If You Don’t Eat Leftovers I Don’t Even Want To Know You

Here it is! Our most controversial article of all time! It has inspired more offended, angry comments than any other.

Yes, we get it: no one likes to be shamed for their life choices. I thought that my comedic use of hyperbole would make it clear that this is nuanced advice, meant to persuade, not condemn. But apparently not!

So if in extolling the frugal, environmentalist, and time-saving virtues of using all the food you prepare instead of throwing it away I’ve offended you, by all means, channel that righteous anger into a comment.

But I do hope you think twice before discarding perfectly good food. Children are STARVING in Wichita, Timmy!

Did you guys know there are people out there who just… don’t eat leftovers? Yes! These wasteful, absentminded heathens exist! And they’re coming for your delicious yet frugal lifestyle decisions.

To combat this slothful and uncreative attitude, I’m going to extoll the virtue of leftovers in all their glory. Because I think leftovers are the cat’s pajamas and you should too.

Yes, eat leftovers.

What do you take me for?

Eating leftovers saves time!

Most recipes we use (and most published recipes in general) make four servings, and my husband and I are a household of about two (not counting the dog and That Friend Who Comes over Unannounced Approximately Two Nights a Week and If He Doesn’t We Get Worried and Go Look for Him at the Brewery).

So we just eat half of the meal for dinner and save the other half for lunch the next day. The leftovers get scooped into two Tupperware containers* when we’re washing the dishes, and that’s that. No extra food preparation required. We cook one dish and it feeds us both for two meals.

Considering I wake up early to make it to work by 7:00 or 7:30, my morning minutes are precious and few. So time wasted on making a fresh lunch from scratch in the morning means extra time spent in traffic, or less time to walk the dog. And time wasted making lunch at night after I’ve already cooked dinner means less time to assassinate pixelated bad guys in whatever video game I happen to be playing before bed.

So you see the importance of this time-saving technique.

*(We don’t actually use Tupperware. We use recycled yogurt containers because I got tired of replacing Tupperware after lending it to friends and never getting it back. Sure, it looks like we’re hoarding fat free vanilla yogurt by the quart if you open our fridge, and it’s definitely fun to open four containers at a time to find what I’m looking for, but think of THE FRUGALITY!!!!)

Eating leftovers saves money!

Thirteen out of eleven personal finance experts agree that eating out is more expensive than brown bagging your lunch. That’s just science.

When I was trying to cut back on my expenses to massacre my accursed student loans, one of the first things I did was cut back on eating out.

I never thought of myself as someone who wasted money on food. Yet a sandwich at my favorite lunch spot near my office costs $8.45. I was eating two or three of these babies a week. So I was spending, conservatively, over $67 a month on deli meat and cheese between some toasted bread.

That’s ludicrous. And completely avoidable.

I realized I could eliminate that expense entirely if I eat leftovers at work every day of the week. No need to allocate extra toward my grocery budget for sandwich fixings. Just eat the extra food I already have made.

Money saved, tummy full.

Eating leftovers prevents you from overeating!

If I’m planning to eat leftovers for lunch, it means the amount I eat at dinner directly affects how much I have left over for lunch the next day.

This keeps me from gorging myself on the delicious meats, cheeses, and orphan blood my soul requires for sustenance. For if I overeat, my body might be too bloated and sluggish to catch said tender orphans!

And while I try to stay healthy by working out and running as much as possible, exercise is only half the battle. Diet is the other half.

Eating leftovers prevents food waste!

Americans waste about sixty million tons of food a year. (Your mom’s voice: “Meanwhile, children are starving in Africa, so for Pete’s sake eat your broccoli, Jimmy!”)

No but srsly: that is a disgusting and unnecessary amount of waste. How much of that do you think is just Monday’s leftovers that don’t look quite as appetizing as Wednesday’s brand new takeout from that new barbecue place?

Eating your leftovers is one way to reduce the total amount of food waste, at least in your own life. Just, like… eat all the food.

Ron Swanson looks like a man who knows how to eat leftovers.

Why don’t you want to eat leftovers?

A strange thing happened when I first published this article: leftover haters came out of the woodwork to tell me why I’m wrong and bad and mean.

Which is just fascinating to me. Because we’ve written about super controversial topics like abortion and raising the minimum wage and labor unions. Yet none of those articles elicited even a tenth of the outrage.

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

The trauma of gross leftovers

I know there are those out there traumatized by leftovers. I’m sorry grandma’s three-day-old Husband’s Delight Casserole hurt you that way. I myself sometimes take leftover grazing to an extreme, much to my husband’s annoyance.

We just got back from a weeklong rafting trip, after which we divided the leftover provisions with our friends. We ended up with a bag of bagels, a bag of carrots, some almonds, and a jar of capers. On the drive home I just started… eating the carrots because why the hell not? I offered my husband a sandwich of stale blueberry bagels, whole carrots, and capers with a garnish of almonds and for some reason he insisted on stopping for “real lunch” instead. Why? Dunno. Between you and me, I just don’t think he’s as invested in this whole financial independence thing as I am.

But you need to learn to forgive. Let go of that time your mom thought stale cornbread with a side of… cold egg noodles and ketchup?… was an acceptable dinner. You’re an adult now.You can control your leftover destiny. The trauma of reheated pork chops is behind you.

