Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creative Things To Do With 'Extra' Food

Do you ever get down to the very bottom of a bottle and wonder if it's worth keeping? Sometimes there's just a little bit left, not really enough to use for a recipe, so you don't know what to do with it. I know I have. I'm not exactly rolling in money, so I don't want to waste any more food than I absolutely have to. To this end, I've found a few simple ways to use the 'lasts' of packages before they go bad. Don't throw out the last of that loaf of bread before reading this article. Believe it or not, there are things you can do with those 'extras' that can make good use of what you have left.

For leftover flour tortillas, you can make 'cinnamon crisps'. Melt some butter in a medium-sized skillet. Put the tortilla in the pan for a few seconds, just enough to get one side 'buttered up'. Flip over the tortilla and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, however much you want. Let it 'cook' for a few minutes, until the cinnamon is 'melted in' and the tortilla is crispy. These 'cinnamon crisps' are great for a snack or a light dessert. If you want to save calories, use butter-flavored low-calorie frying spray instead of actual butter.

Instead of throwing out the very ends of the zucchini and squash, use them for a side dish. Cut some thin slices of each and spread them on a piece of aluminum foil, preferably in the middle of the sheet. Drizzle just a little vegetable oil, perhaps a teaspoon or so. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and make sure everything lays flat. Wrap the sides of the foil so that everything is covered. Put in the oven for about five minutes or so and you have a healthy side dish for your chicken or steak. If you like, you can add onions or carrots to the other vegetables. This is also a good use for the last of a roll of foil or a bottle of vegetable oil.

For the last of a jar of pasta sauce or a bag of shredded mozzarella, make a pizza sandwich. Take a hot
dog bun and separate it into halves. Spread a tablespoon or so onto each bun, sprinkle a bit of the cheese and put in the microwave for about forty-five seconds. My mom used to make these for my lunch when I was a child, and it was a good treat. You can also use the buns for garlic bread by spreading butter on them, sprinkling with garlic and baking in the oven. It's a good use of leftover sauce, cheese or hot dog buns. I've also used the 'heels' of a loaf of bread for these.

I hope you can make use of these ideas! These may not be fancy, but it's good to have ways to make snacks or side dishes with things you already have lying around. This way, nothing has to go to waste.


  1. I would not have thought of using the last bit of things for the purposes you listed. Very good ideas! It is always good to read things that show you how to save money in little ways.

  2. Now this is a cool post! Thanks for the ideas! I've always hated wasting that stuff but never knew what to do with it.