Save Time and Money – Do a Leftovers Night!

Save Time and Money – Do a Leftovers Night!

Before I had three kids, I meticulously planned breakfast, lunch, dinner-even snacks for each day of the week! Well, I don’t have time for that anymore. And, really, it’s not one of my priorities anymore either. Some weeks it’s all I can do just to crank out that dinner menu and accompanying grocery list.

Once a week, I make a double batch of at least one of our dishes. Then on Thursday or Friday (the two nights I’m the most exhausted and don’t want to cook!) we do a leftovers night. If there are several family favorites on the weekly menu, even better! I always make extra of the favorites. On leftovers night, family members get a few meals to choose from and we also get the freedom to not have any meal prep to clean up!

My big kid loves spaghetti, I like chili, and bless his heart my husband will eat anything that’s put in from of him. But I understand that this is not the norm, and there are some husbands who will flat-out refuse to eat leftovers. In that case, here are some ideas:

  • On leftovers night, add new life to the leftovers. For example, use last night’s cooked chicken breast, dice it up, and add it to quesadillas or something else. It would involve some cooking, but it’s easier than a whole meal from scratch.
  • Only use favorites for leftovers night. That mediocre meal you tested out on your family may have a lot of leftovers for a reason. If the leftovers are something your husband really likes, maybe he will be more prone to eat it.
  • Consider reheating in the oven, on the stove, or in a crock pot instead of in the microwave. My grandpa would refuse to eat anything cooked in a microwave (although that might have been a result of his not trusting modern appliances). Food tastes better when reheated on the stove.
  • Tell your husband to fend for himself on leftovers night. He’s a big boy, he knows how to make a sandwich.

When you have a busy family, getting a healthy meal on the table each night can be a challenge. Using a meal plan that includes a leftovers night can save time and money, especially if you make careful choices about what to serve each night. By the way, have you checked out my meal plan template? It’s a great resource for getting your meal ideas organized.