The price of food keeps going up, up, up! Even the fairies
have discovered increases at their little local markets in the
Grove. With the price of food so high, it makes sense to cut
waste at every opportunity. One of the best ways to do this is
to save all your leftovers so you are truly eating most of the
food you buy.
~ Save your leftovers ~
The saving of leftover meals is of course thrifty in itself. The best way to save leftovers is to immediately freeze what you think you won't eat in the next few days. Almost everything can be frozen nicely although dishes containing potatoes and eggs don't freeze very well. While it's nice to have freezer containers that are purpose built in varying sizes, stacking ability, etc - you can also use old margarine or yogurt tubs and the like to save money. When money runs low - don't reach for the credit card at the grocery store - turn to your freezer to make up a supper.
Storing in the fridge
Put leftovers in the fridge that you know you will use in the next little while, but don't cover with that costly and wasteful plastic wrap or tin foil! The fairies, who simply don't have those type of factories in the Grove, use covered glass and ceramic dishes. Many Pyrex and Fire King-type dishes were intended to be used for preparation of the meal directly in the oven, and then provided a simple method for saving leftovers by adding a lid on top before placing in the fridge. Of course even if you didn't prepare the meal in the dish, you can use it for storing leftovers! Estimate the amount you pay each year for disposable food wrap. You will quickly see how a covered dish, that you use year after year, makes good economical sense. Mother Nature will love you too when you consider the waste involved in manufacturing those wraps, transporting them and finally disposing of them. Covered dishes are yet another way to work towards self-sufficiency and move away from the dependence on, and expense of, disposable products.
And remember - leftovers aren't just cooked meals!
Ever open a tin of crushed tomatoes or vegetables and only need half for your recipe? Freeze the rest immediately in a small tub. Freeze it, no matter how small the portion left-over, you can always add them all together to make up a full portion at a later date. Freeze the left-over portion before preparing - just use what you need and freeze the rest. Likewise wrap up bits of cooked chicken, turkey, ham etc. to later use for soups and broths. And make sure to wrap up any leftover (and very expensive) cheese when cutting or shredding! It makes a great pull-it-all-together macaroni and cheese at a later date.
Once you get started truly saving all your left-overs, you will be pleasantly surprised how much money you save, or how few ingredients you need to buy to make up some type of meal when money is tight ... not to mention saved preparation time on those nights when you just don't feel like cooking at all!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2017