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I have been thinking alot about leftovers lately and wondering how other people use them. I hear a lot of people use them for other meals, or snacks or whatever, but my family for some reason seems to have a really hard time with leftovers, depending on what it is. Here is what usually happens:

1. There is not enough food to save for leftovers.
Sometimes there is food leftover, but not enough to actually do anything with it. We figure that we might as well throw it away because it’s not enough for anyone to really eat later anyways.

2. The food is that which would not taste good re-heated, so we don’t save it.
Some foods just do not taste good after they have been put in the refrigerator or re-heated. Does anyone else agree with that? I mean they just don’t. I would rather have it fresh then eat it again all mushed up and gross the next day. One example: Kraft Mac & Cheese from the box. Ewww. It is just one of those foods that really needs to be eaten as soon as you make it or thrown away.

3. The food is saved, but it sits in the refrigerator for days on end, until it is thrown away.
This is what usually happens. I hate wasting so I will put it in the refrigerator with good intentions to use it up, but then I don’t feel like eating it that night or I forget about it, and then it sits and sits and sits until it is bad and  needs to be thrown away.

Now occasionally we will eat leftovers such as leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner (You cannot beat leftover turkey and stuffing!) and sometimes my husband will eat leftover spaghetti. But I am curious what do YOU do with leftovers? Are you like my family or are you totally awesome and have amazing ideas for what to do with them? Share away, I can’t wait!

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  1. Hey girl, I understand how you feel. However, I have a husband who only eats home-cooked meals…..he does not eat frozen foods or hardly any type of processed foods. SO when I cook I have to have left-overs for him to take to work for lunch. If you wanting to have left-overs than start making things that freeze well or that you can reheat. Does Jon like left-overs? If you both do not like left-overs than don't worry about it 🙂

  2. Hey, Kathryn! I'm the only one in my family who will eat leftovers (most of the time), so #3 happens more often than not. I try to cook enough for leftovers so that I don't have to cook so much later on in the week, however, if no one eats it, kind of counter productive. My goal once we get into our new house is to learn to repurpose leftovers like you are talking about here.

  3. Left overs are so hard! I'm not a huge fan of them, especially if the meal makes a lot. Thankfully most of the meals I make don't leave tons of left overs. I try to make a 3-4 meals a week and we'll cycle through the left overs if any so we're not just eating the same thing every night.

  4. i LOVE leftovers! most of the food we make isn't processed– i totally agree, mac&cheese is just TERRIBLE if you don't eat it right away!

    when we eat out at my favorite restaurant, i purposely try to eat exactly half so that i can have the leftovers the next day. i usually get salmon and potatoes and broccolini, and then i heat it up in a frying pan.

    however, i grew up eating lots of leftovers. it's so much easier for me to make a BIG batch of something and then eat it for lunch or dinner for a few days than it is to prepare a bunch of small meals. especially when matt is deployed, i'll make a two big pots of my favorite GF, vegan minestrone. it's FULL of veggies and lots of protein (with all the beans) and i will freeze 3/4 of it and eat the rest over the course of a week.

    leftovers are a lifesaver for me.

  5. Leftovers keep our grocery bill lower! I keep the stuff for breakfast and sandwiches in the house as well as a few snacks like fruit and string cheese, but otherwise we eat leftovers! We almost always have leftover food, I even purposely cook extra, and eat it for lunch or for a quick snack.

    I also plan out our meal list for two weeks at a time, and specifically plan days for leftovers. Makes it much easier!

  6. Oh, and homemade mac n cheese is really good warmed back up! Also a recipe makes a huge batch, so there's enough for leftovers.

  7. We purposely buy/cook enough so that there's leftovers for lunches or to freeze down for when we can't be bothered cooking (or when there's a baby on the way!). We're talking pasta and rice dishes mainly. We do cook non-leftover meals too, but anything that can be cooked in a bigger batch, even if it just gets one serve for Ben's lunch the next day.

  8. I do enjoy (most) leftovers. Where possible I try to make another original meal out of the leftovers (e.g. bbq chicken can become a casserole, spaghetti can become a baked ziti dish with fresh cheese melted on it, etc.). I have found the most inspiration for new dishes from allrecipes.com

  9. Meal planning! I work our leftovers into our “meal schedule.” Bob likes taking leftovers for lunch, too.

  10. For me meat or spaghetti sauce is the only leftovers I like, my husband will eat any leftovers. I try to cook the meat so we have leftovers of that, then all we have to do is add veggies or a salad.

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