Great Savings Tip #66 – Smorgasbord


Our Great Gavings Series continues with this tip.This post is part of our Great Savings Tips series, which brings you 100’s of ways to spend less and save more.



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Stop food spoilage with a Smorgasbord night.

What's lurking in your refrigerator?

Cutting Down On Spoilage


Tip #66)  Start a “Smörgåsbord” night: I don’t know about you, but every time I open my refrigerator I can almost always dig around and come up with some kind of food in a plastic container that’s long past its prime.  It’s not like I meant for that to happen, either.  Normally, my intentions are to store only those leftovers I plan to eat up.  I do eat many of them for lunch, but there are inevitably a number of items I lose track of because they get shoved aside or pushed to the back.  Without taking the time to be more conscious about leftovers, I can end up wasting lots of money on food.


Make New or Redo


To solve the food spoilage problem, set aside one day every week (preferably the day before you go shopping) and make it your “Smörgåsbord Night”.  On Smörgåsbord night, pull out all the food that’s still good (including any produce) and create a new meal out of it, or reheat it and serve as is.  It’s true, you may get a few complaints from the kids or a spouse who prefer something new.  However, making an honest attempt to use up all the food that will otherwise spoil teaches the whole family the importance of saving.


Make turkey soup from leftover meat.

Get some water boiling, add buillon and start throwing in your leftovers.

Mix And Match


The next step is to find ways to change up your leftover meals.  If you’ve got several main dish leftovers, consider cooking some fresh veggies or making a salad to go with them.  Or if you’ve got meat and nothing else, cook some macaroni, potatoes, or rice to go along.  Sometimes a dash of spice can completely change a meal.  For example, try sprinkling a few red pepper chili flakes on a plain leftover casserole and see how it goes over.


Soup’s On


Another idea is to get some chicken, beef or vegetable bullion cubes and stock them in the cupboard.  Now, grab a pot and add one cube for every cup of water.  As it warms up you can start adding in some of those leftovers.  You can add almost any kind of veggie or leftover meat—just dice it all up.  Or if you’ve got one of those immersion blenders you can grind up the contents right in the pot and really do a great job of mixing the flavors together.  I bought a Cuisinart Immersion Blender and have really enjoyed making soups with it.   Who knows?  With a little imagination some family members may want a Smörgåsbord every night.


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By Bob Anderson
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