How to Save Money by Using Leftover Ingredients

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How to Save Money by Using Leftover Ingredients

How to Save Money by Using Leftover Ingredients will help you put money in the bank instead of the trash can. Think of all the money you would save if you used up all your food.

“I’m frugal. I’m not a very acquisitive woman. I never waste food. If you prepare your own food, you engage with the world; it tastes alive.” – Vivienne Westwood

The average American household throws out over $640 per year in food waste. Why not save a ton of money and use up all those leftover ingredients or freeze them for future use?

Related Post: Path to Simplicity: 25 Simple Living Ideas

We are all guilty of wasting food, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By simply strategizing how you’re going to use any leftover ingredients, you’ll have more money in the bank and feel good about using up everything you buy.

Here’s How to Save Money by Using Leftover Ingredients :

1) Egg yolks.

There are so many recipes that call only for egg whites only. Here are some ideas on what to do with just the yolk.

Pie filling
Cakes
Pudding
Custard
Ice Cream
Aioli
Ice Cream
Scrambled eggs
Homemade pasta
Hollandaise sauce
Eggnog
Hair conditioner

If you’re not going to be using your egg yolks right away, you can freeze them. Make sure you prick the egg yolk and add a dash of salt to two yolks if you are using them for savory recipes or 3/4 teaspoon of sugar for sweet recipes.

2) Egg whites.

What about those recipes that you only use the yolk? Here are some ideas on what to do with only the egg whites:

Meringue
Souffles
Scrambled eggs
Angel food cake
Icing for cookies
Spiced nuts

Egg whites freeze well. The easiest way to freeze egg whites is to put one egg white in each ice cube compartment and once they’re frozen, pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure you date the bag.

3) Hard boiled eggs.

When your boiling eggs for a recipe, you might as well boil a few more and have them ready to use.

Salad topping
Egg salad for one
Garnish
Potato salad
Deviled eggs
Breakfast burrito

Hard boiled eggs don’t freeze well at all.

4) Sour cream

Now I can’t imagine anyone having any leftover sour cream because it’s one of my favorite things, but just in case, here are a few ideas:

Sauce – add it to a sauce to make it extra rich and delicious for chicken, pasta or even to top vegetables
Salad dressing
Waffles or pancakes
Mashed potatoes
Tea sandwiches
Deviled eggs
Cakes or cookies
Cream soups
Potato salad
Flavored sandwich spread
Cheesecake
Biscuits
Twice baked potatoes
Dip

Sour cream separates when frozen, so it won’t have the same texture once it’s thawed. It’s best to use it up right away in a recipe.

5) Buttermilk

Cake
Cookies
Quick bread
Quiche
Pie crust
Coleslaw
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Biscuits
Fried chicken
Salad dressing
Cornbread
Soups
Donuts
Ice cream
Corn muffins
Pancakes
Quick bread

You can easily freeze buttermilk too. Just measure out the buttermilk into tablespoon portions and freeze in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, put the cubes in a plastic freezer bag and date it.

6) Bread

French toast
Dry bread crumbs
Soft bread crumbs
Croutons
Meatloaf
Stuffings
Bread pudding
Strata
Crostini

You can always freeze your leftover bread too. Just make sure it is frozen fresh and not stale.

7) Cooked Rice

Meatloaf or meatballs
Fried rice
Stir-fry
Soups
Stews
Casseroles
Rice salad
Casseroles

Cooked rice freezes well. Let rice cool completely in refrigerator before freezing.

8) Cooked pasta

Frittata
Stir-fry
Noodle bake
Casseroles
Pasta salad
Soup
Buttered noodles

You can freeze cooked pasta, just make sure you add a bit of olive oil to the pasta and then freeze. Cook the pasta al dente before freezing for best results.

9) Cooked beans & lentils

Soup
Stew
Chili
Stuffed peppers
Burritos
Casseroles
Bean dip
Salad
Veggie burgers
Quesadilla
Wraps

Let beans or lentils cool completely before freezing. Portion out the beans or lentils and mark how many cups are in each bag.

10) Cooked meat

Casseroles
Hash
Meat pies
Salads
Sandwiches
Stuffed Vegetables
Wraps
Burritos

Cooked meat freezes well.

11) Potatoes

Shepherd’s pie
Gnocchi
Potato salad
Potato soup
Hash
Potato pancakes
Home fries
Frittata
Burrito
Samosas
Smashed potatoes
Bread

Potatoes do lose some of their texture if frozen. Make sure you mash the potatoes and add a bit of fat before freezing for best results. It’s best to use the cooked potatoes in other recipes instead of freezing.

12) Sweet Potatoes

Biscuits
Muffins
Bread
Salad
Soups
Stews
Risotto
Sweet potato pancakes
Quesadillas
Salad

Sweet potatoes freeze well if baked or boiled.

13) Oatmeal

Bread
Breakfast cookies
Muffins
Smoothies
Meatloaf
Veggie or bean burgers

Oatmeal also holds up well after freezing. Just place oatmeal in a muffin tin until frozen and pop out and place in a freezer bag.

13) Fresh herbs

Salad
Simple syrup
Salad dressing
Garnish
Infused oil
Marinate
Pasta sauce
Dry them
Infused water
Pesto
Homemade sausage patties
Herb roasted potatoes
Herb butter
Herb salt
Soup stock
Bread
Scones
Muffins
Biscuits

You can freeze herbs in ice-cube trays. Make sure you add either olive oil or melted butter.

14) Jam or jelly

Veggie glaze
Flavored lemonade
Sauce for chicken
Yogurt topping
Stuffed French toast
Salad dressing
Flavored butter
Crepes
BBQ sauce
Oatmeal topping
Smoothies
Frozen drinks
Cookies
Meatball sauce
Topping with cheese and crackers
Cottage cheese topping
Sweeten hot tea
Ice cream topping

Jam or jelly can be frozen in ice cube trays too. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and store in a freezer bag.

15) Coconut cream or coconut milk

Coconut curry
Whipped cream
Fruity coconut popsicles
Smoothies
Soups
Creamer for coffee
Scrambled eggs
Rice pudding
Salad dressing
Stir-fry sauce

Freeze coconut cream or coconut milk in ice cube trays and place frozen cubes in a freezer bag for storage.

16) Wine

wine cubes for sparkling water
Risotto
Fish with Wine sauce
Chicken Piccata
Winesicles
Wine jelly
Poached pear with wine sauce

You can also freeze wine in ice-cube trays and place the frozen cubes in freezer bags.

The best way to freeze leftover ingredients is to use a silicone ice-cube or muffin tray. Measure out how much you put in the trays by using measuring spoons and cups. Simply pop out the frozen item and store in freezer bags so they’re handy when a recipe calls for that ingredient.

My favorite silicone ice-cube trays can be found on Amazon here.

Here are the muffin trays I use. 

We’ve reached the end of How to Save Money by Using Leftover Ingredients. I hope you enjoyed it.

Let me know in the comments below what are your favorite ways are to use leftover ingredients or if you tried any of the ideas.

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