What Can You Design with Leftovers, $25, and Purpose?
It is my passion, as well as my therapy, to cook for my family. To avoid the groans about leftovers for dinner, the leftovers are repurposed into a new meal. Time and money are saved because the ingredients on hand, and most everything is already sliced, diced and cooked. An added benefit is that money is saved by not going out for Saturday or Sunday breakfasts.
Reasons You Like To Go Out For Weekend Breakfasts:
- You don't feel like cooking
- You don't have any ingredients
- It is a form of entertainment
- Excellent food
- Social connections with friends, family and the restaurant staff
- It doesn't cost "that much"
Many times people choose to go out for breakfast because it tends to be less expensive than other meals, especially dinner. My favorite breakfast place can be a bit on the pricey side. However, it is worth it! Despite the fact that you'll easily spend $25 for breakfast for two, I feel that it is worth every penny.
So if my favorite breakfast joint is so good, why don't I go there every chance I get?
Well, I am frugal. Also, I am a pretty creative cook. Instead of spending $25 at breakfast I make a delicious breakfast casserole. As I organize the contents of the fridge on the counter I get a feel for the theme of the casserole. Last week it was southwest. This week it was a veggie-herb theme which meant that this week the salsa went back into the fridge.
You can easily create a flavorful casserole if you've saved leftovers during the week. Even small portions can have a big impact in a breakfast casserole. The only real constant in my casseroles is the 8 eggs, salt and pepper, and my 9"x13" stoneware baker. I've never served the same casserole twice!
This week I used many things:
- 2 Maple Breakfast Sausage Links, Diced
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Red Skin Potatoes
- 1 Fresh Shallot, Diced
- 1/4 Cup of a Corn, Rice, Black Bean and Sausage Mixture (left over from Stuffed Spicy Bell Pepper Boats from "The Stocked Kitchen" cookbook, by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins (available on Amazon). This cookbook is a great way to streamline your shopping and menu planning. )
- Broccoli, Diced
- 1 Handful Baby Spinach
- 4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
My stoneware baker doesn't need to be greased so I just start layering ingredients in the baker. In a separate bowl I beat the 8 eggs, salt, pepper, and any sauces that I have (veggie dip or chip dip is great). Then I pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the baker. This time I topped it off with the pepper jack cheese. After about 30 minutes in the oven at 350F breakfast is ready to be served!
By now you are probably thinking, "What about the $25?" Here is the part that requires you to be intentional. Great things rarely happen to those who fly by the seat of their pants. Great things DO come to those who are intentional, disciplined and proceed with focus. As a person who practices what she teaches, I encourage you to reflect on the areas in your life that could be improved.
- Debt reduction
- Charitable giving
- Saving toward a goal
Chances are that you can think of ways to redirect the money that you would have spent on regular weekend trips to the local breakfast restaurant.
I'll share a couple examples of what we did recently in our family with "extra" money. After taking the empties back to the store, my son asked if we could donate the money from the bottle deposits to charity. How cool is that from a 10 year old? When my husband sold a ring that he had no intention of ever wearing, we added that money to our investment account. We act with intention with these unexpected increases, directing them to places that will benefit someone in the future, instead of just letting the money burn a hole in our pocket (or our checking account)!
Side Effects of Being Frugal
- Less food is thrown in the garbage
- Less guilt. Have you ever felt guilty about throwing food away? Have you ever eaten the left overs because you didn't want them to go to waste?
- More creativity. You'll be able to create new meals and avoid repetition
- The extra pieces of breakfast casserole can be individually plated, wrapped in plastic wrap, and returned to the fridge for a quick weekday breakfast or lunch
I'm all about supporting local businesses, so I'm not suggesting that you never go out to eat. This is about redirecting dollars to a longer lasting, higher impacting cause, while reducing waste and exercising your culinary creativity. It is about being intentional with the savings you experience. Even one $25 breakfast per month is $300/year. What could $300 do for you? What could it do for someone else?
If you have a weekly ritual of dining out, how could staying in just one meal per month create a positive impact in your life? If you have a purpose and are intentionally redirecting dollars toward a cause, I would love to hear from you! Message me via my website: karmelfp.com with your story.
Melissa Myers, CFP®
Melissa is a Gen X business owner and CFP® professional. She teaches what she has learned on her way to success. She wants to share her secrets to prosperity with you. Call or email Melissa at (231) 733-1166 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.