(Closed) NWR: Leftovers – Yay or Nay? (More of a rant than anything)

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 18
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@HereWeGo:  Well, I wish I could say we never throw out leftovers, but we do.  However, we also, about once every week or two weeks, have a “leftover night” dinner.  We just pull out whatever’s good that we haven’t eaten yet, heat it up and go buffet style.  If any of it is STILL left over after that (unless its a lot / fresh / know we’ll eat it), then it gets tossed. 

Post # 19
1963 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

My DH is annoyed if there aren’t left overs for lunches! I would think that the best option might be to just scale back your cooking. Make just enough for dinner and 1, maybe two lunches. Or as others have suggested if you make a bigger portion separate the left overs into lunch or dinner sizes and freeze them for later

Post # 20
11231 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Leftovers/old food makes me want to vomit. Some of it I can stomach (spaghetti, usually), but most of it literally makes my stomach turn. We had dinner one night and a I set my plate on the coffee table. I laid back on the ouch and within 15 minutes, the food was cold and the smell started wafting my way, and it was all I could do to not get sick. I can barely throw out food from the fridge.

We’ll often cut back on our recipes to avoid having leftovers that don’t get eaten. Fiance WILL eat leftovers, but not 5x a week.

Post # 21
904 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I grew up with leftovers as a regular part of my family’s meal planning, and so did my Fiance.  It’s now a part of our own meal planning – I cook almost every night, and then we have leftovers for lunch the next day.  What does your husband do for lunch every day?  Does he buy something while he’s at work?  If so, that’s a lot of money that you could be saving.  Ask him why he doesn’t eat leftovers.  It could be because he forgets about them, or because he gets excited to eat something different, or because he just gets tired of eating the same thing more than once.  Even my Fiance will say “ok, that’s enough of that!” if I make so much of something that he has to go through several servings of leftovers.  

I’m big on planning, so I bought a white-board calendar and hung it on our pantry door.  I use it to plan out all of our meals, a week at a time.  Maybe try doing the same, but for your husband’s lunches.  If you have spaghetti one night, put it down for lunch the next day, and encourage him to make a habit of checking the board so he knows to grab his leftovers from the fridge on his way out the door.

Post # 22
9820 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I just try to scale down the recipe so there won’t be too much extra. Neither of us really eat leftovers unless it’s restaurant food.

Post # 23
4369 posts
Honey bee

I love leftovers. Maybe you can entice your SO by making food that is actually better tasting on the second day, like enchiladas, curries, and stews.

Post # 24
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

i also struggle with this.  it’s so hard to cook for two. when i try to scale back, there’s not enough food and when I don’t then there’s too much food.  The husband likes leftovers.  I hate them but I’m coming around.  I will attempt to eat it for a second meal but I can’t eat the same thing three or four meals in a row.  I guess it’s better than struggling to make sure there’s enough food for large family. 

I wish I was not so picky with my food.  I had a roommate who grilled a pack of chicken breasts and eat it for lunch  throughout the week.  He always prepped at the beginning of the week and purchased chicken breasts, various sauces, and a few easy sides (canned beans).  He would take out five tupperware containers, put a chicken breast into each container, put different sauces on the breasts (bbq, pesto…) and then divide up the sides into each container. Each container went into the freezer.  His meals did not consist solely of chicken breast and canned  beans but these items were a staple lunch for him.   He was really healthy and fit (spent a lot of time at the gym).

Post # 25
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

He eats it, or doesn’t eat at all in my opinion. I haven’t been married too long so I can’t say much about leftovers.


When I was growing up, my parents had the philosophy, “You eat what’s on your plate or you don’t eat at all”–even if that meant pretending to eat my vegetables while secretly stuffing them in a napkin and flushing them down the toilet, hehe. Hence, I learned to eat just about anything and everything.


My husband–not the same. His mother cooked him whatever he wanted and didn’t force him to eat anything he didn’t want. Hence, his range of likes for food is very slim.


I try to use leftovers in a different way, and I definitely don’t heat them in a microwave.


This may not even help at all. I’m sorry.

Post # 26
47458 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Wasting that much food is just silly. Freeze the leftovers right away. Even those of us who don’t mind leftovers, don’t usually like to eat the same thing 3 or 4 days in a row.

Get proper containers that you can label. Thaw the food in the container, but plate it up to reheat it. If he needs pots on the stove to be fooled that it is a “new” meal, then reheat it in the pot for things like stew, chili etc.

I think part of the problem with some people who don’t like leftovers is the lack of visual appeal when it is frozen. I’ll bet if you served leftover chili 2 weeks later he wouldn’t even know it was leftover.


Ther are some things that also don’t freeze well- potatoes go mushy and watery etc so don’t try to freeze those.


Post # 27
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Turn the old into new.

That taco meat you had last night, tomorrow use it to make some enchiladas or taco salads, or mexican flavored stuffed peppers.

That leftover pasta? throw in some sliced sausage, roasted red peppers, top with cheese and bake for a baked pasta casserole. 

Leftover baked chicken? cube it and toss it into some creamy tomato soup and serve with a grilled cheese and salad. Or trn it into chicken salad and make paninis

When you go out to eat one of you get an appetizer for your dinner and one of you get a entree and you both split them. That way less food comes to the table and you dont need to bring home leftoverss

What does he take for lunch? Why can he not take it for lunch as well? 

And honestly, DH eats what I put on the table so if its leftovers exactly the way I made it two nights before, he eats the leftovers. 


Post # 28
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t eat leftovers.  No way, no how.  However, I don’t waste food.  I’ve learned how much my fiance and I consume in a meal (and how much is appropriate for us to consume) and I cook exactly that much.  I don’t bring home 2lbs of ground beef when I’m making hamburgers.  I bring home 1/2 lb and cook 2 burgers.  Oh, and I plate everything that comes out of my kitchen.  It helps with portion control, especially since he was raised with the ridiculous mindset of “clean your plate, regardless of how much is on there”.

Post # 29
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@HereWeGo:  Freeze some of it before it goes bad so you can use it for lunch another week.  Try to make less food or freeze parts of it (like browned ground meat or grilled chicken) before adding sauces so you can reheat it later with different sauces.

I just severely cut down on the amount of food I make because FH won’t eat leftovers either and I can only handle so much reheated for lunch the next day.  As for ordering takeout, order less so there is less to waste (plus you save money because takeout adds up quickly.)

Post # 30
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Ugh! My Fiance used to do this too and it was so annoying! Now he’s gotten much better since we are on a special diet and most of our stuff has to be made in big batches at home on the weekend and then we eat it throughout the week.

Do you try to incorporate leftovers into your cooking? Instead of making something new each time you cook, try to use it in your meal a few nights later?

Post # 31
526 posts
Busy bee


too funny! we just had an argument about this.  There were leftovers DH said he was going to take for lunch the next day.  I leave for work first, so I left them for him, but I would have LOVED to have them.  I get home from work and they are STILL there in the fridge.  He forgets to take them, or says he will take them the next day and usually forgets again, or he will take them to work and I find out he went out to lunch and didn’t eat them.  I get very frustrated because I feel its wasteful.  It has nothing to do with how much we cook, or eat out either.  Last night I called him on it (I might have been PMS-ish) and he said I should just take it if I want it, but if the roles were reversed I would be PISSED if he took my leftovers. 

I would love suggestions on how to fix this because I can’t figure it out!

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