Nov 3, 2010

Grocery Tetris (Janssen)

Last weekend, we had a Halloween party and I took some cornbread. I ended up with four leftover pieces and so I stuck them in the freezer and decided that I would use two in this Stuffed Acorn Squash (it was delicious) and the last two pieces to make the croutons for this Chicken Chili. I was unreasonably thrilled by this plan and when I mentioned it to my husband, his comment was that meal planning is a little bit like Tetris for me - a game to find a way to make everything fit perfectly.

As a complete and utter Tetris addict, I loved this analogy. And I really love using up my food and not letting things I paid good money for go to waste. But I don't have a particularly good system (unless you call opening your drawers and pulling things out at random a good system).

Any great methods for making sure your food doesn't go to waste?


Skeemer118 said...

Our deep freezer is my best tool to make sure our food isn't being wasted. It's just DH & I so a lot of the soups I make turn out to be much more than we can eat. I portion them into containers & we freeze them. It makes for nice fast dinner when we're in a hurry too!

Janet said...

I like to have random leftover nights where you put odds and ends from the fridge into:
big yummy salads
omelets/scrambled eggs

Most of those things above can be customized with just about anything.

jillian said...

I love trying new recipes to use up something I still have...and if it's something I can throw into the freezer until a later date, that works, too.

Nathan and Sharlynn Heinitz said...

While I make my meal plans for grocery shopping I think about leftovers I may have and how to use them up later on in the week or in a freezer meal for later. i.e. with only two of us at home, if I cook a whole chicken for dinner, we never finish it I'll make pulled bbq chicken in the crock pot, or cut up the pieces to throw into a chicken broccoli casserole...both meals can be made later in the week or frozen. When you really think about it, you can actually use up your leftovers really well.

Packrat said...

Once upon a time I was very good about not wasting food. Sadly, now, way too much gets lost in the fridge and the freezer.

Lady Susan said...

I am not very good about this. And it doesn't help that the husband is super sensitive about food that could be remotely considered past it's prime. "How long has the sour cream been open? A week? Time to toss."

Kimberly said...

We're not very good at it, but one thing that seems to help is writing things down. I don't like deciding what to eat on specific days a week in advance, so I keep a list of the meals I had planned and decide that morning (or afternoon) what I want. The same works well with random things left over. If I write them down (my poor kitchen whiteboard) then they are never too far out of mind. It's either that or put the tupperware (or whatever) right by the milk since that's what we get in the fridge for most.

Tess said...

I didn't feel like cooking dinner at all tonight. So I opened the fridge, pulled out the remainder of last Saturday's chicken-and-corn chowder, dumped it into a casserole dish, mixed up half a batch of drop biscuits, plopped them on top, and threw it in the oven.

Voila! Chicken and biscuit casserole that only took about 5 minutes to make (not counting baking time, obviously.)

Sometimes you don't have to be creative with the leftovers. Just get them eaten!