Leftovers can often be frozen. Barbecue is something I love to make a HUGE pot of, and then I freeze it in small portions. I buy the 10 pounds of legs and thighs and cook it all. They usually run about $6.00 around here. Then I drain the meat and debone it and turn it in to barbecue. Sometimes I might set some aside for a chicken pot pie. Then I freeze several small batches for quick lunches or for dinner when I don’t want to cook.
Some people find savings in doing Once A Month Cooking. I tried it, but it didn’t work well for me. There are websites devoted to it. Mainly you cook like crazy for one day and you freeze meals or meal components so it’s easier the rest of the month. I really like cooking and would miss it if I did that. There are cost savings though, and the recipes are often easy. You save money with this method because you buy large cuts of meat to use, and the recipes are arranged so that everything you buy is well used between dishes, so that there’s not a lot of waste.
Lo Mein is another really cheap, delicious dish that I make a ton of and then freeze.
I freeze left over ham for seasoning beans. Extra turkey is frozen for turkey pot pie or turkey fajitas. (They are actually very, very good!) Leftover roast or steak becomes beef stroganoff. Leftover chicken often becomes chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, or Fettucine Alfredo with chicken. Chicken is so versatile, it should never get thrown out! Good bread is dried and becomes salad croutons, or bread crumbs for meatballs.
The point is, find ways to both ENJOY and USE your leftovers. Don’t think you HAVE to eat the same thing tomorrow night unless you want it. You can re-invent it by putting it in a new recipe, or freeze it and have it next week.
Also, remember, if you’ve got plate scrapings or waste vegetable matter, like corn husks or salad that won’t really keep – turn it into natural fertile soil. Compost it if you have a yard. You don’t have to have anything fancy, just always put it in the same place in a little pile with leaves and such, and keep it strictly vegetable matter.