1. It saves money. This is one of the biggest reasons to eat leftovers. If you bring your leftovers home from a restaurant or you eat food that's leftover from something you cooked at home, you're getting the full value out of what you paid. It's also one less meal that you have to pay for, thus reducing your overall food bills.

2. They make it easy on the chef in the family. As the designated chef in our house, let me tell you that people in my house would go hungry if not for leftovers. I don't want to cook every night. I have other things I want to do. I seize every chance I get to serve leftovers. In fact, I intentionally make many dishes that I know will be served more than once. It allows me to maximize my time.

3. It gives you a great lunch. If you regularly brown bag your lunch, you probably get tired of sandwiches. Why not bring your leftovers from the steakhouse for lunch? Watch your coworkers drool as they eat their bologna sandwiches.

4. It reduces or eliminates waste. Food that gets tossed goes to the landfill. It wastes not only the food, but the resources that went into making it. A cow had to die for your steak. Is it fair to the cow for you to throw half of it in the trash? Is it fair to the farmer that spent his time and labor on those vegetables that you throw them in the trash? Not to mention the energy that goes into processing and preparing the food, and the packaging that is used. It's not just throwing food into the trash. You're wasting all of the labor, energy, and materials that went into that food, as well. The USDA estimates that Americans waste 96 billion pounds of food each year. Another study estimates that we throw away one grocery bag's worth of food out of every three that we buy. One in three bags you bring home from the store is likely wasted. Stop and think about that for a second. Blows the mind, doesn't it?

5. It demonstrates overall financial responsibility. If eating leftovers is “beneath” you and you're willing to waste that money, you probably have deeper financial problems. You aren't willing to do the work and make the sacrifices necessary to bring wealth into your life. You may not be willing to take a job that may not be your dream job, but allows you to pay the bills. You may not be willing to pick up change off the street, or shop for the best bargain you can find. In times of financial troubles, you may be the one who won't cut the cable TV. There's an attitude of, “I shouldn't have to do that because I'm better educated, smarter, wealthier, etc.” I'm not saying that eating leftovers will net you millions, but it can be an indicator of your overall financial outlook and your willingness to do what is required to get ahead in life.

6. It's healthier. Restaurant portions are huge. It's far better for your waistline to divide the dish in half and eat it over two meals instead of cramming it all in at once. Eating leftovers of something you made at home is also preferable to eating too much at one meal. You might find yourself losing weight by eating leftovers.

7. You don't have to eat it on back to back days. So you just had spaghetti yesterday and don't want it again today. Who said you had to eat it today? Most foods will keep for a few days if refrigerated correctly (and some can be frozen for longer periods). Spread your leftovers out so that you don't have to eat the same thing the next day. Or use the leftovers as a starting point for a whole new meal. Use leftover meat and vegetables as ingredients in stew, for example, or pool all your leftovers for the week and have a buffet on Friday night. next page

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