Do You Keep Leftovers?

United States
April 1, 2007 8:02pm CST
When having leftover food from a meal do you keep the food or throw it away? Same for when you have leftovers at a restaurant. We keep nearly everything and often times have a leftover supper night to help use them up. I hate wasting food! I won't keep leftovers for more than a week in the fridge though, so we try to eat them sooner than later. How about you?
8 people like this
27 responses
@babyhar (1335)
• Canada
3 Apr 07
In our household we tend to keep left overs. I just think it would be a waste of money if we we're to just throw them out. I also dislike the fact knowing that I would be throwing away food that we should be so thankful in having. I just think of all those people who don't have the food that I have. And it breaks my heart thinking of doing this when it could be given to people who are starving out there in this world. Each time I have thought of throwing left overs out in the past I try to think of this each & every time. As I believe everyone in my household should be more than thankful that we have food in our stomach as it is already. Either way whether it be left overs from the meals I had prepared for dinner on that particular night. Or even a meal I have had at a restaurant. We tend to keep left overs in our house no matter what. I have never been a big fan of left overs personally but that doesn't mean I just throw out the food I had prepared. If I was to do this I would be throwing away the money both me & my other half had.. Worked so hard to earn to purchase the food I had prepared on that particular night. Whenever we have left overs my other half ends up taking them for lunch to work with him. I find it makes my life a lot easier because all I have to do then is.. Put the left overs in a bucket & his lunch is made for the next day. My other half loves left overs as he finds.. The ingredients & seasonings all have time to mix in together.. Which makes the meal the next day even more tastier for him personally. Me on the other hand it all depends upon what it is that I am having the next day that is left overs. Some things I like having the next day more than others. Though sometimes I have used the left overs I have had from the day before to sometimes prepare another meal for me & my other half. Instead of allowing them to go to waste I'd much rather put them to good use. And find other things to do with them if no one wants to take them for lunch the next day. I find sometimes using the left overs to prepare another meal makes the left overs taste even better by going ahead & deciding to do this. When it comes to left overs from a restaurant.. I usually will end up eating them later on in the night when I become hungry.. If I don't eat them most likely my other half will. Or I will as well get him to take them for lunch the next day to. Either way they always get put to good use. And never get thrown away either. I find there is always smart things to do with ones left overs. I just find by throwing them away it is a waste of money. In conclusion.. I tend to keep left overs. The left overs within our household seem to never last all to long either. They never sit for days on end.. As usually the next day they are used to prepare a new meal.. Or they are taken for lunch by someone else.. I personally find throwing away food is just a waste.. Especially when there are people out there who don't even have any food in there stomach.. And are starving out there in this world.. I guess I just don't have the heart to just throw away food that could be put to good use each & every time! . . Thanks for allowing me to share! xx
• United States
6 Apr 07
I hate throwing food away to for the same reasons. I cannot afford to waste my money no matter what it has been spent on. I want to teach my children that throwing food out is only necessary when it can longer be eaten.
@Denmarkguy (1845)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I'm totally with you on that one... I can't stand seeing food go to waste. In fact, I often tend to cook far more than is needed, specifically so there will be some leftovers... which can often be "adjusted" a little bit to make some kind of new dish, tomorrow. I can't say that I bring back a whole lot from restaurants... perhaps a hangover from my childhood where my parents always were trying to teach me to not order more than I was SURE I would be able to eat.... to this day, I RARELY have anything left over, at a restaurant.
• United States
2 Apr 07
LOL I usually clear my plate at restaurants too-even if I was full half way through! I hate taking home lefotvers from restaurants but just the same, I never waste anything if I can help it.
@Modestah (11188)
• United States
2 Apr 07
oh I too despise wastefulness. I tend to cook a lot, but I am not sure it is because I plan for leftovers, heh - just I do not seem to know how to cook for less than a small army. But, if I cooked less there may just be a teensy bit leftover that wouldn't seem worth saving. often times at a restaurant we get so full on the salad and have most of the entree to take home with us.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Apr 07
The only thing I throw out is if it is a serving soppon amount or less. I am very frugal and save most all of everything! I actually look forward to leftovers. After the food sits for a few days, it seems to enhance the flavor.
• United States
2 Apr 07
You can have so much fun creating many dishes out of leftovers. Sometimes I plan cooking to much so I can use it in another meal down the rode. just remember once you cook it and reheat it then you are done in the business we call that a two time loser. Just keep it fun and your idea's can be countless. ChefMichael
@marciascott (25550)
• United States
2 Apr 07
Yes, you should know your a Chef. I went to Culinary Arts, and finished. I had a job doing it for a while.
• United States
2 Apr 07
And what exactly is a two time loser?
@tictac714 (976)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Yeah, I always have a lot of leftovers since I live alone, I'll cook something and I'll usually have enough for 3 more meals (sometimes more!) so I'll eat it for lunch or dinner a few times that week, and if there's really a lot left I may even freeze some for a later time.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Well I guess the benefits to cooking for one is there is always leftovers and better yet less dishes!
