tacos leftovers

Save money with these top five ideas for leftovers!

Use what you have!

With the prices of food steadily increasing, now more than ever many people are finding they have less money to spend on everyday items. That said, there is still tonnes of food thrown away daily, either through lack of planning or awareness of the issues.

How much food do people throw food away?

Food waste is a significant issue across England, with an estimated 9.5 million tonnes of food waste generated each year. This includes all food waste from households, hospitality, food service businesses, and the retail sector. However, approximately 4.5 million tonnes of this food is generated by UK households and it is estimated that the average household in England wastes £540 per year on food that could have been eaten! That is a LOT of food especially when around 70% of this food waste is considered avoidable, meaning it could have been eaten if it had been managed and stored correctly.

Bananas by Duane Mendes on Pexels. 1.4 million bananas are wasted every day in the UK!

Ideas to Avoid Food Waste

  1. Planning: Plan your meals ahead of time. Before you go grocery shopping, make a list of what you need and stick to it – you could also make a meal plan for the week, and shop for that. A great tip is to photograph your fridge and pantry before you go, so you can easily see if you already have something in stock. This will help you avoid over-purchasing and wasting food.
  2. Storage: Store your food properly. Make sure you store your food in the right conditions to keep it fresh for as long as possible. For example, keep soft fruits and vegetables in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling.
  3. Use your leftovers: Leftovers can be transformed into new meals or frozen for later use. This is a great way to reduce food waste and save money on groceries. See below for top tips with leftovers.
  4. Compost: If you have a garden or outdoor space, consider composting your food scraps. This will not only reduce food waste, but it will also help enrich your soil and reduce your carbon footprint. Different compost bins take different foods (hot bins take all foods), so make sure you are using them effectively.
  5. Donate to food banks or food sharing apps: If you have extra food that you know you won’t use, consider donating it to a local food bank, or list on a food sharing app such as Olio. This will help ensure that the food is not wasted and that it goes to those who need it most. Check out Olio on a mobile device, or on a computer.

Love your Leftovers!

There are so many delicious things you can create with your leftovers – you just need a bit of imagination! Sometimes, you can use the leftovers as they are (just eat cold or reheat as they are); invent a new dish (such as roast dinner soup), or you can add them to something else (such as a curry or crumble).

Leftover roasted vegetables by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash.

Top 5 Ideas

Make a Buddha Bowl: Buddha bowls are a great way to use up any leftover grains, vegetables, and protein sources. Simply layer your ingredients in a bowl and top with your favourite dressing. You can also add some fresh herbs or nuts for extra flavour and crunch. Have a look at Buddha bowl ideas here.

Create a Stir Fry: A stir fry is a versatile dish that can be made with almost any leftover vegetables and protein sources. You can add your leftovers to your fresh ingredients towards the end of cooking, or chop up your leftovers and just use those. Simply stir-fry with a bit of oil (or oil spray), add some seasoning, soy sauce or even something like pesto. Serve as it is or add some noodles or rice.

Turn them into Soup. Soups are a fantastic way to use up leftover vegetables and grains and I do this a lot. Simply chop up your cooked vegetables and add them to a tin of tomatoes, some stock, lentils, milk or even gravy! You can add in mashed or roasted vegetables including potatoes. Flavour with herbs, spices, marmite or your favourite spicy sauce! Eat as it is, blend to make it smooth, or do half and half so you have a smooth soup with a bit of texture.

    Whip Up Something Mexican! Try Enchiladas, fajitas or tacos. Have a look at enchiladas here. Fajitas or tacos are a great way to use up leftover protein sources like tofu or beans. Simply sauté your protein with some spices and vegetables, then add it to a taco shell or a wrap with some salad and sauce. You can also add some vegan cheese or guacamole for extra deliciousness

      Make a Veggie Burger or fritters. Veggie burgers are a great way to use up leftover grains and vegetables. Simply mash up your leftovers with some breadcrumbs (great use for leftover bread)! and seasoning, form them into patties, and lightly fry them before baking to cook thoroughly. You could add some chickpeas or beans for extra protein. Veggie burgers are a great way to use up leftovers and create a new meal that’s both filling and delicious.

      Leftovers into fajitas by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels

      Other Leftover Tips

      Ask me! I am sure I can find you something to do with whatever leftovers you have! Once you start thinking about ideas, it is really easy to create some great meals (& you may even find yourself leaving bits just so you have leftovers)!

      You can of course, just have a buffet style meal with your leftovers, or, add your leftovers to a pizza, a sandwich, a curry, a chilli, wrap them in pastry, make a crumble, a cake…

      Of course, it depends on what your leftovers are, and what quantity you have, but generally most leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Always decant your foods from tins and place in a container you can cover. Most foods can be frozen, simply place in an airtight container, label and freeze.

      If you have a specific food regularly leftover, think of ways to use it. Milk and yogurts (all types) can be frozen, as can bread, cheese and bananas! Ask me!

      What do I need?

      Here are a few items you may find useful for your leftovers. I use similar to all of these myself so know they are a great help! I may receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links (this is at no additional cost to you)!


      Yes, leftovers can be shared too! You can share extra meals with a friend, family member or neighbour, or for example, if you have leftover bananas and create this very popular banana loaf, you can share that too!

      As always, I love hearing about any recipes of mine you try, any ideas you adapt or suggestions you have for future recipes. Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter. Of course, if you are stuck with what to do with your leftovers, just ask!

      Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

      I hope to speak with you soon

      Laurena x

      tacos leftovers
      Tacos by Chad Montano on Unsplash


      • Heidi-Marie 25th May 2023 at 21:11

        Looks yummy 😋

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 25th May 2023 at 23:28

          Thanks Heidi… do you use your leftovers in anything? Is there something you wish you could use but need some ideas?

          • Heidi-Marie 26th May 2023 at 09:21

            Yes, I use it occasionally.

            • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 26th May 2023 at 11:29

              Fabulous, that’s great!


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