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Old 03-28-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
threekstrio
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how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

I just went through the fridge and had to toss stuff that I either couldn't figure out how long it had been in there or didn't figure there was enough there to make anything out of. It felt so wasteful! What do you all do to avoid this??

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"I really want to know how you keep track of what is left and make sure that you use it too? I lose stuff at the back of the fridge or it gets put under something and then by the time it's found it's past recovery."

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Old 03-28-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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Re: how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

We eat leftovers for lunches the next day and supplement with other things as needed- a cup of leftover pasta with a fresh sandwich or some leftover soup with crackers and cheese.

I plan leftover nights and supplement with a "pantry" dinner.

I freeze good portions for days down the road when we need a quick meal.

I plan meals so there are either very few leftovers or enough for a meal.

When I put leftovers in the fridge, I use a wet-erase marker to write the date (washes off when I wash dishes).
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

We make sure that left overs sit in front in the fridge, and we make similar meals that can be used interchangeably that week, and make left overs part of lunch supplemented with other things.

When I make a lot of something like beans or soup, I will freeze at least half. If I accidentally cook to much of something the kids don't like I will freeze most of it and use it in something else. For instance I made a soup or dish to spicy (most common complaint here), I freeze it in smaller portions and add it to a similar soup later on.

I check the veggi drawer all the time, and if I notice something is starting to go, I will cook or chop it up that night, and freeze if if there are left overs. One time the fridge was set too high and it froze all the celery and carrots. I chopped them up and used some in a stir fry that night and lightly cooked and froze the rest to be used in later dishes.

If I notice that meat or milk products are closing in on dates, I'll throw them in the freezer as well.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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Re: how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

Dh usually takes leftovers to work for lunch and we also have a leftovers night planned every week to eat up all the excess.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

First, we meal plan so that any possible leftovers can be used in the next night or twos meal if needed. We also freeze anything with significant portions leftover for dh to pick from for lunches. If I end up with lots of leftovers anyway we have a left over day and eat on that stuff for lunch and supper.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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I just get really creative sometimes, honestly. We made shredded beef one night, then chili the next day, and I had a sort of half-portion left. I added brown rice, taco seasoning, and cheese to make a sort of taco casserole thing for lunch. It's a good idea to keep stuff in your pantry that can be used to mock up a bunch of different things. Kidney beans, couscous, canned whole tomatoes, onion soup mix...
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Lunches, reuse extras in another dinner, and when it gets too full we have leftover dinner nights where we just pick whatever.

We waste almost nothing, ever. I hate wasting food. Too expensive to throw it away.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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We use leftovers for lunch and if we have enough, once a week we have leftovers for dinner. Each person gets to choose what he/ she wants.

For the little bits left on plates or not enough to save, we collect it in a bowl and give it to our chickens. We also give them almost any other food that would be otherwise thrown away.

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Old 03-28-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
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The kids and I usually have it for lunch the following day or day after. Sometimes, depending on what it is, DH will beat us to it and take it to work. If its a dish that I can add a little bit to and make a new dish out of it, I'll do that within a couple days or so. I'm getting better at not making so much we'll have leftovers forever. And I'm learning what gets eaten right away and what doesn't. If its not a popular enough dish, I don't make it often enough to worry about.

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Old 03-28-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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Re: how do you avoid wasting leftovers??

Dh takes leftovers for lunch most the time. We do have a leftover dinner or lunch planned once a week. It's a "clean out the frig" night. Everyone gets to find something in there they want to eat.
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