Preserving leftovers for eating later!

Husband and I have been taking a hard look at our food expenses; we aren’t being super irresponsible with groceries and restaurant expenses, but it seems like an area where we could trim back a little just by wasting less. I hate it, but there are drips and drabs of food that get thrown out because we either get sick of it, or it sits in the fridge too long, or we just miscalculate and make too much.

One place where we have room to work harder is when we have these parties – they are potlucks, and pretty much always involve more food than is needed. This time, since soup is involved, I’ve got one plan: I read online that many soups that freeze well can be frozen into ice cube trays and then stored in freezer bags until needed. I like this, because the soups I’m making might actually make nice sauces in the future.

If you have favorite ways to preserve extras after a party, do comment! I am especially in need for bread reuses (though I do love croutons and french toast for that), because i think we may have excess homemade bread tonight. 🙂

26 comments on “Preserving leftovers for eating later!

  1. I enjoyed your post! For using extra bread, I like to make narrow and crispy “bread stix”. I cover them with butter, garlic, and Parmesan. Ii place them in a toaster oven for a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I save Chinese take out containers and make up individual meals with leftovers. 💘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I use Tupperware large containers for this purpose

    Liked by 1 person

  4. flabtofitweb says:

    Leftover bread whizzed up with some basil and Parmesan makes a delicious crust for baked salmon, sole or chicken. I always keep a bag of these flavoured crumbs in the freezer for a tasty supper or impromptu guests. I personally really like the pesto inspired crumbs but there are endless combinations: chilli and coriander, lemon and garlic, blue cheese and walnut. They also would be lovely grilled over a cauliflower or broccoli bake, an idea I have just thought of and will definitely try!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. sudustories says:

    You could make crumbs of the bread and use them when making cutlets. Also fry them with some gram flour and can add as toppings in soups.
    Lovely blog though

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have been thinking and googling how to recycle our spoilt cheese and hardened bread. I do my best to have zero waste in my household.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lorarealtor says:

    I like to use leftover bread to make breadcrumbs. I cut the bread into chunks and put it in the food processor and crumb it. It will last in the pantry for a week, but six months in the freezer. I freeze them in one cup amounts so I can use them as I need. I let them thaw and add fresh herbs for a nice coating, or an addition to black bean burgers, meatballs, or anything else.

    Thanks for all the great content, your blog is my fave!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. avenob says:

    All great suggestions above! I’ve definitely frozen soup and it’s just as delicious at it’s second life. Bread is a toughy – in general, I always keep my bread in the fridge which extends it’s life a few more days. My suggestion would be to think of ways to incorporate your weekend leftovers into your weekday meals. Maybe turn that extra bread into a panzenela salad for Tuesday night or breakfast French toast. If you buy tons of fresh herbs, they freeze well in ice cube trays with olive oil – ready for your next meal.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Elizabeth says:

    There is a great website which is full of ideas of reducing what they call our food foodprint. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karin says:

    Love your post. Your parties sound wonderful! As for the bread….Put a little bit of your soup stock in the blender with some leftover bread, let it sit for a minute to soak up the liquid and puree it. A different kind of thickener, but works great and uses up bread leftovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ozpossum says:

    Great that you are thinking about food waste which in my mind, is a very big issue in developed countries. I regularly cook for us and usually put something in the freezer as well for those days when I am too busy working on my bead embroidery designs to cook or do much else (I am self employed). I grew up in a generation where there really weren’t any fast food restaurants so I learned to do “convenience cooking” in the first years of high school in cookery classes which all the women had to do compulsorily. I personally think that all young people should have to do cookery classes as part of their high school. I have no idea if such subjects are still taught today in my country, Australia. Another important element of high school cookery classes is that I had to learn how to budget for food purchases. The main thing is to shop with a written menu. This happens each week in our household where my husband and I will sit down and work out menus. I then work out what items are needed and my husband is happy to go off and do the grocery shopping. Basically, this method of food planning really works because there are no impulse purchases, just basic purchases that suit my “scratch cook” method of household management. All this being said, try making crostini with left over bread. Thin slices toasted in the oven until the bread dries out but does not take on colour. Store in an airtight container. Crostini literally means “little slices” in Italian and I grew up with my immigrant mother making these to use leftover bread so that nothing went to waste. Crostini are a marvellous base for savoury toppings and dips. I particularly like to top crostini with some grilled red peppers which I preserve in our much loved Vacola bottling system (“home canning” in American parlance). Mum also used to make breadcrumbs with leftover bread that we had. I used to pop pieces of toasted stale bread in a bag and then smash the bread with a rolling pin to make breadcrumbs. Mum used to extend the life of the breadcrumbs by storing them in the freezer. Lastly, try making panzanella salad. I grew up with this salad as a summer staple in our household where the vegetable garden produce was a central feature.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. acquest13 says:

    I keep all my bread in the freezer and only take it out as I need it. If I have any fresh left over I freeze as bread crumbs or make bread or bread and butter puddings which also freeze!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bread pudding for leftover (even stale) bread. We store leftover soup in pint mason jars leaving a 2inch clearance for freezing expansion. These are easy to pull out of the freezer, take off the top, and pop it in the microwave for an easy single serving.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Audrey says:

    I agree with avenob, panzanella is a great way to use bread croutons and a whatever veggies you have in your fridge. I’m also big on tasting cubed bread for homemade stuffing. Add your favorite seasonings later.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ladybuggz says:

    a good bread pudding is awesome…there was a recipe years ago on the inside of a Celestial Tea Box that I use….if I remember I’ll try to find it for you! 🙂 T.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ladybuggz says:

      Here’s the Recipe…hope you try it!

      Apple Bread Pudding (from eat more weigh Less)
      -make in a shallow dish, serves 6-12 or 6 cups.
      -2cups nonfat milk
      -3/4 cup maple syrup
      -1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
      -1 cup egg whites (6-8 eggs) I used just 4 large whole eggs
      -4 cups diced bread
      -2 cups peeled diced apple
      -1 cup raisins

      Preheat oven to 350f. in large bowl combine milk, maple and cinnamon. In another bowl beat egg whites ( or eggs)till frothy Add eggs to milk mixture and stir to combine thoroughly, add bread and toss well, set aside for 30 min.
      Fold in apple and raisins and pour into a nonstick lightly oiled 8″x12″ baking dish. Bake for 45-50 min. until top is very brown and crisp. A knife should come out clean when inserted in the middle. Serve warm or room temp!
      cheers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. there are many recipes which are made from leftovers….. enjoyed your post….

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lots of good ideas above. I have a constant stash of 250ml plastic containers for leftovers. Using in week day meals is another good way and it means a quick, easy meal during the week. I have a recipe for a Tuscan apple cake that uses leftover bread. It can also be frozen so it’s a win win!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yup, I try to reduce food waste too. Over-ripe fruit and veggies past their prime will always get used some way or the other in my kitchen. Soups, sauces with the veggies and yogurt toppings or smoothies with the fruit. And if there is extra, I freeze. After all mushy fruit will not suffer from the freezer, it will stay mushy! The other day I used a whole bunch of over-ripe tomatoes for my lentils with tomatoes recipe. Was delish! I freeze extra bread and thaw it out when needed. Dry bread get whizzed into bread crumbs or make a nice bottom layer for roasting chicken. The pan juices get into the bread and make it so tasty! Old, dry bread is also a good binding material for croquettes or dumplings. Yummm!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. So many good ideas here! The bread will go to good use. 🙂


  20. trishlee75 says:

    I love that you are preserving/reusing. We try to have very little waste in our home too. I have a food dehydrator. So any sad looking carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers tomatoes all get sliced, dried the ground for homemade bullion (our site has a post on it). Also, all bulks of leftover breads get dried for bread crumbs, which keep forever for things like breading chicken or adding to meatloaves or meatballs. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great Post!And thank you for becoming my follower. I just became yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. boozilla says:

    Bread crumbs. Late in the cooking day I realized how grand bread crumbs are and how they can elevate almost anything. If you’ve got them already crumbed up in the freezer, it just takes an hour or so to dry them out, ready for use as….Milanese fixings, a crisped topping for savory dishes with garlic, almonds and parsley (lemon zest too) or a sweet one for cobblers with cinnamon and raisins and whatever else…..Croutons also, precut and then you can either fry or broil…..bread pudding? OMG. BREAD.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. zozieposie says:

    Home made bread is gorgeous. ..and great for soup 😀
    Glad you enjoyed my pie blog piece today

    Liked by 1 person

  24. p.sawyer says:

    I often cook several dishes on the weekend, to last for the week. I’d store them in glass jars (I re-use my pasta sauce jars) and put them in the freezer.

    It can be a lot of work to prep, cook and clean up for 3-4 dishes all on one day (depending on what you cook), but I do save a lot of time and effort during the work week!

    Liked by 1 person

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