A great way to save money for retirement, travel, or other goals that are important to you is to eat at home more often. To do this, it’s important to have tasty food ready-to-eat so that meal time isn’t paired with drudgery. Try these tips below to supercharge your selection of food by learning how to upcycle!
Get in the groove of upcycling
When you return home from grocery shopping get into the habit of preparing some food for later. Cut melons up into bite-size pieces and place into Tupperware tubs or ziplock plastic bags. Clean lettuce and put those into ziplock bags also. Break broccoli down into florets, and carrots into sticks ready for steaming, dipping, or putting on salads.
Cook some bacon in the microwave ahead of time so you have bacon ready for sandwiches (grilled cheese with bacon is delicious!), ready to crumble for salads, or to add to chicken or pork dishes. Having this ingredient ready to use makes cooking later much easier.
When you next look into your refrigerator, it’s easy to put a bowl of fruit together, make a quick, healthy salad or to have added flavor to your dinner meals.
Use that pickle juice!
If you have a jar of pickles or jalapeños almost finished, don’t throw the juice away! Upcycle by putting some of those chopped onions and vegetables (or some vegetables left over from dinner) into the jar and letting them marinate for a couple of days. Presto! You have instant flavor for salads, sandwiches and appetizer plates.
Make “condiment and cheese” bread
This upcycle tip is awesome in so many ways. It’s a must-try. If you have left over hamburger or hot dog buns, or even some leftover biscuits or pieces of sourdough bread, don’t throw them away or store them forever in your freezer. This recipe is perfect for them to keep your food moving instead of dying in your refrigerator.
Go through your refrigerator and find small pieces of cheese – cheddar, blue cheese, cream cheese, and grated parmesan are great for this. Grate them up and place them in a bowl. Add to the cheese some leftover salad dressings that are just sitting in your refrigerator door – you don’t want the mixture to be too soupy. Blend well. Find some spring onions and chop them up a bit, maybe put in a bit of chopped garlic, or chopped olives and mix well.
The point is to utilize some of the almost-empty jars of condiments and your bits of bread so they don’t go to waste.
Spread the mixture on top of the bread and broil in your oven like garlic bread until bubbly and toasted. Every mixture is delicious, and different depending on what you have in your refrigerator. You can’t really make a mistake. From my experience, it’s a winner for friends and family. This bread makes a good side dish when you’re having a bowl of soup or a salad and it’s a great accompaniment to a whole meal. Goes great with grilled meats, ribs and fish.
Upcycle by making rice or pasta salad
If you have left over rice, rice pilaf or pasta from a previous meal, make a tasty salad with them. Here’s how.
Choose a salad dressing like Caesar, Italian, or even Blue Cheese. Mix with the rice or pasta until covered. Add any of the following ingredients to jazz the salad up: chopped olives, capers, onion, colorful bell peppers, tiny pieces of carrot or broccoli, raisins, cranberries, pieces of Swiss cheese, sliced almonds or another nut you enjoy.
You can add meat to it if you like especially if you have fire grilled chicken, salami or bits of cooked bacon.
Taste along the way, making sure you have enough liquid of the salad dressing to cover and flavor the ingredients. Place spoonfuls of this salad on a bed of lettuce or on half an avocado.
These tips are to help you have tasty, ready-to-eat food in the refrigerator and make eating at home fun! Also, keeps your food moving along, fresh and with nothing wasted.
Save money! Upcycle the food in your refrigerator in these exciting ways.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award-winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.