When it comes to meal planning, one of the biggest challenges that I have faced is using up leftovers. Leftovers often end up sitting in the fridge until they are too bad to be used and must be thrown out. When it comes to creative meal planning, if you fix large meals you have to take into account that you will have leftovers. Below you will find some creative ideas on how you can use up the leftovers that you have.
Stock up on containers
I have found that one of the biggest issues is having enough containers to properly store your leftovers. If the leftovers are not stored properly you will not be able to use them for the next day’s dish. Each container should be clearly labeled when placed in the fridge. This way when you are ready to use up the leftovers, or match them up with some additional side dishes for the next day, it will be easier. I have also found that having different size containers is also beneficial for storing leftovers.
Have a menu
When you have your menu planned all out, it is often best to make enough to last for two days. If you want to change the leftovers a bit, you can have a meal plan all set up. For example if you will have leftover chicken and rice, the next day you can have the leftover chicken with a different side dish. The menu really helps to keep your family from getting bored with their dinner choices. It also guaranteed that you do not have any food left over in the fridge, sitting there and going to waste. Writing the menu down is really the best way to keep track of what is still left in the fridge. After you have finished a meal you can check it off your calendar.
Plan your portion sizes
Taking the time to plan out your portion sizes really makes a difference when it comes to leftovers. You should know how much your family eats in one setting. If you are not sure write down how big of a portion size you made for dinner, and see how much your family eats. To make meals stretch for more than one day, you will want to double the portions. This will make the meals stretch for at least two days worth. In some cases you may want to make your meals stretch even a bit longer, but proper planning is really the key.