Thursday, November 17, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not....

The past month or so I have been on a mission to save our family money! We love to travel and are trying to save money so we can buy a bigger car(we are quickly outgrowing ours!). That means I need to get creative with our already slim budget in order to be able to save money like we would like!

One of the things I hate spending a lot of money on is food. But the problem? I love food. One of my solutions to "saving" is by not wasting what we have already spent our money on.

Here are some examples of ways I have been able to "waste not, want not" :)

1. Leftover veggies from a meal? Keep a container in your fridge specifically for veggies and add to it after each meal. When you have a full container make a soup or stew!

2. Who loves cake?! I do! But who loves cake after 3 days? Yeah it's safe to say it loses it's *spark* at that point. What should you do with the leftovers?? Make cake balls! All you need to do is take the cake (with icing on top) and crumble it/mush it all together. If it is still a little dry, add a small amount of milk (or I used half and half yesterday) to moisten it and roll the "dough" into balls. I refrigerate them until firm then stick them in the freezer until I am ready to dip them in chocolate. The next time you have company you have a dessert that is almost ready to serve them!

3. Leftover cornbread? I got this tip from a lady I sparked up a conversation with in line at the fabric store (random!). Stick it in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. Add to it each time you have leftover cornbread. When you get a significant amount stashed away make cornbread dressing/stuffing!

4. Leftover hamburger buns/hot dog buns? Our small family never uses all of them that come in a package at one meal. So, again, freeze!

5. Leftover rice from stir fry night? Add it to some black bean, chicken, sour cream burritos (YUM) in the next few days and toast it. We always have leftover burrito filling from this meal so we fill more tortillas and wrap them in wax paper and foil and stick those in the freezer too! Can you tell I love our freezer? Use this recipe and tweak it as needed: 
Pinned Image
6. Leftover pasta, but don't have any more sauce? Again, Freeze :) Pop it out later, thaw, add it to a sauce, and bake. You have a pasta bake that took hardly any time at all to make!

7. Buy a bunch of grapes but don't think you will eat them all before they go bad? Freeze them. They freeze great (some people like to eat grapes frozen) and I can put frozen grapes in my son's lunch in the morning and by the time lunch rolls around they have thawed but are still cold.

8. In my house I am the only one who loves onions and bells peppers. My hubbs will stand them, but usually picks half of them off. This means that I typically only use half an onion or half a bell pepper for a recipe. With the halves that remain I slice them thinly, put them in a freezer bag and label it "Fajita Veggies." Now most of your prep is taken care of for the next time you want to make fajitas!

9. Buy a big bag of potatoes, onions, or apples? I do this all the time because you can save about half the money you would typically spend by buying them loose.
  • Potatoes: Make soups and freeze, put them in breakfast burritos, make twice baked potatoes (bake) and freeze them....the list could go on...(Fav potato soup:
  • Onions: Did you know fresh onions freeze well? Chop them up and put them in pre-measured bags for the freezer.
  • Apples: Have the apples been in the fridge a little too long? Make apple pie filling and freeze it. You can also chop them up and make an apple cake. OR make two and either freeze one or give to a neighbor.
Okay I've rambled enough. There are SO MANY ways to save money by not wasting the food you have. What are some ways you "Waste not, want not?"


  1. These are great ideas! I love cooking and eating good foods and it can be tough to do on a budget!

    I had actually never thought about taking my existing cake leftovers and making cake balls with them... but I hardly bake cakes anymore because so much gets wasted!

    One thing I started doing last year is when I made a casserole for our family (like chicken spaghetti) I knew we would hardly eat half of it. I would divide that into two dishes or a dish and a large ziploc and freeze it. Then you have dinner ready to go or a meal to take to a friend!

    I also try to make a good chicken stock any time I boil my chicken. Instead of draining the chicken, I pull it out and freeze my broth!


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