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Leftovers

(61 Posts)
watermeadow Sat 17-Jun-17 07:39:04

I was horrified to hear how much food is thrown away. Older people are probably more thrifty than young families but still many seem to think they'll die from eating stuff past its best- before dates.
I freeze most leftovers and also cook in bulk then freeze bags of cooked rice, pasta and complete meals.
I buy fruit and vegetables from our market, where they tend to come in large quantities and don't keep as long as supermarket ones. What's left after a big cooking session is chopped and frozen. I successfully freeze mushrooms, tomatoes, cooked fruit, bread and cakes, corn on the cob, herbs. I don't blanch anything, just put them in freezer bags then straight into the freezer.
I also freeze individual portions of raw meat, rice and vegetables for my dog.
No ready-meals for us!

Gagagran Sat 17-Jun-17 07:43:46

Have you got a very big freezer wm? I only have a small one now, after selling my large one which seemed to hold a lot of stuff I never got round to using. I just wasn't disciplined enough to label and rotate the packages hidden in its depths. But I do admire those who do that!

travelsafar Sat 17-Jun-17 08:15:13

I try to buy just what i think we need in terms of fresh food.

To be honest, shops are open 24 hours if you run out and are desperate for something.

I dont see the need to buy huge ammounts of fresh items only to put in the freezer or in the bin!!!

Luckygirl Sat 17-Jun-17 08:28:25

I guess it partly depends where you live - we have only just moved to a village 15 minutes from the shops - prior to that we were in a village that was 30+ minutes from the shops, and with only a tiny shop in the next village (not much in the way of fresh food there).

So getting stuff for the freezer was inevitable; but I do agree how difficult it is to rotate the contents by date.

I hate food being wasted; but I seem to achieve that without all this pre-prep and freezing of whole meals - the remains of one meal become our meal for the next day.

mcem Sat 17-Jun-17 08:35:34

My buying/cooking/freezing is more or less in balance - easy to cater for myself plus GCs at weekend.
However I'd love to find a fridge freezer with 60% freezer and 40% fridge as it would suit me far better.
I've spotted a couple online but not an integrated one. Am seriously thinking of removing those 'decor' doors if I can find the ideal appliance.
Chucking food in the bin seems quite acceptable
in this family to everyone but me. Can't understand why my DD's dogs don't get leftovers!

Chewbacca Sat 17-Jun-17 08:37:32

Back in the day, I had a huge chest freezer that I ran as efficiently as military operations! Grew my own veg and froze it, bagged it and labelled it. Same with buying meat in bulk from a local farm shop. My freezer was a thing of beauty! But I've downsized considerably now; have no room for anything other than a small fridge/freezer and don't have a large family to feed everyday. Buying stuff in smaller quantities and, as said by travels, shop are open for longer now and you can stock up 24/7 if needed or wanted. I hate waste, as most of us do, so I buy little and often.

Lisalou Sat 17-Jun-17 09:05:44

We have the large freezer and I have to confess we do end up with mystery bags, having said that, our dogs often get "quelle surprise" cooked up for them - perfect solution to mystery bags. Neither I, nor the dogs, have any problem with dealing with left overs - anything that I don't give them, gets eaten by 18 year old son!
I have been watching the programme "Eat well for less" and am quite horrified by the quantity of precooked/packaged meals and take aways the British (I suspect mainly young) have on a regular basis!

travelsafar Sat 17-Jun-17 10:59:54

I can not watch that program lisalou it makes me so angry at people's wastefulness!!! Especially when you hear so much about food banks being needed and children in poverty and being malnourished in this day and age in the UK, scandalous!!!!!

Lisalou Sat 17-Jun-17 11:46:19

It is travelsafar, I agree. To be honest I watched the two latest episodes, as i had never come across it before, and I found it quite horrifying, to be honest. I sometimes have things which unfortunately, get stuffed to the back of the fridge and forgotten until i clean out the fridge a week later. It then, obviously, ends up in the rubbish, but it pains me, and i do try to avoid it.
What i see, and not just from that programme, but from younger friends in the UK, is that few people actually cook properly. I have many friends in their thirties with young children, and i can think of one family where they cook 90 percent of their meals from scratch. the vast majority use a lot of convenience foods, dont sit down to a meal together, and eat takeaways regularly.
What i find most ironic is the amount of them who spend a fortune on refurbishing their kitchens, and they never really use them!

watermeadow Sun 18-Jun-17 14:22:25

I have a fridge-freezer, not a big chest (well, that too!) I too would love one that's two-thirds freezer. I don't label or date anything and have often mistaken spinach for basil. There isn't room for anything to get forgotten, nothing's in there more than about six months, which I'm sure doesn't matter. No meat by the way except dog's and I freeze a week's meals at a time for her.

grannylyn65 Sun 18-Jun-17 15:32:45

I used to cook for my then teenage son, he ws devastated to discover instead of stew was plums !!!

Charleygirl Sun 18-Jun-17 17:24:30

my f/f is 50/50 and still my freezer is stuffed full. I try to cook eg a meal tonight and the remains is microwavable for tomorrow evening- no waste. I buy fish and chips around x3 a year and I cannot remember the last time I had a takeaway- not this century.

