8. Invest in containers that make food transport and storage easy. Don't want to take your leftovers to work because it's messy or a hassle? Invest in reusable plastic containers of varying sizes to make it easy to store, heat and transport food without mess or hassle. If something makes a good snack for the kids, like mac and cheese, consider putting some of it into small, snack sized containers to encourage kids to eat it. If they can just heat and eat without having to hunt for plates ands serving utensils, they might be more receptive to leftovers.
9. Learn how to properly reheat food. Some foods shouldn't be nuked on the second go round because they get soggy. Cook these in the oven or toaster oven. Some should be put in the skillet. Some foods are best eaten cold the second time around. Experiment until you know how to get food to come out as good the second time as it was the first. It is possible.
10. Learn how to season leftovers to get rid of the blandness. Some foods do require a little extra spicing up the second time around. Keep a stock of basic spices or sauces on hand and experiment until you learn which foods require which spices to liven them up a bit.
11. You spend less on gas. I hear you now. What do leftovers and gas have to do with each other? Every meal of leftovers that you eat postpones that trip to the restaurant of grocery store a bit longer, saving you the gas required to get there. With gas going nowhere but up, eating at home as much as possible saves money in more places than just the food budget.
12. Label things as to what they are and when they were put in the fridge. This makes it easy to see what you've got and when it should be eaten to avoid spoilage. No more guess work or, “But I didn't know we had that” moments.
13. Learn to cook and buy knowing you'll be eating the leftovers. If you know there are some things that you absolutely will not eat as a leftover, don't buy or make it unless you are prepared to eat the whole thing in one go. Only cook and buy meals that you know someone in your house is willing to eat again. Otherwise, you're wasting money and food.
14. They save time. If you're super busy, having a fridge stocked with leftovers is a great alternative to fast food. You can just heat and go without having to make something new. This is great for those nights when people are rushing around to activities and the only other choice is the drive thru at McDonalds. (And, by not eating fast food, you're saving even more money, see #1, and getting healthier, see #6.)
Hopefully you're now converted to the idea of eating leftovers. However, if you absolutely cannot reconcile yourself to the idea of leftovers, then buy and order less. Share meals in restaurants or order smaller items like appetizers. Buy and prepare just enough for your family to eat it once. Smarter shopping and ordering still saves money and eliminates waste, but doesn't make you eat leftovers.Rebate Fanatic. Saving you money every time you shop online! Sign Up and Start Saving Today