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Frugal Tips: Leftover Food Ideas

By Edited Nov 22, 2016 1 1

Ways to Use Leftover Food

Ingenious Ways To Enliven Leftovers


Don't dispose your leftovers. The following tips can help you recycle scraps of food as they pile up, putting an end to waste. What's more, you'll save hundreds of dollars annually on food!


- Cube slices and mix them with orange juice and rind for a savory citrus-bread pudding.

- Spread with butter or margarine those almost-stale or day-old slices . Sprinkle with grated cheese, toast and top with a poached egg.


Pound cake or broken sponge cake layers

- Soak these in sweet wine or liqueur. Top using custard or fruit sauce, or simply crumble them over ice cream.


Broken cookies

- Crush them into coarse crumbs. Mix with coconut and melted chocolate for a great pie crust.

- Crumble broken cookies between layers of ice cream cakes for that surprise "crunch," sprinkle them on top of rice puddings and parfaits.


Cooked vegetables

- Serve chilled with bottled blue cheese or Italian dressing.

- Slice for omelets and frittatas.

- Reserve the vegetable cooking liquid (rich in vitamins and minerals). Stir it into stews, soups and casseroles or replace it for water in a basic rice pilaf recipe.


Heavy cream

Freeze heavy cream for use later in tart fillings, quiches, cream soups and sauces but keep in mind that, once frozen, cream does not whip anymore.



- Freeze coffee in ice cube trays. Add the cubes to iced coffee for an extra-strength brew. You can also whirl the cubes in the blender together with ice cream for a coffee slush.

- Liven meat gravies with coffee, to taste, for a robust flavor.

- Use coffee in cake frostings for a delectable mocha cream.

 - Small pieces of miscellaneous cheeses

- Shred or thinly slice them for grilled cheese sandwiches, chili, tacos, salad or potato toppings.

- Stir bits of cheese into fillings for stuffed vegetables.


Flat beer

- Simmer pot roasts or less expensive cuts of meat in flat beer for an excellent taste.

- Use flat beer rather than water for tangy boiled shrimp.

- Create beer batter for fish fillets, clams, etc.


Fresh mushrooms going brown

- Sauté with garlic and parsley. Stir in thyme and wine and pour on flank steak,  chicken or pork chops.

- Marinate mushrooms in a vinaigrette dressing for an antipasto appetizer.

- Integrated mushrooms into a sherried mushroom soup.



- Add wine to bland tomato sauces to perk them up. Use white wine for chicken dishes and red wine for stewing pot roasts and lamb.

- Use wine as a marinade for tough or less tender cuts of meat.


Egg whites       

Beaten whites can be made into meringue tarts or crusts and bake. Spoon in fruit fillings.


Egg yolks        

- Beat extra yolks into custards.

- Prepare pastry cream for eclairs and cream puffs.

- Make cake frosting (chocolate buttercream).

 -Beat yolks using confectioners' sugar and almond paste, and bake for great almond macaroons.



Make the most of leftover mashed potatoes. For each 2 cups of potatoes, add 1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix for leavening, an egg and herbs and spices, like oregano, parsley, or garlic powder, if you desire. Mix with a fork until smooth and fry in 1/2inch vegetable oil until golden.





Dec 19, 2011 12:50pm
Fantastic tips! I'm going to bookmark this for future reference, thanks Athena!!
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  1. Leftover makeovers: quick and fabulous food from your fridge and pantry. Pymble, N.S.W.: HarperCollins, 2011.
  2. The world cookbook of leftovers. Whitewater, WI: R. Schissel, 1996.

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