the hot sun or overnight, throw it away. If you have any suspicion of improper storing or canning methods, throw away!
  • Mold on the food- Duh.
  • Expired food- Now I bend this rule slightly, depending on the product. Eggs usually last a few weeks longer than the expiration date, milk a few days (does it smell? Nope, it's fine), and etc. But meat isn't something I fool around with, especially poultry, which tends to go bad fast.

Overall, leftovers aren't something to be scared of. Oh, and please check out these valuable links from my fellow hubbers! Remember to waste not, and you'll want not! :)


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    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      I Am Rosa: yep, the joy of leftovers! There are so many perks to them! This is why I just don't get the attitude of shunning them! Thanks for commenting.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I *LOVE* leftovers! Whenever possible, we make enough of whatever we're cooking so that we have leftovers. We divide it up into plastic containers and eat it the next day (or sometimes later that day). It's a wonderful way to have quick, handy meals. With a baby and both of us working from home, leftovers are a great time-saver. We've tried cooking meals ahead of time, but it takes soooo much time. We've prefer the leftover route since we're already cooking the meal.

      The added bonus of leftovers is that it saved me lots of money when I worked in an office. Leftovers were a yummy alternative to the typical sandwiches of a packed lunch to work. I have to thank my mom for that one. I was the envy of the cafeteria when I was in school cuz I was the only one with "real food" for lunch :-)

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Julie, what a great idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Julie Klein 

      7 years ago

      I keep a zip lock back in my freezer. Whenever I have leftover veggies of any kind, even 10 peas, I seal them in the bag. Whether they were fresh or frozen, even if they've been buttered or seasoned. When I have enough, I make vegetable soup (or add chicken or meat if you prefer). Every soup is a little different, but every time, it is delicious!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Natashalh: Yes, isn't it sad that people feel that way? I don't get it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Natashalh profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      People tha refuse to eat leftovers weird me out. Being in the fridge overnight doesn't mean it isn't worth eating any more! People waste so much money on food they refuse to eat, even though it is perfectly edible. Up and interesting!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      I had to look up "Bubble and Squeak"...and from what Wikipedia says, it's right up my alley! I love the leftovers from corned beef with the cabbage, etc. Leftovers are great! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • catherine2255 profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Bubble and Squeak was invented for leftovers its delicious, my husband is averse to eating leftovers but I quite like it, it saves me on cooking another big meal!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Agreed, J Elaine. I love when I have leftovers; I don't have to make sandwiches the next day, yay!

    • J Elaine profile image

      J Elaine 

      8 years ago from Northern Minnesota

      What would I eat for lunch if I didn't have any leftovers?

      I hate when that happens!

      Just plain common sense if you ask me.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks Jason Lim and Jeannieinabottle! I appreciate it!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I agree with you on this one. I live alone and usually make enough food for two or three servings everytime I cook. This is purposely so I will have leftovers for lunch at work or dinner the next night. I hate cooking and love only popping something in the microwave. It is easy and economical. I have eaten turkey meatloaf for 4 different meals this week. I will admit, by the 4th meal, it doesn't have the same appeal. I would recommend stopping at 3 servings. :-)

      Voted up, useful, and awesome!

    • Jason Lim profile image

      Jason Lim 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      Everyone should learn to turn leftovers into something delicious. Waste not a scrap and you could save a lot of unnecessary money in the long term. Upvoted!


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