Thrifty, Delicious Ways to Turn Last Night’s Leftovers into Today’s Breakfast

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated April 28, 2020

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Money Saving Tips
February 6, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

The USDA estimates that Americans waste 133 billion pounds of food per year. Some of that food gets thrown out because no one buys it. A significant amount, however, comes from family dinner tables. When Americans have a little dinner left, they tend to throw it away.

Sound familiar?  Instead of dumping perfectly good food when the meal is over, stretch your grocery dollar even further by creatively using leftovers and reducing waste. Try these four money-saving tips to turn last night’s leftovers into today’s breakfast.

You can be just as intentional in the kitchen as you are with your spending. Start by evaluating what you have and how you can make the most of it. For example, you can add practically any leftover vegetables to an omelet. Asparagus, peppers, onions, and spinach all make delicious fillings. Plus, they boost your breakfast’s nutritional value.

Since you already cooked the vegetables, don’t add them until your eggs are nearly done. Place the leftovers in the center of your omelet, fold over the eggs, and wait just a few minutes for the inside to warm.

Why waste what you’ve got? Nothing’s off limits with breakfast burritos. As long as you have some eggs and tortillas on hand, you can incorporate any of last night’s vegetables into your breakfast.

Some of the tastiest leftovers for breakfast burritos include beans, tomatoes, onions, chicken, beef, and pork. Breakfast burritos also give you a great opportunity to use leftover herbs, such as cilantro and sage.

Your family probably doesn’t want to eat baked potatoes for breakfast. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes to turn last night’s baked potatoes into this morning’s home fries.

Chop the leftover potatoes into cubes, heat some oil or butter in a pan, and fry the potatoes until they brown. You can bring even more flavor to your home fries with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, or topping of your choice.

When your family’s running late in the morning, use last night’s leftover salad or fruit to blend a delicious, refreshing smoothie that’s packed with nutrition. As long as you have a high-speed blender, you can put any salad item in your smoothie, including carrots, spinach, and kale.

If you don’t have leftover fruit, use frozen fruit to add flavor to your smoothie.

Whether you’re building wealth or battling debt, turning last night’s leftovers into this morning’s breakfast will help you save at the grocery store. Buy less, spend less, and make the most of your budget. Click here for more frugal meal ideas that will help you conserve your cash.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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