I also watch that programme Eat Well for Less and am shocked at the amount of money spent and the food binned. I would not dream of cooking eg 4 different meals for a family each time they dine because they were all such picky eaters. That is not the way to bring up children. Each family is amazed at the amount of money that they can save, it is not rocket science.

M0nica Sun 18-Jun-17 18:34:28

I only cook as much as we will eat, unless I am cooking to freeze. I know what size portions we eat and that is all I prepare.

The only time we have leftovers is when we have visitors, like this weekend. Our visitor has now gone. The potato salad and col slaw uneaten from yesterday will be eaten with a salad tomorrow evening. The vegetables left over from lunch will be steamed through and eaten with tomorrow's main meal and DH will eat the raspberries with his cereal tomorrow morning. End of leftovers.

Welshwife Sun 18-Jun-17 19:06:18

I am quite good at using up the left overs and at times I cook more of things such as potatoes on purpose - I did that last night and this evening we will have the spare ones sliced and sautéd - nice and tasty. We live a good 30 mins from the best food shops - locally the stuff tends to be poor quality for veg but the butcher is great and it is local meat. So I buy enough fresh veg that I think will keep for about a week and then if I run out or I need more I have frozen - as I steam all my veg it is good - even things like cauli and broccoli are OK.
I always make large quantities of bolognaise or lasagne and freeze batches for meals and casseroles. I do try to label so we don't have meals which are too peculiar! I was delighted when the chest freezer came to the end of its natural life as I could never reach the bottom and had to use the steps- nearly fell in head first a few times.

Tizliz Sun 18-Jun-17 19:44:47

Welshwife I have a layer of water bottles at the bottom of my freezer to help with keeping stuff frozen during power cuts and also means the bottom is not so far down. I batch cook as well, buying a big joint, mincing it for bolognaise etc or chopping for stews. Any leftovers go in the dog!

Can't believe people spend so much on take aways. Waste of money for crappy food.

M0nica Sun 18-Jun-17 21:28:08

....especially when you can make your own ready meals and takeaways by cooking two or three times as much as you need and freezing the rest; no going out in the cold and wet, or waiting ages for delivery and then paying through the nose for it

inishowen Mon 19-Jun-17 11:36:19

I have a funny story. Years ago we were out with friends for a meal. We all had steak and there were bits left on everyone's plate. I said I'd take it home for our cat, so everyone scraped their leftovers into my napkin and I took it home and put it in the fridge. Enter teenage son after a night out. He spotted the steak and scoffed the lot. He was horrified the next morning when I told him it was off everyone's plate!

radicalnan Mon 19-Jun-17 11:47:44

Take a ways......how can people afford them. I watch those programs with amazement......and the people who spend fortunes on clothes and toiletries.........vanity for the most part.

They seem totally unabashed when confronted with their own waste and greed, they will all be back to normal in a year because spending money is about more than what you purchase.

Wilma65 Mon 19-Jun-17 11:50:45

We never have any leftovers. I only cook what we can eat and buy fresh food that will be used before it goes off. I buy a large chicken and cook it then freeze portions to use. Other wise use fresh meat and veg

David1968 Mon 19-Jun-17 11:52:59

What leftovers.?...there's never any in our household. Which is probably why we're both overweight.... Seriously though, we do try to buy sensibly and use leftovers in soups or casseroles or similar. In the big power cut of December 2015, we were shocked to hear of friends throwing away the entire contents of their freezers "just in case". We didn’t touch ours until 24 hours after power was restored, and the contents were fine....

silverlining48 Mon 19-Jun-17 11:58:15

What leftovers? Yesterdays fathers day leftovers will be finished today and tomorrow, apart maybe from the limp lettuce. Whatever is left over is always used, and rarely, if ever, is anything thrown away.

moobox Mon 19-Jun-17 12:03:50

DH heaps scorn on me for freezing little half portions of leftovers from the pan. The boot is on the other foot though when I can enjoy them as the filling for a stuffed pepper

TerriBull Mon 19-Jun-17 12:04:54

We are having the left overs from yesterday's barbecue tonight, cold barbecued spicy chicken and a couple of cold sausages, a small portion of home made vegetable tart I made for the vegetarian that came, some cold new potatoes that I might fry. I will make a fresh salad though. It's a shame to waste food.

W11girl Mon 19-Jun-17 12:09:24

I have always cooked my own food from scratch and rely heavily on a small freezer just for me...I have all sorts in it...from individual meat portions to portions of mashed potato etc. I hate cooking so I prepare large batches in one go and then just put my hand in the freezer to pull out a complete meal from all of my portions. My husband and I do not eat the same foods at all....he is a red meat man, I am not...so no cooking for me, he does his own...they say opposites attract!

sarahellenwhitney Mon 19-Jun-17 12:15:05

As a small child during the years of food rationing, watching my mother produce really tasty meals from the small amounts we were allowed ,has I believe helped me to be thrifty and not waste food.I have no problem with using leftovers and as a freezer was something we had never heard of in the war years and I personally didn't own one until the sixties then I feel it a sin not to make the most of it.My late DH would take great delight when we invited friends in for a meal, jokingly I always
hoped, saying 'eat up or we will be having this next week.'

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