Starting and maintaining a meal budget isn’t always as easy as you might wish for it to be, and it can be hard to stick to your plan if you’re struggling to keep enough money in the bank. If you’re looking to stretch your meal budget and get more meals out of your budget, then you might want to start looking to use leftovers to achieve that goal. Leftovers don’t exactly have a glamorous history or reputation, but there are definitely some interesting ways you can use them to stretch your meal budget. You likely won’t even realize or mind that you’re eating leftovers if you follow these tips, so it’s definitely worth looking into in order to see just how you can spice up leftovers and really save some money in your meal budget. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Add a New Side Dish to Leftovers
If you’re just heating up leftovers and not adding anything to that, then it can really be disheartening and not that exciting. You won’t really be excited about dinner, and it can even wind up getting tiring to eat leftovers all the time. If you’re looking to stretch your budget by eating leftovers, you should consider adding a few side dishes to your leftover meal. If you had a roast chicken for dinner and you plan on having leftovers for dinner, why not make a squash casserole or something else to make it a little more exciting? Sure, you’re basically eating the same thing two nights in a row, but at least you have a new side dish to add to it. It won’t cost all that much money and it will really help you get the most out of the experience.
2. Make the Leftovers into a New Meal
You don’t always just need to heat up your leftovers – and why should you, if you can make it into a whole new meal? If you have steaks or tenderloin for dinner one night, you can easily turn that into a Philly cheese steak sandwich the next night. It’s a great way to help you stretch your budget and keep things interesting, and once you start getting into the habit of making leftovers into new meals, you’ll really start to appreciate your meal budget a lot more.
3. Save Different Ingredients from One Meal
Saving different ingredients from one meal can help you transform your leftovers into something new every night you have to eat them. Don’t just save the end product – if you’re making a soup, then save some of the steps along the way. For example, you might want to try making and storing your own homemade chicken broth if you can. You can use this to really add some much-needed flavor to leftovers and make new dishes with it, so it’s worth the extra time and effort for sure.
4. Add a New Sauce to Leftovers
Sauces really make the world go around in the kitchen, so if you add a new sauce to your leftovers, it can really transform the dish completely. Look into making a new sauce to go along with something you’ve already made – roast chicken can be a new dish if you add a new type of sauce to it, and so can pretty much anything else. Making pan sauces is quite easy once you get the hang of it, so it’s worth looking into if you’re trying to make the most of your budget.
5. Make It into a Soup or Stew
One of the best ways to stretch a meal budget is by making leftovers into a soup or stew. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, you’ll definitely want to give this a shot. It makes a whole new meal and it can have such an amazingly different flavor so that you won’t even know that you’ve been eating leftovers. Learning how to transform leftovers into soups and stews will really help you make the most out of your meal budget, and you might even discover some new favorite dishes this way. It’s worth learning how to do it, especially if you’re trying to stretch a budget at the end of the month.