edited: Tuesday, January 13, 2009
By Janet Sue Terry
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2003
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How To Save Money and Time Using Disposable Plastic Containers To Preserve Leftovers.
Copyright (c) 2002 by Janet Sue Terry
This is certainly the age of inexpensive, disposable plastic containers, and the revolution seemed to happen over night. Suddenly the shelves were lined with various sizes, shapes and brands of plastic ware. Anything and everything a fast paced, stressed out, no time to stop and smell the roses kind of society could need.
For those of us who once swore by Tupperware, this new evolution adds a whole new dimension of possibilities. No more worrying over expensive plastic containers that get marred, abused and carried off by family members. Although we still treasure our Tupperware and similar storage containers, today we can also purchase cheap disposable containers, use them and toss them in the trash. Or wash and reuse them, thus saving even more money.
Aside from the commercially available plastic bowls and canisters that I keep, store, and treasure because of their versatility, I have added small lidded, one serving containers to my hoard. However, that isn't where my plastic shopping list ends, I also purchase zip top bags in a variety of sizes for sandwiches, storing vegetables and freezing raw meat.
Some people like leftovers, and I'm one of them. I sincerely think there are recipes that taste better the second, third and sometimes even the fourth time around. Mainly Chili, Spaghetti and Beef Stew just to name but a few.
Leftovers are especially popular at my house because two of us work, a third is handicapped due to a stroke, and we eat at different times. There is little time outside of work to handle family responsibilities, so we depend on fast food, sandwiches or leftovers.
Leftovers win hands down. A number of factors account for this; I'm a better than average cook, I can control the fat my family consumes, and we always have nutritious meals, thanks to the microwave.
My daughter and I take leftovers to work for lunch, and leave a dish on the table thawing for our handicapped family member to pop into the microwave.
In addition to the above, I always have food in the refrigerator or freezer to serve to an unexpected guest. In fact my nephew, who is Italian, often visits just to eat my spaghetti. He normally consumes three servings in one afternoon.
If you don't like leftovers, you should still consider preserving them. It is such a waste to throw good food in the trash. The best way to preserve your leftovers is to put them in small containers and freeze them. Once you accumulate several containers, offer them to an older neighbor, a relative, or a friend. It is normally a welcome change to eat someone else's cooking.
This is also an excellent way to feed an elderly parent who still lives on his or her own. In fact when our handicapped family member lived in his own place, I cooked and processed his food at my home. When I visited him, I placed a few containers in the refrigerator and the bulk in the freezer (the freezer keeps the food fresh longer). I always included extras for his visitors. By doing this I knew what he was eating, could monitor his diet, and didn't have to worry about him going hungry, or burning himself trying to cook.
Having delicious recipes to microwave is convenient. I like my own cooking, and can only stomach a cold sandwich or two a month. Fast food begins to taste like dried shoe leather after a while, and even the better restaurants become boring if frequented too often.
I would enjoy belonging to a leftover exchange club where we process our leftovers and share them with one another. This could give the ones in the club a variety of things to eat, with different cooks preparing the meal.
- It is inexpensive and convenient to pull a plastic container from the freeze and carry it to work to microwave for lunch.
- It is inexpensive and convenient to leave a dish on my table thawing for my handicapped family member to microwave for lunch.
- It is inexpensive and convenient to offer my visitor a delicious meal that I can prepare in two minutes and serve.
- It is inexpensive and convenient to enjoy a hot savory meal when I get home without having to worry about cooking, or stopping by a fast food place.
I divide my leftovers into plastic containers and store them in the freezer. I also make a point to keep a few containers in the refrigerator for family members to microwave quickly.
When I Cook
I normally cook once or twice a week, either on Saturday or Sunday. But when I do cook, I prepare enough to last all
My favorite Recipes
Leftovers is not the only thing you can process. I cook large amounts of food just to preserve in plastic containers and freeze. Some recipe suggestions that freeze well are: Beef Stew, Chili, Spaghetti, Chicken (or Beef) and Noodles, Roasts and Potatoes.
Recipes are readily available on the Internet or in most cookbooks. However, if you would like my personal large
quantity recipes just let me know and I will gladly share. Contact janet.terry.justmybest.com or send SASE to Janet Terry, P.O. Box 644, Springboro, Oh 45066.
Money Saving Tips
I use almost everything I cook. For instance if I make a Roast and Potatoes, I turn the leftovers into Beef Stew. Of course my Roast and Potatoes also has carrots, celery and onions cooked with it. Directly after dinner I cut the leftovers into smaller pieces, put them into a kettle, add frozen peas, a couple spoonfuls of flour, salt and pepper, and cook the stew until it begins to boil (this way my frozen peas stay nice and green). Then I divide the kettle of Beef Stew into small plastic containers, place lids on them, and store them in the refrigerator.
I do the same with everything I cook. Therefore, I waste very little on food that goes into the trash. I am reminded here of a friend whom I deemed very wasteful. He was entertaining us at his home, there was enough food to feed a small army and it was delicious. Afterward, he asked my young relative if she wanted the leftovers, and she said "no". He immediately dumped everything in the trash, and I unconsciously winched in pain. The man owns a restaurant, so just imagine the food I could get from him, if I did not live a thousand miles away. I voiced this suggestion to my young companion, and she shrugged and said; "I hate leftovers."
I will admit that we are all different, and although this works well for me, it may not be for everyone.
Any questions, concerns, or suggestions, can be sent to Janet Sue Terry via e-mail janet.terry.justmybest.com, or Snail mail at Janet Terry, P.O. Box 644, Springboro, Oh 45066.
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