One of the things I’ve learned to do to save myself time and money is to re-purpose a grocery item for more than one meal. I almost always buy family packs of meat and break it into 2-3 dinners. Most times I’ll even take leftovers from those dinners and make an entirely different meal. I suppose if I had a motto in the kitchen, it would be, “Use what you have”. And along with that, “Save everything!” (until it goes bad of course) You never know what could come in handy!
So when I am meal planning and grocery shopping for the week, I always ask myself if I can re-purpose either the leftovers, or the other half of the protein that I don’t use. Actually, more often than not I do plan my meals with leftovers in mind. That’s what I call a “First Meal”: one in which you purposefully make more than enough, with a plan to use the leftovers for another meal – whether that be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a side.
So for example, if my husband requests his favorite breakfast, biscuits and gravy, I’ll choose a dinner meal that uses the other half of the ground sausage chub. The first way I used it was in a pasta dish. Once or twice I used it in savory dinner crepes. Recently I’ve started using it in a potato skillet.
Chicken is another easy one. I’ll buy a family pack of chicken breasts or thighs. If I have the breasts, I’ll bake half of them using Kraft FreshTake. I’ll freeze the rest for a different night. Then, we will still have leftovers from dinner, which I will keep in the fridge and use in the next night or two for chicken casserole. Or in a pasta. So I’m getting as much mileage as possible out of these meals. This is what I call a “Second Meal”.
One of my favorites is the BBQ country style pork ribs in the crock pot. I make enough that we always have leftovers, which are great for tacos, wraps, sandwiches, or a casserole.
So these next few posts I’m going to show you some of my First Meals and the subsequent Second Meals that come from them! Here was the dinner menu from last week’s meals:
Thursday: Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa & Coconut Rice
Friday: Frozen Pizza & Veg (Work night!)
Saturday: BBQ pork in Crock pot with Mashed Potatoes and Bell Peppers
Sunday: Pork Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, Coconut Rice, and Bell Peppers
What are some things your family enjoys? Your “Go to” dinners? Can you repurpose the leftovers in some way?