• United States
4 Apr 07
I try to use most leftovers, and refrigerate them. If I don't think it will be eaten within a day or two, I will freeze it to keep it fresh.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Freezing leftovers makes great for a quick microwavable dinner whenever we need one. I don't usually have too much leftover to eat the freezer though.
@tad1fan (3373)
• Canada
4 Apr 07
I keep everything as well....and we too have a leftover night,every Wednesday,some foods just taste better the second time around
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 07
Sometimes food really do taste better a second time around. Our leftover night, if we have is generally Thursday night. It is the end of my work week, and I am usually pretty tired and don't have a lot of spunk in me to stand in the litchen for an hour or more. The oldest leftovers we eat, if it happens on that day, is only or 4 days old.
@daycarepal (1998)
• United States
3 Apr 07
I just tossed out a plate of pasta that was sitting in my fridge for about 3 days. When we have leftovers I do try to save it. But if it's not eaten in a couple days then I usually toss it out. I kind of like leftovers cause I can have it the next day for lunch, just pop it in the microwave. But sometimes I forget about the leftover in the fridge and it never gets eaten. My family doesn't care too much for leftovers, so we usually never have it for dinner.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 07
I really don't know what my kids think of having the same dinner maybe two nights in a week, but I am the one buying and cooking! They usually don't complain. I usually won't serve leftovers if I know they don't care for it too much. It seems everyone throws out there leftovers after only a couple days. I keep mine for up to a week. Do you think that is bad?
@KissThis (3004)
• United States
3 Apr 07
I try to cook just enough food for the meal. There are a few times that I over cook but we seldom keep leftovers because they get forgotten in the fridge.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 07
I too, often times prefer to make just enough for what my family will eat. Sometimes leftovers just don't sound good and we are stuck eating them when I really would rather have something else. But just the same, if it is leftover, we keep it.
@caesarin (1089)
• Indonesia
3 Apr 07
I keep leftovers from restaurant or my own cooks. But I try to eat them soon like the day after so that I don't have to left them in the fridge too long. I just don't like the smell of the fridge on the food + I don't think it's healthy to leave your food too long in the fridge.
• United States
5 Apr 07
Well my top limit is holding onto food for one week. If we don't eat it by then, I toss it out, so it doesn't start to stink (as you said) or create a health hazard for anyone LOL.
• United States
3 Apr 07
We keep leftovers for lunch the next day or a leftover dinner night. We take home from eating out if there is stuff leftover as well. Leftovers do not make it past 3 days in my house though. That's just me though -- my mom usually freezes food and will have something again a month later. I just don't go there ~ lol I don't just throw out the leftovers and foods that I think are ready to go -- they all go down the driveway by our pond to feed any hungry birds and critters that live around the pond. No food goes to waste, it's just that animals might get it instead of us!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 07
Very rarely does food go to waste in our house either, and sometimes it doesn't make it more than a few days either! I do freeze food if it is made in a large quanitiy and I don't think we will have it eaten by the time it expires. Just another way to stretch the food budget that much more, and it also makes for a quick meal on hand for a busy night or one I get home lat from work.
@vanities (11409)
• Davao, Philippines
3 Apr 07
when i have leftovers i keep it too and put in the fridge and th efollowing have to recook it or made new recipes from it..likewise also in the restaurant i bring it home coz i believe we have already paid it and its our decision to bring it or not and im not ashamed on bringing it out...
• United States
4 Apr 07
I think if we spend the money to buy a dinner from a restaurant and then also leave a tip, it is too expensive to just leave it there to go to waste! I also think it is fun recreating meals with leftovers! Although sometimes I just leave them as they are and reheat them and serve them the same.
• United States
3 Apr 07
Well, I tend to save everything. Not that it gets eaten... Quite often I find that a very small amount of something will get ignored until it's growing a science project's worth of mold on it. :) However! I do save things like chicken carcasses (from a roast chicken) for soup. It's so wonderful to be able to have a whole pot of soup to nosh on throughout the week, and even though it does take some time to make it, I love soup more than any other meal. I make it for myself, though, since Hubby is not a soup person. As for restaurant food, any leftovers come home for either me or the cats. Occasionally something like spareribs will be an acceptable leftover for Hubby to eat (Why do men not like leftovers?) and we'll have it for lunch within a few days. Pasta and meatloaf are his favorite leftovers.
• United States
4 Apr 07
LOL, I am nost usre why you think men do not like leftovers. My brother stayed with me for a while, and I can tell you we never had anything to eat in my house ever! He would clear those leftovers within a day or two of them being in the fridge. If they were not eaten within that first day, they weren't going to be eatn at all (by him.) Now, it is just me and my 2 kids and they do overlook the leftovers when looking for a snack too, but then again do not hestitiate to eat it if I serve it for lunch or as a leftover supper night.
