Everyone wants to save money on their groceries. Saving time is another big goal. These tips that I have personally discovered or tried myself will do both. Some are shortcuts that save you time when preparing a meal from leftovers. Others save you money by showing you how to stretch food items. Try them yourself.
Bread Ends – Breads or leftover pieces, pieces that have started to harden can all be saved. Store them in a freezer bag until you have plenty, Lay them in a dehydrator or in the oven on allow temperature and dry them out. Then cube or crush them to make bread crumbs or stuffing. Toss with your favorite seasonings and use can use them to coat chicken or pork chops or to make stuffing. You can mix more than one kind of bread together too.
Vegetable Scraps – Save celery ends, carrot ends and peels, broccoli bits any hard vegetable scraps at all. Store them in the freezer until you want to make soup like chicken or vegetable soup. Then add these bits to your stock. They will be strained out later and you’ll get some extra use out of them.
Dry Cereal Bits – The last sprinkles of cereal left in the box aren’t enough for a bowl of cereal but there is no sense throwing them out. Save those remnants in an airtight container until you are ready to make some Chex mix or other cereal-based snack mix.
Single Serving Leftovers – If no one can use this for a lunch the next day, scoop the leftover, mashed potatoes, meat, mixed vegetables, whatever they may be, into one section of a muffin tin. Cover the tin with foil and freeze. Once it’s frozen, pop it out and store it in the freezer in a labeled freezer bag. These can be defrosted as need to make a meal down the road.
Mashed Potatoes – The powdered flakes can be used to thicken gravies in a pinch. Left over servings can be added to soups or gravies to thicken them up as well.
Leftover Meatloaf – This is seldom leftover in my house but when it is, the meat is placed in a freezer bag and stored in the freezer. When I need to stretch spaghetti or tacos, I defrost the meatloaf, crumble it and add it to the dish.
Leftover Chili or Sloppy Joes – These meat dishes can be recycled into nachos where a little goes a long way because of all the other condiments.
Breakfast Extras – If you have extra pancakes, sausages, French toast or bacon strips, you can freeze them and later assemble breakfast sandwiches for those mornings when you’re on the run.
Homemade Flavored Coffee – Instead of spending money on expensive coffees and syrups, use a drop or two of vanilla extract and a little vanilla non-dairy creamer to make your own. There are a variety of flavors you can play around with but everyone has vanilla in the cupboard.
French Bread – Keep a loaf in the freezer. When you want to use some, take it out and cut what you need while it is still frozen, then return the loaf to the freezer. It prevents the rest of the loaf from getting stale if you don’t use it all. It is also easier to butter it while it’s frozen. Sprinkle it with some garlic powder and toast in the oven for some quick homemade garlic bread.
Source: Personal Experience