This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HeatAndEat #CollectiveBias Here I’m sharing 5 Easy Ways with Leftovers and tips that can save you hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill.
In case you’ve ever wondered why I cook and share recipes on HappyandBlessedHome.com so frequently, I need to tell you a little about my husband. He gets up around 4:15 AM every weekday to work out, and he likes to consume approximately 4,000 calories every day. We figured out pretty early on in our marriage that our family saves hundreds of dollars every month on the food bill if I’ll take the time to make most of our meals.
I cook frequently enough to feed our family a homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day of the year. It’s a good thing I enjoy cooking, as it saves our family thousands in groceries. I think nearly everyone can benefit from money saved, so I’m sharing my simple tips and 5 Easy Ways with Leftovers.
One of the challenges of making meals from home is creating a variety of dishes from leftovers. So here I’m sharing one way our family stretches every food dollar while adding variety to our diets. These ideas are very simple and if you have the time while you are making dinner, just create a few sides to stretch your standard meal into five additional dishes with leftovers. By taking advantage of these 5 Easy Ways with Leftovers, you can save money on your grocery bill – as these options will help you to stop throwing food away.
5 Easy Ways with Leftovers
All of the dishes you see pictured here are made with the same leftover Chicken Marsala. They include pizza, a spinach wrap, chicken casserole, croissant-wraped chicken, and scrambled Chicken Marsala. By adding a few ingredients and changing the way the food is wrapped or combined, I can create new dishes from the same plate of leftovers — and I’ve been able to stop throwing food away.
Now, for these meals I started with Chicken Marsala made in a pan. I know how to make Chicken Marsala from scratch but it was a crazy week so I just used a store bought version of the sauce and added fresh mushrooms and chicken. As a meat, chicken is one our family favorites and it shows up in many of our dishes. I like cooking with chicken because it’s a cost effective protein and it’s very versatile.
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Simple Solutions for Storing Leftovers
Thankfully, my husband loves leftovers so this strategy of remaking leftovers into new dishes saves our family money and gives him lots of options for weekday lunches. I’ve packaged our leftovers in Reynolds™ heat & eat containers. I found them at Target and they’re perfect for weekday lunches. The Reynolds™ heat & eat containers are heat and leak resistant, and made of fibrous, paper-like materials that are renewable. Plus, they’re disposable – I no longer have to clean stinky plastic containers that have been sitting for days in my husband’s fridge at work.
Simple Ingredients for Creating Leftovers
I made all of the dishes from the ingredients pictured here: ready-made pizza, spinach wrap, pasta noodles, shredded broccoli, carrots and cheese, tomato sauce, croissant dough in a small sheet, and cut up broccoli. All of these ingredients are very versatile and can be combined a number of ways to create a variety of dishes.
My Top 5 Ways with Leftovers
As a busy mom and blogger, creating five meals from one dish of protein takes a bit of extra time initially, but doing this is a huge time saver during the week when our family is busy with extracurricular activities. So, not only does our family save money, mommy saves time in the kitchen as well. It’s time saving shortcuts like these that enable me to have the time to blog and manage household activities.
1. Make a casserole – you can make a casserole from many high protein meals. Just add a high carb ingredient, some veggies and a binding agent like cheese or sauce. To make this dish with leftovers I just cut up the Chicken Marsala into chunks and added some penne pasta that I boiled with chopped pieces of broccoli. I sprinkled on shredded cheese and made sure to add some of the marsala sauce and mushrooms. The nice thing about adding pasta or rice to use up meat leftovers is that you don’t have to use a huge amont. Just cook the amount of carbs you’ll need for one dish and add the leftover meat as desired.
2. Make a pizza. I like to use ready made pizza crusts since it saves me time. You do not have to make an entire pizza. Take a ready made pizza crust and just cut it into single serve pieces and freeze the dough slices. When you’re ready to create your leftover dish just defrost a single slice. To create the pizza pictured here, take the crust and add a layer of tomato sauce. Add your meat and veggies next, and the cheese goes on top. Heat in the microwave for less than two minutes.
3. Make a wrap. Wraps are great because you can fill them with veggies, your leftover meat, cheeses and sauce and keep everything together in a nice, neat package for lunch. Try different wrap favors like dried tomato, corn tortilla or spinach wrap to see what tastes best.
4. Bake it. You can find ready made croissant dough in the refrigerator section of the grocery store and use that to bake your leftovers. Just wrap them inside with some sauce or cheese and voila- you have a Stromboli version of your leftovers that is ready to eat!
5. Eat it for breakfast. Chicken and mushrooms go great in scrambled eggs. Again, we don’t like to waste food so chopping up leftovers and eating them with eggs is a great way to make sure all the protein gets eaten around here. Plus, it’s a great way for my husband to have a breakfast ready when he completes his workout. Just heat and eat.
My husband loves my cooking and he really likes the new heat and eat containers. If they get thrown out at the end of the week we’re not out a plastic or glass container. And I’m thankful for less dishes to clean.
I think these containers are great for kids crafts too. Just think of the ease with which you can clean up paint or goop? Or up cycle your container into a spaceship or truck. The possibilities are endless.
Where can you find Reynolds™ heat & eat containers?
I found these Reynolds™ heat & eat containers at our local Target. Not only can I pick up all the ingredients for these easy recipes at Target, I can also get household goods like these containers to help me keep our meal planning more organized.
Have any tips for cooking with leftovers?
Have any tips for cooking with leftovers? How do you simplify meal planning and save money on groceries? Please leave a comment or share a recipe below. I love hearing from my readers.
P.S. – I blog to encourage moms, offer free preschool tools, and share ideas for family fun. If you enjoy free recipes, printables, crafts and games for little ones, ideas for family fun and encouraging posts for moms, sign up and have Happy and Blessed Home delivered to your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail address here:
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