Cooking on a Budget Ideas Tips

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How do I store leftover pancakes and waffles?

Leftover Pancakes or Waffles?

I make large batches of pancakes and waffles. That way when I have leftovers, I put a piece of aluminum foil between them, place in a freezer bag, then freeze. For a quick breakfast, remove what you want from the bag, microwave for 1-2 minutes. No more buying the expensive frozen pancakes and waffles!

How do I soften hard brown sugar?

Hard Brown Sugar

Don't throw away brown sugar that's hardened. Put a slice of bread in the container. In a few hours, it will be soft again.

How can I save money on buying meats?

More Meat for Less

Watch for sales on meat when bought in larger quantities. Separate into family serving sizes, put in freezer bags, then freeze.

What can I do with leftover pie dough?

Leftover Pie Dough

Roll left over pie dough out to about 1/4" thick. Place on jelly roll pan, sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mixture, then bake in 375 degree oven until lightly browned. Delicious sweet treat.

How can I save making vegetable stock?

Veggi Stock

Store vegetable scraps and cuttings (even peels work) in the freezer until you have enough to make a pot of vegetable stock.

How can I use leftover gravy?

Leftover Gravy

Put leftover gravy in a baking dish. Add mixed vegetables,(these could be leftovers also), and a can of tuna. Bake until bubbly. You could top this with refrigerator biscuits and pop back in the oven until browned.

What can I do with leftover chili?

Leftover Chili

Serve your leftover chili over a baked potato for another great meal.

What can I do with leftover noodles, rice, or potatoes?

Leftover Noodles, Rice or Potatoes

If you have leftover noodles, rice, or potatoes, just add them to soup. You'll have a hearty meal.

What can I do with leftover mashed potatoes?

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

When you have leftover mashed potatoes, use them as a pie crust for a meat casserole. Grease the pie plate first, then add your casserole and cover with the potatoes before you bake.

How can I prevent marshmallows from drying out?

Keeping Marshmallows Soft

To prevent marshmallows from drying out, simply store them in the freezer.
Marshmallows won't dry out when frozen.

What do I do with leftover oatmeal?

Cooked Oatmeal

Add your leftover cooked oatmeal to your meatloaf recipe instead of bread crumbs.

Can I brown hamburger ahead of time?

Quicker Browned Hamburger

When I brown hamburger, I brown enough for a couple of meals. Place leftovers in fridge or freezer and you're one step ahead for your next recipe.

What do I do with leftover wine?

Wine Cubes

Using leftover wine is a snap if you freeze it into ice cubes and use them as part of the liquid for casseroles and sauces.

What can I do with leftover roast?

Leftover Roast

Dice up leftover roast (food processor works well, but don't over process). Add diced onions, peppers, hardboiled eggs, mayo, and seasonings to taste. Makes for a delicious sandwich spread.

How do I soften hard brown sugar?

Brown Sugar Revival

If your brown sugar has turned to rock, you can easily soften it by putting it in a glass bowl, sprinkling with a little bit of water and placing in the microwave. Try high power for about 10-15 seconds. Zap it again if necessary, until fully softened.

What do I do with leftover ham?

Leftover Ham

Ham is great leftover. You can cut it up and mix it with scrambled eggs, or scalloped potatoes. Or grind it up, add some pickle relish and mayo. What a great sandwich spread.

What do I do with leftover rice?

Leftover Rice

Don't throw away your leftover rice. You can freeze it in a covered freezer container for up to six months.


Leftover Taco Salad

Not sure what to do with your leftover taco meat? How about sprinkling it over some lettuce. Add a few shredded carrots, cheese cubes, and olive slices. Now you need to make a dressing for your salad. You can do this in three simple steps. First, you measure out 1/2 a cup of sour cream and place it in a bowl. Second, you measure out 1/2 a cup of your favorite salsa and add it to the bowl. Finally, you mix the two ingredients together and spoon it over the taco salad. You are sure to love this budget friendly meal for either lunch or dinner.

What can I do with leftover potatoes?


Add diced onions, an egg, and a little milk to left over mashed potatoes. Form into patties and fry in butter until brown on each side. Top with a piece of cheese. Delicious.

How do I make my own instant oatmeal?

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Make your own "instant" oatmeal by running regular oatmeal in a blender. Blending makes the oatmeal the same as "instant."

What can I do with leftover meatloaf?

Meatloaf Meal - Take 2

There's usually leftovers when I make meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies. For another meal, I crumble meatloaf in a pot of beef broth. (canned works well) Add the potatoes and veggies, simmer for about 1 hour and you have a second meal.

How can I tell how old my leftovers are?

Date It

How old is that container of leftovers in the back of the refrigerator?
You'll always know if you write the contents and date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the top.
Use indelible markers -- the humidity of the refrigerator smears everything else.

How can I get the most juice from lemons, limes and oranges?

More Juice from Lemons

Here are more cooking on a budget ideas: To get the most juice from lemons, microwave on high for 30 seconds, let stand a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing them. Rolling it between your counter and hand also does the trick. This also will work for limes and oranges.

Best way to have leftovers?

Making Extra

Make more than what you can eat at one meal. Leftovers are great for a second meal.

What can I do with leftover stew?

Stew Saver

Put leftover stew in a casserole dish. Top with refrigerator biscuits, then bake until biscuits are golden brown.

How can I save lemon zest?

Fresh Lemon Zest

Before you squeeze juice from a lemon, grate off the rind into a freezer bag and freeze. Then when a recipe calls for lemon zest or rind, just pull it from the freezer.

How can I save money on buying meats?

Buy Ahead of Season

If you have the space, stock up on turkeys and hams during the holidays seasons, when the grocery stores are running ridiculously low priced specials. It's usually inexpensive to buy a turkey at Thanksgiving.

How can I save money on sandwich meats?

Sandwich Meat

When deli sandwich meats are on sale, buy extra. Put enough meat for a few days in a freezer bag, then freeze. To unthaw, put in the refrigerator a day before you want to use it. Will taste as fresh as the day you bought it.

How can I prevent brown sugar from going hard?

Another Brown Sugar Saver.

Never worry about finding your brown sugar hard again. Store brown sugar in it's original box inside your refrigerator. It will remain soft and easy to mix with other dry ingredients.

How can I store butter and oleo, and save money?

Butter on Sale

When butter or oleo is on sale buy extra and put in the freezer. Unthaw before use. This works great for products in the card board cartons or in the tubs.

How do I refresh old tortilla´s?

Tortilla Revival

The folks at the Reynolds Kitchens sent in this handy tip for reviving day old tortillas. Place tortillas on a large piece of waxed paper, fold the open edges to make a packet and microwave on high for 15 - 35 seconds. They'll be almost as good as fresh made.

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Guru Spotlight
Alicia Bodine