Last night I cooked about 3 pounds of chicken breasts. My plan was to pull the meat off the bones, divide the meat, and freeze it in small portions. That way when a recipe called for cooked chicken, I’d be ready. Well by the time the chicken was finished cooking I was too tired to pull the meat off the bones, so I decided to put the chicken into Tupperware and finish it today. But there was a problem…I didn’t have any clean Tupperware because my refrigerator was filled with leftovers. Old leftovers. Moldy, yucky, unusable leftovers. So this morning I realized I need a better plan for leftovers.
One of my favorite frugal living books is the The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. In the book Amy has a section called “Leftover Wizardry” where she shares ideas for dealing with leftovers, and I want to share some of them with you. Maybe we’ll find an idea to help us not waste any food.
- Amy’s system for leftovers is to immediately freeze any leftovers. The key to this, it to label everything you freeze so you can tell at a glance what it is.
- Use leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Soup bucket: A large container is kept in the freezer. As you have leftover vegetables, meats, sauces, etc. you add them to the bucket. When the bucket is full, you “cross your fingers and thaw.”
- Leftover night: Defrost a bunch of leftovers and serve them buffet style.
- Leftover Wizardry: Transform your leftovers into a completely new dish. For example, to create a casserole you need to combine a meat, a vegetable, a binder (such as white sauce or cream of ‘anything’ soup), and a topping such a bread crumbs and cheese.
So what is your system for leftovers? I’d love to know!