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Maximizing Thanksgiving Leftovers: Tips and Recipes for Saving Money and Reducing Waste

Thanksgiving is a time of year that’s loved by many – but with great feasts often comes great leftovers. Instead of lamenting over the amount of food that’s left, why not stretch those Thanksgiving dishes further and save some cash in the process?

In this article, we’ll go through some creative and practical ways for you to get the most out of your Thanksgiving leftovers while keeping your wallet happy.

Ways to save money with Thanksgiving leftovers

Making multiple meals

One of the easiest ways to get the most out of your leftovers is by turning them into multiple meals. With turkey, you can create many different recipes to enjoy throughout the week.

You can make enchiladas, casseroles, soup, and baked dishes like turkey and rice or turkey and pasta. These are all economical ways to use the turkey and create really satisfying meals.

If you have leftover cranberry sauce, you can make cranberry muffins or use it as a side dish with granola and yogurt for breakfast. You can also slice up some sweet potatoes and turn them into sweet potato fries or make some mashed potato patties to accompany your turkey dish.

Cutting down on grocery bills

Thanksgiving staples such as canned goods, pasta, rice, and baking supplies are things that almost everyone has in their cabinets. You can use these supplies to make other dishes that will not only save you time but also help cut down on your grocery bills.

For example, you can use flour to make a roux for your turkey soup and make your stock from scratch. By making your stock this way, you can also control the amount of salt or seasoning added, leading to a healthier meal in the end.

Avoiding takeout

After a few days of eating the same leftovers, you might get burnt out and suddenly have a craving for a pizza from your favorite restaurant. However, taking out food will add up quickly and negate any savings you would have made from not wasting food.

Instead, use what you have to create something new – like a mock pizza using turkey, tomato sauce, and cheese.

Splitting the responsibility of the meal

Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving and found yourself with a ton of leftovers that you can’t finish on your own? Consider divvying up the leftovers with friends and family members.

This not only reduces stress for the host but also lessens the likelihood of food waste. You can even create a competition with family or friends to see who can create the best new dish from the leftovers.

Getting creative with leftovers to make something new

Turkey Omelet

Making an omelet is a great way to start your day, and adding turkey to it is sure to make it more satisfying. Add some fresh mushrooms with frozen spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, and some leftover turkey for a delicious and filling breakfast.

Mashed Potatoes/Green Bean Casserole Croquettes

This dish is perfect if you have leftover mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Combine these two ingredients until they form a dough.

Add in some gravy, flour, and an egg wash before shaping the dough into croquettes. You can add breadcrumbs and fry the croquettes until golden brown for a fun and unique taste.

Deviled Egg Aioli

Using leftover boiled eggs, you can make deviled egg aioli. Simply puree the eggs in a food processor and add in some mustard, paprika, vinegar, oil, and salt to taste.

You can then use this aioli as a condiment for sandwiches, a dip for chips, or serve it on top of vegetables.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

If you still have leftover cranberry sauce, puree the sauce in a blender and mix with cider vinegar and canola oil until you have a smooth vinaigrette. You can use this on salads, as a marinade for chicken or fish, or even as a dipping sauce for your roasted vegetables.

Turkey Stock

Turkey stock is a great way to use the carcass of your turkey. Simmer the carcass with some dark roux, veggies like onions, celery, and carrots (also known as the trinity), along with sherry, herbs, gizzards, and liver to create a flavorful stock.

You can use this in stews and soups or even in place of water when making rice or pasta.

Pie Milkshakes

Use vanilla ice cream with some whiskey and pureed pie filling for a unique spin on milkshakes. These are perfect for dessert or as a sweet treat during the day.

In conclusion, there are many ways to stretch Thanksgiving leftovers and save some money at the same time. Making multiple meals, being careful with grocery bills and avoiding takeout, sharing leftovers with friends and family, and getting creative with leftovers are all great strategies to try.

So, don’t waste those Thanksgiving dishes, turn them into something new and exciting. In summary, getting creative with Thanksgiving leftovers is a great way to save money and reduce food waste.

Making multiple meals, being mindful of grocery bills, avoiding takeout, and sharing leftovers with loved ones are all great strategies to try. The article also highlights some creative ways to make something new with Thanksgiving leftovers, including turkey omelets, croquettes, and pie milkshakes.

By following these tips and getting creative in the kitchen, you can maximize your Thanksgiving feast and avoid wasting food. So, the next time you’re faced with a fridge full of leftovers, remember that there are many ways to turn them into something new and delicious.

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