Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Leftovers Right

Do you get tired of finding perfectly good food has gone to waste simply because it was forgotten?
Do you ever find a family member meditating in front of an open refrigerator?
Do leftovers ever perish in your fridge because they are "out of sight and out of mind"?
Here are a couple of things we do at our house to make the most of leftovers. And we find fewer fuzzy blue things developing their own culture in the recesses of the fridge.
First, we keep freezer tape and a marker conveniently located so that we can mark every container of leftovers before they are placed in the refrigerator. We write the name of the item and the date (a simple "3/6" will do). We reuse containers, so it's extra important to know that it's not cottage cheese or sour cream you're looking at.

The next thing we do is note it on a small dry-erase board on the front of the fridge. When they get used, you erase them. It's better than having a glass door. You can also see which ones need used first.

Best of all, this system is so simple that everyone in the house can use it.

What do you do to manage your leftovers?

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Dianna said...

I love this idea! Most of our plastic containers are mostly transparent, so I can usually avoid labeling. We usually eat leftovers fast enough that I don't have to worry about them! I do lose some occasionally though.

I love your list—it seems that it would also save energy by letting you read what's in the fridge instead of opening the door to browse.

Kristine said...

And since we are a house full of adults with some very odd work schedules, it's a good form of communication when someone wants a snack.

Red Hen said...

That makes too much sense. And I'm sure that's exactly why I didn't think of it.

Natalie said...

I love! the dry erase board. We also use sour cream and yogurt containers for leftovers, and write on them with a Sharpie...but they DO insist on making their way to the back of the fridge and doing their best to LOOK like sour cream and yogurt. We have a chalkboard door right next to the fridge, so I will be trying that one tiny little extra step. You are brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

Kristine said...

I don't know if I'm brilliant but I can say that this system is working for us in the long term. I have also found that it is a good indicator of what dishes may not have been liked as much as my family professed at dinner time... As in - don't even both writing "Chicken Fried Steak" on the white board because it will be back out of the fridge practically before the ink dries. On the other hand, the "Curried Chicken and Cauliflower" never did get erased until I had to throw it out. :)