Thursday, August 4, 2011
At the end of the month we sometimes find ourselves squeaking by. With a budget as tight as we have, even little surprises can leave us scrambling to make ends meet. One of the biggest ways I have to offset a zero-balance-end-of-the-month budget is a full freezer.
To some, a full freezer means intentionally stocking it with extra groceries. But my version is a little different. I mean, if I had extra money, of course I'd try to fill it with surplus groceries. What I normally find myself having extra of... is leftovers.
Almost every home cooked meal in this house has leftovers. Spaghetti, casseroles, soups and stews usually get returned to the kitchen after a meal with a little bit left in the dish. While the kids are doing the dinner dishes (because in our house the cook NEVER has to clean up) I make sure that the leftovers get placed in containers, labeled, and dated and packed into the freezer. No more shoving it in the fridge only to be found later after it's started growing a beard. And we can build up quite a smorgasbord of meals in there after a while.
Then at the end of the month, when inevitably money is tight, I don't need to buy near as many groceries. At the end of last month we had sloppy joes from the freezer for lunch a few days, I even had some leftover pulled pork, chicken barley stew and several other things in there that got pulled out, warmed up and given a new life. Not only did it offset any lack in our budget but it saved me tons of time in the kitchen.
It's a simple thing to do if you just incorporate it into the after meal clean-up and requires no extra time or money on your part.
So if you find yourself with leftovers after dinner tonight, pack them away into your freezer for a night when funds are low and appetites are high. You will be glad that you did.