Got Leftovers…Make Future Meals for the Week

Save money and make sure not to waste those tasty leftovers from your weeknight dinner. Need some inspiration? I’ve got it.

I confess. We do eat leftovers and if my schedule is busy for the week, I do plan our meals for leftovers. We love leftovers and sometimes it just taste better the next day. Especially Lasagna, right?  I really can’t imagine why someone would not like leftovers. Yes, serving leftovers does give me a night off in the kitchen but it’s also a way for me to be creative with the leftovers and it saves not only money but  delicious food from going to waste.

Future Meals for the Week

When meal planning for the week, think of leftovers…can you freeze them for a future meal? Create a new dish another night during the week? Maybe cut down the expense of eating out at lunch? These are just a few factors to take into consideration when you’re meal planning. If you do, you may learn to love leftovers. Here are some simple guidelines for tackling leftovers.

Limit the Leftover Serving Time

Don’t serve your leftovers (if it’s the same dish) for dinner more than two nights in a row. If you have any leftovers after the second night, package them well into two cup portions, label and stash them in the freezer.

Sometimes, I’ll even rotate the leftovers in the menu in future weeks. On my meal planning calendar, I use an {*} and arrows to show when leftovers will be served and how they are to be used in another dish that week.

Weekly Menu Chart


 Just Eat It

Leftovers can be eaten for breakfast or lunch. Your leftover dinners don’t have to be served just at dinner time. When cleaning up in the kitchen after dinner, pack leftovers in a container and bring to work with you. I do this all the time and it’s cut down my eating out costs BIG TIME. Plus it’s a lot healthier. Breakfast is another time leftovers can be eaten. A warmed-up meal of brown rice and black beans are really beneficial  as whole grains and beans have the necessary carbohydrates to fuel the brain. Our kids love leftover foods like this for breakfast because they just toss it into a tortilla, roll up and warm up and they have themselves a breakfast burrito.


Mark your Leftovers!

Don’t let your leftovers get eaten until your ready! I’m telling you from experience on this one. If you plan to have leftovers for another dinner that week or add to your week’s lunch, MARK YOUR LEFTOVERS.  I have to put notes on food to remind my kids and the hubby not to eat something. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve gone to pull out the leftovers and they’re gone. Thus resulting in a back up dinner plan. Labeling your leftover food also helps when putting it away in the the freezer too.  I use to always think I’ll remember what’s in a container or the freezer bag but I would forget. So now I label and add it to my freezer inventory list.  Your labels don’t have to be fancy.  A piece of scrap paper attached with a masking tape, or an Avery label and a black sharpie are easy and inexpensive methods.


What’s on your meal plan this week?  Any leftovers?  Does your family love leftovers?



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