Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keeping Track of Leftovers

I love to cook. I really do. But I'm horrible at keeping track of leftovers. And even worse at using them up. Ziploc bags of extra sausage or cheese gets shoved to the back of the fridge. Tupperware containers populate the far reaches of the bottom shelf, out of sight. When they're finally discovered, their contents are almost unrecognizable. And they stink! Ughhh!

However, with this new year comes a new goal of mine - using leftovers. It's frugal and wise. I hate throwing money in the trash. That's exactly what I'm doing when I throw out old, stinky leftovers I've forgotten about. It's so wasteful. And as the proverb says, Waste not, want not. The more we throw away, the more we must spend later. The more we have to spend on food, the less we have for other things.

To help me with my new goal, I created a chart to track leftovers in the fridge. And where am I keeping the chart? On the fridge, of course. Where I can see it every time I open the door. Many times a day.

I made three columns, one for the date, one for the item and one for the amount of servings leftover.

Then I fill the columns in. The amounts are generally estimates.

As I think about what to cook for lunch or supper, I can glance at the leftover tracker and see what ingredients are available and need to be used up. As they're used, I mark them off the list.

I used the leftover sausage and chopped veggies to make calzones, which Charles loved. And the pizza was eaten for supper by a hungry husband. Tomorrow night we'll have leftover soup - yum!

I'm also going to make a freezer inventory list so I can keep track of frozen leftovers. I've already got two Ziploc bags of Christmas turkey and one of Christmas ham to use in future meals.

Hopefully, these tracking tools will help me be more frugal in the coming year. Visit We Are THAT Family's site for more tips.


  1. That is a good idea! I also freeze my leftovers so we can have them another day. I write on the outside of the ziplock with a sharpie the date and amount, similar to your chart. Thanks for sharing!


  2. This is a great idea!