Here are tips on how to store leftovers and ways to encourage your family to eat up leftovers.
Creating a homemade meal is a great way to save money while providing healthy food for your family. The one thing that comes with every home-cooked dinner that must be dealt with is leftovers. How you decide to deal with leftovers can save you time and money or it can create unwanted food waste. There are several things you will want to think about when it comes to storing leftovers and making a plan to use up your leftovers.
How to Store Leftovers
Proper Food Handling of Leftover Food:
Your first concern when handling leftovers is food spoilage. Spoiled food has a negative impact on your grocery budget and it puts you at risk for food poisoning. When it comes to the proper food handling of leftovers, there are a couple of rules that you will want to follow.
- Store your leftovers as soon as the meal is over.
- Make sure all items are stored and sealed properly. I like to store my leftovers in glass storage containers because they are clear so it is easy to see what is inside.
- Mark items with a label of what it is and the date it was made.
- Reheat items in the microwave, stove-top, or oven until the temperature reaches at least 165 F.
How Long are Leftovers Good for?
Food leftovers are generally good for an average of 3 to 5 days. If you cannot eat your leftovers within 3 – 5 days, freeze it for an easy meal at a later time.
How to Use Up Leftovers
Make sure your leftovers get eaten by creating a space for them at the front of your refrigerator. This will prevent your leftover food from being pushed to the back and forgotten. I tape a sign to the shelf to remind my family to eat the leftovers.
Leftovers make an easy lunch. Instead of putting the leftover food in one large bowl, divide it into individual servings and place it in containers that can be packed in a lunch bag.
You can also prevent food waste by incorporating leftovers into your meal plan. Many leftover dishes can serve as the base for a new recipe. You will find recipe ideas for a variety of different leftovers below.