Living Frugal: Don’t Throw Away Leftovers! – NSC Series

Living Frugal: Don’t Throw Away the Christmas Leftovers!

Merry Day-After-Christmas Day (or something like that…)! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. I know that I did. Living frugal doesn’t have to mean a boring life – yesterday I celebrated Christmas at my parent’s house with my wife and today we are headed to her parent’s house for another Christmas celebration. Woohoo!

We ate tons of delicious foods and we are off to eat more today, but first I wanted to let you all know a little secret to living frugal: don’t throw away the Christmas leftovers! I know what you are thinking: we spent days or weeks preparing for this meal, hours upon hours cooking it in a chaotic kitchen, and now we are tired of it. We don’t want this food anymore – and here’s another secret: I am too.

The thing is, saving the leftovers means creating a plethora of new meals that can save you money in the long run. As we know, living frugal is all about saving money – especially with the No Spend Challenge coming up so quickly! Don’t worry, this post is filled with ideas to utilize your leftovers without eating the same thing over and over again. Like I said, living frugal doesn’t have to be boring!


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As some of you may know, we are preparing for our first every No Spend Challenge (NSC), starting January 1, and holy cow, it is approaching quickly.

The short story is that my wife and I racked up a ton of debt (read how HERE) and want to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can live our dream lives (read about our goals HERE). This challenge will help us learn about living frugal, saving money, and paying off our debt faster.

Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and the rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our NSC. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community, filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive living frugal during your NSC month.

Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able in your situation and don’t be afraid to hop on after the starting date (it’s never too late to join in on the fun!).

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts, encouragements, and exclusive email information and communication: this will be the single, greatest choice you make to jump start the New Year.

Living Frugal

Along with your exhaustion that comes from holiday merriment, I’m sure you’re also suffering from food boredom. You’ve spent the majority of this past week working to prepare your Christmas meal. After the filling Christmas day, you are now faced with a fridge full of leftovers that you are no longer interested in – I definitely know how that goes.

Living frugal though, during the NSC, means that you won’t have any money to spend on groceries. Before you think about throwing away those leftovers in exchange for a nice hot pizza, let’s think about some ways that you can reuse them, instead, to make new and exciting meals!

I know what you’re thinking: not more cooking… Well, don’t worry. You don’t have to do it today. Most leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to one week before they go bad. Just make sure to do some cooking and freezing before they do go bad so that you can have some extra food to start off the No Spend Challenge. Remember, we’re living frugal which means not wasting ANY food.

Now, here are some ideas for using your Christmas leftovers and living frugal as you prepare for the challenge.

  • Use your turkey or ham bones to make broths and soups! Turkey makes a great broth to be used in recipes for soups, casseroles, and more. Ham broth can be a nice base to a minestrone type soup. Try freezing broths in cupcake pans first to create portion-sized pieces!
  • For leftover fish from a seven fishes feast, consider making an Italian White Fish Stew such as was showcased on the Healthy Helper Blog – Click HERE
  • Got a ton of potatoes? We all know that these have many uses, but here are a couple from the Healthy Helper Blog including: Sweet Potatoes – for Frittata (HERE) and Potatoes for High Protein Potato Salad (HERE).
  • Casseroles can freeze nicely, but are hard to reuse in new recipes. Simply place cooled casseroles in a freezer-safe container or baggy and freeze.
  • Freezing vegetables can help you to make delicious soups, casseroles, and dinners later. Throw them in a freezer-safe container or baggy and pull them out when you need a side for a meal, something to beef up your soup, or an important ingredient for your casseroles!
  • Mashed potatoes are great for making delicious homemade bread (which is great if you’re working on living frugal). Simply google “Mashed potato bread” and you’ll see thousands of results (or you can look at your old fashioned Betty Crocker cookbook, like me, and you’ll find it in there too).

I hope this list helps as you work on living frugal and paying off debt.

Now, here’s a question for you:

What is YOUR favorite way to use your Christmas leftovers?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

No Spend

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