Welcome! I’m Alea Milham, the founder of Premeditated Leftovers and author of Prep-Ahead Meals from Scratch.
Premeditated Leftovers encompasses more than just sharing ideas for using up leftovers. To me, premeditated leftovers means living intentionally; economizing where I can (whether I am saving time, money, or minimizing waste) so that we have resources leftover to devote to the things that bring us joy (horses, music, travel, skiing). I don’t believe in being frugal just for frugality’s sake; instead we are frugal with a purpose.
Our budget reflects our values and priorities. I don’t want to be anyone’s “Jones family”, not even the if it means being the “frugal, green, organic Jones family”. We are frugal in some areas so that we can splurge in others. We are committed to remaining debt free and building our savings, so we regularly evaluate our wants vs. our needs. We have discovered that it is possible to live fully while spending less.
Many of the frugal things I do improve the quality of our lives. Gardening is frugal, but I garden because I enjoy it. Homegrown produce is more flavorful and helps me create higher quality meals for my family and friends. Cooking from scratch saves money, but it also allows me complete control over the ingredients and ensures that my family is eating healthy meals.
So often people equate leftovers, hand me downs and secondhand items with deprivation. But if you treat that hand me down with care it is eventually described as vintage, an heirloom, or an antique. I am, in my own little way, rebelling against our throwaway culture. I am sure it sounds silly (I know because my daughter laughed when I first shared the analogy), but I think of the cloth napkin as symbolic of our lifestyle. Using cloth napkins saves money and reduces waste, yet it is much more elegant than the paper alternatives.
If you have any questions after looking around, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org