10 Tips for How to Repurpose and Store Leftovers – Avoid Food Waste, Use What You Have and Save Money

Do you love leftovers or not so much? A polarizing topic and I’m here to tackle it. All dishes pictured were born of leftovers.

I love leftovers, both in original form and giving them second life. One reason I love leftovers is I hate food waste. Billions of pounds and dollars are wasted every year. We overbuy, don’t plan or don’t know how to properly store food. Throwing food away isn’t just about the food, it’s also water and farming resources that are wasted.

Here are 10 tips to use and store leftovers to stretch food in the fridge, minimize food waste and save you money!

STORAGE-I use a technical system of masking tape and sharpie, like chefs. It should read what’s in the container plus the date you made it. Use glass or clear BPA free containers-you can see what’s IN the container

FIFO-First in, first out. I love a good acronym. Rotate food that needs to be used first to the front of the fridge

ONE MAN’S TRASH IS ANOTHER’S TREASURE-Save veggie scraps, bones from meat, chicken or fish to create stock-I save all the odds and ends. If I have a lot, I’ll freeze until ready to use

FREEZE-Buy too much? Freeze veggies, make a giant batch of whatever and use the freezer. Don’t forget to label and date so you don’t forget wtf you have

REUSE/REPURPOSE-Google is your bff-Have a random jar of pickles or an open can of tomato paste? Google that ingredient and look at recipes with that ingredient. I had some harissa and an open can tomato paste. Shakshuka was born!

INGREDIENTS NOT LEFTOVERS-A play on words can trick the mind. Look beyond what it is and transform into something else. IE- leftover dosa filling and chickpeas became fritters, leftover raita and potatoes became a kick ass potato salad, an open jar of cranberry juice and a bald orange became braising liquid for short ribs

SALVAGE-Stale bread or ends of bread deserve a chance at love. Make breadcrumbs (get the how to on my blog), french toast, bread pudding or stuffing

SOUP OR CURRY-A bunch of random veggies and/or leftover meat becomes a full meal with the addition of stock, broth or coconut milk

FRIED RICE-The dish literally uses leftover rice

FRITTATAS-If you are eat eggs, these are easy, forgiving and can use all the random things in the fridge

What’s the most creative way you’ve used leftovers?

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