Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Week Than Paycheck #2

Now that you have gotten your budget in order, or at least made a plan of what little to so with your money that you do have (See my first post on this HERE.), it's time to get down to the knitty gritty of making do while things are tight.

Groceries are always my first concern.  I don't know why, but this is my biggest worry, that I won't have enough food to feed everyone in the house.  This is a perfect time to eat leftovers!  I know, most people really don't care for leftovers, but you can stretch your family budget some more by having a designated leftover meal day. 
A look at my stack of leftovers today!

Some ways to make your leftovers more exciting and taste better:
  • Fry It - Ok, not the healthiest thing, but some things are great fried up in some butter, such as leftover baked or mashed potatoes, oatmeal, meats, etc.
  • Bake It - unlike microwaving the food, this gives things a nice crispy edge and sometimes may take a little of the "staleness" out of it.
  • Leftover Day - My kids don't love leftovers, but they do get a kick out of picking their own meal once in awhile.  I pull all the leftover containers out of my frig, and line them up on the counter, and it's a free-for-all.  I'm always amazed at the combinations they will come up with.  My 3yo ate baked oatmeal, egg bake, applesauce and a cupcake for lunch!
  • Goulash - Mix meats and veggies together with a tomato sauce and pour over fresh pasta. 
  • Stir-Fry - If you have a bunch of veggies, rice and meat leftover or any combination of those and make a stir-fry of them.  My favorite recipe is for this is here:
Fried Rice

-2 TBSP Vegetable or Olive oil
-1/4 Cup Onions
-1 clove minced garlic
-6 cups cooked rice
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-2 cups frozen or leftover veggies of your choice (we like peas, carrots, mixed veggies, etc.)
-4 large eggs, beaten
-1-2 cups cooked meat (chicken, pork, steak, or whatever you have in the frig leftover!) - optional
1. Cook rice as directed if you don't have leftovers.
2. Heat Oil large pan on medium heat.  Add garlic and onions and cook for about 3 minutes.  Don't overcook!
3. Add cooked rice and soy sauce.  Stir in veggies and meat. Cook until warm
4. Beat eggs.  Push rice to one side of pan and pour the eggs in.
5. Cook until eggs are slightly scrambled.  Once eggs are cooked, mix in with rice.
6. Enjoy!
By eating those leftovers for an entire meal one or two days a week, can not only prevent waste of food, but it can also be a budget-saver.  That's one meal you don't have to buy for the week!  When you find new ways to recreate them, your family may not even realize that it's a leftover at all.
What are some of the ways that you use leftovers?  I will be linking this up to some of my favorite blogs in the right column over there, so be sure to check them out!