This part is about keeping your food waste way down. To keep food waste to a minimum, plan meals to use up things you have that could go bad soon. Think of these foods as a problem to be solved. That is the main goal of my menu-planning, to use up foods before they go bad. Why throw money in the trash or down the drain?
For example, I see we have quite a few potatoes that need to be used soon. So I need to think of a dish that uses a lot of them. Hmm, we have leftover ham in the freezer & some onions. Ok, I’ll make a casserole using them all with a can of cream of mushroom soup, some milk & a grated cheese topping. We can get 2 meals out of that. Any leftovers after that will be turned into potato soup by adding some milk, more veggies (if I have them) & adjusting the seasonings. I’ve made this casserole before & it was popular. So I know it will work for us. Problem solved!
Another approach is to have a salad bar/buffet night with leftovers. Or use bits of things to make appetizers on crackers or small slices of bread. Or make soup. I keep a container in the freezer with leftovers that go well in soup. My dh prefers that I freeze almost all our leftovers right after the meal so that we don’t have to remember them in the fridge. That means I pack & freeze everything that can be frozen right away as I clean up the meal. I resisted that tactic, but it has saved food (and money) for us many times. Our wasted food is almost nothing with that approach, and we usually have this “fast food” from the freezer when we want it. I’m grateful to have those leftovers as the start of another meal or a complete meal.
Often I use leftovers in soup. You can add them to canned soups or make your own soup (the best) with bouillon powder and seasonings. Soup night once a week can help your budget tremendously. Some people add homemade bread to their soup nights. I don’t always get around to that, but I sometimes make corn bread as it’s quicker.
These tricks keep our refrigerator looking pretty empty sometimes, but the freezer is full! lol I consider that a victory.
For more ways to save on your food bill, click on the label “lower your grocery bill” below this post.