Ahi Tuna Steak, Green Beans, & Tomato
photo credit: dyanna

It seems like everything is getting more expensive. It’s hard to keep good quality food on hand without spending a fortune at the grocery store. It is possible to buy organic without going broke but it makes the most sense on the budget to plan accordingly when shopping and turn one dinner into a second meal a few days later. Buying items in bulk and having a plan makes the living on a budget easier.

If your family won’t eat leftovers, maybe they will go for another fabulous creation from your kitchen. Don’t serve the meal the next day but rather mix it up and really surprise them by serving the meal a few days later. The meal is called a two-night dinner and it will help to save you time and stretch the dollar.

First, if you eat meat visit your local farmer or butcher and get quality, if possible hormone free organic meat. Purchasing a whole pork shoulder, chicken, or piece of beef is economical. Have the butcher cut it up for you for free in the grocery store or meat market. You’ll have several cuts to choose from for dinner. Again, buying whole is more economical and I always recommend organic meat or knowing the local farmer and verifying they do not use hormones or antibiotics.

Try a chicken dish and make the chicken with potatoes and carrots. Maybe use a herb rub on the chicken for some savory flavor. For the second dinner pick off as much of the chicken meat as possible and store it cooled in a safe glass container. Boil down the carcass and essence to create a chicken stock and when cool stores this in glass containers or Mason jars.

The leftover chicken can be used to create a casserole dish, stir fry with fresh organic vegetable or a chicken salad. The chicken stock can be used for broths in soups or for boiling noodles for flavor. With one chicken you have several different meals that can be created and your family probably won’t even realize they are eating leftovers! Serving with fresh organic vegetables from the garden or from the local CSA or farmers market is essential for a well balanced meal.

Chicken isn’t the only versatile meat. Leftover roast can be used for stews or soups and with some boiled noodles you can create a beef stroganoff. You get the idea. After four days in the fridge it is best to compost the food. If you get creative there shouldn’t be any food leftover. Buying in bulk for noodles, rice and beans will stretch the dollar even further and many health food stores will order in bulk at a discounted cost.

Utilizing leftovers makes this possible and even though some people don’t like leftovers with some clever tricks it’s better to eat the leftovers than throw them in the trashcan. When it comes to the picky eaters who don’t want to eat the leftovers there are only two choices to make the quality organic and healthy meals go further for your pocket book, make less or make the meal go further. The picky eater is impossible to please whether you make large or small portions of food but you can surprise the finicky folks!

For great ways to eat healthy and keep sustainability and the environment in mind I recommend Sustainable Table and Eat. Drink. Better.


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