@jennysp8 (855)
• United States
3 Apr 07
I will admit no. I am totally bad at this and it is truly my fault as I am the one who prepares the food for my family. I save the food in containers but never actually use it. I end up throwing it out after a week or so. I know I am wasting food and money and I always feel bad about it but I can't seem to get the hang of it. :-(
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
My friend is the exact same way. She saves it knowing she shouldn't just throw it away, but it sits in her fridge just until it starts to go bad, and then she throws it out. She is awful when it comes to eating her leftovers!! Sometimes I go over there and eat a little bit of something, if I know it was just made within the last couple days LOL. I have helped her clean out her fridge before and we have thrown out so much :(
@missybal (4490)
• United States
3 Apr 07
I can't afford to not save it for later. Sometimes I make huge amounts of something so I can divide it up in order to have meals that I won't have to cook later. I just take it out of the freezer and I pop it in the microwave. Quick and simple. Usually everything goes in the freezer so I don't have to throw anything away.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
I can't afford to thrown anything away either. Not when every couple weeks the grocery bill totals up 100 dollars or more! Freezing the extras is a great way to save for alater time without having to eat it up so quickly. I freeze leftover meatloaf, extra pastas, and extra casseroles if we have them in excess, to have for a quick- on-hand-dinner if we need it.
@Sarah1977 (495)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I always cook a HUGE amount of food for dinner every night. I like to have leftovers for my kids to eat the next day for lunch. I homeschool them, so I like to make sure that they have something hot and nutritious to keep their little brains and bodies fed....if we don't have any leftovers, they usually eat sandwiches. If we have leftover food on our plates at a restaurant, we will bring it home, as long as it's something that one of us will eat later.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
My son goes to public school and my youngest is at preschool where they serve her a hot lunch. My son has to bring a sack lunch (well he doesn't like most of the hot lunch food at school.) But I do look forward to the weekends where they can eat a good hot lunch with me here at home! If we don't eat up leftovers, we still have something simple-grilled cheese or sooup or mac n cheese or something like that.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
2 Apr 07
We always save leftovers. But only for about three or four days. If it's still there then, it goes to the dogs. Usually my husband eats left overs for lunch if we have them, though. We always leave restaurants with food! Our 14 month old does so much better if he has his own plate than if we are trying to get him to eat off of ours. That means that about half of his dinner becomes lunch the next day. I usually don't finish my food when we eat out, either. I tend to clean out the fridge three times a week. My dogs get so excited. There is almost always SOMETHING in there that we forgot about and didn't eat. So they get a treat. When we eat out, if the baby gets french fries, the dogs always get them, because they are so gross heated up. The dogs like them, though, so it's better than wasting them in my opinion.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
I usually don't have to clean out our fridge of the leftovers because I try very hard to eat food up, even if it is only me who is eating it! I do though, occasionally find something I missed, and if I can't remember when I made it or bought it, it goes to the garbage right away. WE don't have any pets to eat up the old food. So if we don't eat it really goes to waste.
2 Apr 07
When we have leftovers, which isn't often, I will serv them up the next day. We seldom need a doggy bag from a restaurant. We are usually starving by the time we get there! I don't think leftovers should be kept for more than a couple of days at best. Sometimes I will have it for lunch the following day if there is not enough for the two of us.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Apr 07
Isn't that strange that some people will only keep their leftovers for a couple days, but others will keep longer? LOL-like me. Yes, I often times eat leftovers too for lunch. Unfortunately I usually have to eat my lunch on the road while traveling, so it is much more convenient to eat a sandwich and finger foods. But I do enjoy the leftovers on my days off.
@wildhorse (1293)
• Egypt
2 Apr 07
I keep leftover food and like to eat it, sometimes things taste better next day, I don't waste food or get large quantity so it usually ends in a day or two and I don't have to keep it more than that in the fridge.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Apr 07
I do agree with you, that food often times does gain flavor and tastes better the next day or two.
@jan135 (537)
• Australia
2 Apr 07
I don't generally toss out leftover food but I do not keep it more than a couple of days, if it isn't eaten then or used in another meal I generally give it to the dogs, thats depending on what it is. I sometimes mix leftovers like potatoes the next day with my dogs dinner, at least it's not getting wasted.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Apr 07
True-that is the bottom line-wasting food is just to costly. I mean I feel guilty when I scrape out food to the garbage because I think of myself when money is really tight and wish I could hang ont for a later time. I do freeze food when I can though, to help minimize the waste and to ensure a whole new tasty meal later on, but not to appear as a leftover.
@marciascott (25550)
• United States
2 Apr 07
Yes I always keep left-overs because I get tired of cooking everyday. a lot of times I will cook enough for 3 meals, and frezze it. for some reason left-over food tastes better the next day. Do you agree?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Apr 07
I am on the opposite end-LOL I love cooking and don't mind doing it all the time! (Although I have my moments when I come home from work and I am just exhausted and don't feel like being creative in the kitchen.) Our problem is we don't have enough mouths to eat the bigger suppers I make. I do agree with you though that leftovers do seem to get better after a couple days of sitting in the fridge.