Chipotle Pulled Pork Empanadas

Fabulous Leftovers

Did you know leftovers are the most expensive food in the house? They’re the product of your money,  your time & your energy.


Shortcut Ramen made from Vaguely Vietnamese Pork
Shortcut Ramen made from leftover Vaguely Vietnamese Pork

Start to think of leftovers in a new way: as fabulous building blocks  just waiting to be refashioned into something marvelous. (Scroll to the bottom for links to pages dealing with specific leftovers.)

There are two types of leftovers: Planned and those Smidges & Titches cluttering up your fridge.


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And while there may be some overlap between the two types as far as ideas and recipes, I categorized leftovers by type to help you find the ideas & inspiration you may need.

Planned Leftovers:

Be intentional about your money, food & time. Make extra for your own “convenience food,” later. It’s cooking smart. Develop a knack for identifying opportunities to shortcut meals.

  • At most basic, planning for leftovers might be making a large meal so you’ll have leftover for lunch or dinner, later.
  • It might be making use of a large cut of meat or poultry or other longer cooked item and planning several meals from it.
  • It could be cooking more of an ingredient at the beginning of the week and making use of that extra, later.
  • It certainly can mean cooking and freezing with plans to serve those meals later.

While planned leftovers save time, they’ll also save money:

  • Every meal built on groceries bought on sale reflects those low prices. Chicken breasts on sale? Serve for dinner and make extra to put aside for a casserole later.
  • Expensive, premium items (steak, salmon, etc.) can be “cost averaged” over more than one meal. It’s the “star of the show” the first night. A little set aside can be made over in salad or sandwiches.

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Smidges & Titches:

Bits of leftovers cluttering up your fridge, are always an opportunity to refashion. They may be more of a challenge than any planned leftover.

Click on the link for at the bottom of the page for Smidges & Titches & you’ll find ideas and inspiration broken down by the type of food. Remember:

  • Do get creative, and see the links, below, for more ideas to refashion bits of this or that.
  • Don’t save things you won’t eat. Waste is waste but wrapping and refrigerating that waste for several days then tossing it doesn’t mitigate the damage.
  • Beware of letting bits and pieces waylay a careful menu plan, causing other food in your fridge to be wasted.

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helpful links:

Taking advantage of leftovers can be a bit of a dance, with a few ad-lib moves interrupting the pattern. Learn to do that dance well and you’ll not only eliminate potential waste but make the most of your time, effort and money. Here’s plenty of links to help give you your best moves.

6 thoughts on “Fabulous Leftovers”

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog. Maybe your leftover page can help me. My husband doesn’t eat leftovers but when he cooks he cooks for an army and well it is me and him, not an army. 🙂 Managing leftovers has always been a challenge. Sometimes I just give up and throw it away but throwing food way is just not right 🙂 Love your blog

    1. Thanks so much! And I’ve stopped by yours too! That quiche, oh my!! 🙂 I’m always trying to manage leftovers & it is always a challenge for everyone, I think. I hope you find some ideas here!

      I just realized I haven’t gone through these pages for awhile – I can see I’m missing some pictures!

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