How many times have you reached into your fridge and found some sad, stale, forgotten ingredient or a Tupperware full of a mystery meal from yesteryear? We all have those humbling moments when we realize that poor planning has caused us to throw away our hard-earned grocery dollars. The good news is that learning a few tricks for dealing with your leftovers is the low-hanging fruit of taking control of your budget and environmental impact. In no time you’ll be saving money on food and enjoying your home-cooking even more! Here are our top tips to get started:
- Dress to impress! Everyone has had one of those salad dressings that makes you drop your fork and exclaim “I would put this on anything!” Sauces like this are the real MVPs of the leftovers game. Whether it’s a stunning green goddess, addictive ginger scallion sauce, or some killer tahini miso dressing, it’s worth learning how to make 1 or 2 simple sauces that you’d happily dip anything in or just take a bath in.
- Have a pizza party! Okay, we know you don’t need an excuse to surround yourself in pizza, so why not embrace pizza dough as the ultimate leftovers vehicle? Seriously, pizza is the perfect home for that last bell pepper rolling around in the fridge, that handful of Brussels sprouts, or the zucchini that didn’t make it into your last batch of bread. There is a big world of leftovers pizzas to explore, so get inspired, start experimenting, and get going!
- Perfect your favorite “universal” recipe! Catch-all recipes like stir-fries, frittatas, and casseroles are as the ideal way to use leftovers because they’re easy to make and are flexible enough to incorporate pretty much anything you’ve got lying around. They’re really just creative ways to dress up familiar ingredients so you don’t get bored of their flavors. Once you master one or two, you will stop wasting things out of boredom and familiarity and find yourself a much more self-reliant, creative, and frugal cook as a result.