Friday, May 4, 2012

Leftovers...The Ultimate Convenience Food!

Here at the Taylor-DeBruler home we eat a lot of leftovers! 

I *believe* in leftovers. I believe in "waste not, want not."  I believe in "use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without".  I believe there are still starving children around the world who would graciously eat any and all leftovers that my family may lament about.

I believe if you do not eat what I put on the table, you may go fix yourself a PB and J sandwich and a glass of milk.

I also believe that I have better things to do with my time than stand in the kitchen 28 times a week (breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack for 7 days) and cook up new and exciting meals.

So I cook in bulk, freeze some, refrigerator some for later, and cook up some for the next meal. Here is an example:

I find chicken breast on sale so I buy a bunch.  I mean a BUNCH, shamelessly emptying out the chicken breast freezer display while other people stand behind me waiting their turn to choose their package of chicken breast, only to find that the lady in front of them (that would be me) with the brood of kids (those would be mine) has taken every last package.

Then I take my chicken breast home and put the majority of it in the freezer.  In celebration of finding a great deal, I decide we should have Ranch Chicken and Pasta for supper (my husband has convinced me it is called supper, not dinner.  He is currently trying to convince me that what I call lunch is actually called dinner.  I have explained to him that his brainwashing is not working, I have compromised on the whole dinner-supper issue and a girl has to draw a line in the sand eventually...I digress.)

I fix enough Ranch Chicken and Pasta for supper that night, lunch the next day and supper the following night.  See how this works?  I cook one HUGE meal and it lasts for 2 days!  And I still have a ton of chicken in the freezer. 

Let's say whole chickens were on sale, about twice a year I can find them for $.49/lb.  That's cheap, people.  I load my cart up with whole chickens as I listen to all the whispers around me regarding my shopping habits.  I often turn to the gathering crowd and explain that we have a 10 foot pet alligator and it's either whole chickens or the kids.  At this point, people start putting their whole chickens in my cart because they feel such pity for the dangerous situation my children are living in.  This is my goal.  Whole chicken may not be this cheap for a while so I gotta do whatever I can to stock up!  Don't judge me!

That night I fix a whole chicken in the oven and serve it with a couple of side dishes.  If there is enough left over, I'll fix chicken casserole the next night.  But if there isn't much meat left, I'll throw together a pot of Tortilla Soup and we'll eat on that for a couple of days. Essentially, I've make 2 meals and fed my family for 4-5 days.  That Rocks! 

Ya can't do that with laundry!  Boy that would be make two outfits last five days.  My laundry room would look a lot better than it does right now.  Here, I'll include a picture... nevermind.

Leftovers are a mom's best friend!  Think ahead and make good use of them!




  1. I'm soooo right there with ya! I even work leftovers night into our meal plan one or two nights a week, that way they get to choose what they eat every now and then. It works FABULOUSLY for us! Plus, I'm not throwing money out the door.
    On the clothes situation, we wear jeans at least 2 days (unless they've wiped their hands on their pants at school and they HAVE to be washed). That cuts down at least one load a week on laundry and saves on my water bill too. :)

  2. Speaking of meal plans, I found an awesome chart that I have used for a few years now. It's on Vertex 42 under "meal planning". I use the 2 week chart that includes a place for snacks and plenty of room to write.