Leftovers are a symbol of poverty

For a lot of people, leftovers symbolize poverty. You don’t have enough money to create a brand new meal every time you sit down to eat, so you have to rely on leftovers instead. And that kind of blow to a person’s pride can really sting.

I get it! It’s hard to view something you were forced to do out of financial necessity as a great thing to do when you’re no longer impoverished. I honestly don’t judge. Switching from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset is hard.

The difference, I think, is being intentional about leftovers. When you’re not being forced to eat leftovers out of desperation, you can plan to make meals that will result in leftovers you enjoy. And then you can savor the smugness that comes with all that saved time, money, and effort.

Some food does not lend itself to leftovers

I have tasted the utter disappointment of leftover salad that was placed in the refrigerator fully dressed. Tossing those wilted, clumped, slimy vegetables soaked in vinaigrette is a pain I won’t soon forget.

Some food just isn’t meant to be eaten as leftovers. You’ve got to eat it in one sitting, or not at all.

Don’t like the taste of your leftovers on principle? Can’t help you there, other than to suggest you try making better food the first time around.

Leftovers are a hassle

This anti-leftover excuse gets a massive side-eye from me.

Don’t have a microwave at work? That’s cool. You should be eating more salads for dinner anyway, and those don’t need heating up. Plus, you’d be astonished by how many once-hot meals taste pretty damn good at room temp.

Don’t have a fridge at work? You know you always wanted one of those cute mini lunchbox coolers stuffed with a couple of ice packs! They’re adorable!

Share a fridge with a sticky-fingered coworker? This is more opportunity than problem, since petty revenge is one of life’s truest delights. Pull an Orange is the New Black on your lunch containers a few times and they’ll never rob you of your leftovers again. (Or just season and salt the everloving hell out of your food. White people hate that.)

Easily bored by eating the same food multiple meals in a row? Solution: cook great food and love eating it. 

So find yourself a goddamn straw and suck it up.

Eating leftovers won’t hurt you. It’ll save money, time (which is money), health (which is also money), and the planet (way more important than pretty much everything including money). So you really have no excuse not to eat leftovers.

I love to eat leftovers.

The point is, nothing tastes quite as good as frugal smugness feels.

84 thoughts to “If You Don’t Eat Leftovers I Don’t Even Want To Know You”

  1. What she said! Not to mention that a lot of foods that are leftover, like stews, soups and pasta dishes actually seem to improve with a day or three in the fridge. And leftover pizza is great hot or cold for any meal from breakfast to midnight snacks! I have met a couple of people, guys usually, who refuse to eat leftovers. That is so crazy when you can nuke a cold dish and have an awesome meal ready in seconds with only one dish to wash. I think there is some childhood trauma at work in leftover haters because it just doesn’t make sense to waste good food. Come to think of it both of those guys are pretty strange!

  2. Um, leftovers save my freaking life!

    How else would I manage to juggle (note: I don’t say balance… “balance” is a sham and complete bullshit!) working full-time, pursuing my own goals/passions, living life/spending time with my husband + son AND not starving my family while I’m at it?!?

    Leftovers are amazing, end of story.

    1. COSIGNED.

      Bless those who have the time to go out and buy a lunch every day. I need that thirty minutes for… writing dumb jokes for my blog.

      1. Did you ever consider that some of us were raised on box dinners (poor) that are not generally not meant to be had as leftovers for how processed they are? Or do you just assume all families cook with food that is full of weird shit that makes them cheaper?

    2. Wrong leftovers are disgusting I don’t know who in their right mind thinks leftovers are a blessing they are only for those who live in third world shitholes like Somalia. Most people would prefer fresh food everyday not leftovers

  3. HAHA I love it that 13/10 finance experts agree… I’m guessing most agreed like 1 1/2 times. And I’m fairly certain “So find yourself a goddamn straw and suck it up.” is my absolute FAVORITE new phrase! That will come out of my mouth at least once before the week is over.

    I not only love leftovers but I PLAN FOR THEM by making large things like a whole chicken or pork roast, and then using it creatively in soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and tacos throughout the week. And this is why the frugal shall inherit the Earth…

    1. DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS? YUP. My favorite frugal meal trifecta is to roast a chicken, use the leftover chicken on a salad, and then use the chicken bones to make soup. Use all the parts of the animal like our ancestors intended!

      And I KNOW you didn’t just check my math… 😉

  4. Second that, Steveark – some of my favourite meals are better as leftovers! Leftover stew will always be better than first-day as far as I’m concerned. And cold lasagna is one of my go-to breakfasts because I make it with lots of veggies and protein, so it’s a great start to your day. Leftovers are a great way to change up your normal meals too. I make waffles in batches and will make PB&J sandwiches with them for lunch if I’ve run out of bread.

    I grew up cooking with my mom for the whole family, but now that I live by myself, I find it harder and less budget friendly to scale down the meals that I grew up making. It works out that any meal that makes 6-8 servings will keep me fed all week, so it doesn’t make sense to curb that tendency. All I have to shop for during the week is fresh fruit to include in my lunch box and I’m golden. Team Leftovers 4 lyfe!

    1. Go Team Leftovers!!!

      Lawd, I am in awe of the leftover game of the single. With only one person to feed, you can stretch that food for daaaays.

  5. I use Paprika to organize my recipes and there’s a whole category I created called Lunch Leftovers for dinner-type recipes that make for excellent lunch leftovers. That list is EXCELLENT for meal planning.

    I work with a ton of people who eat takeout every single day and I just don’t understand how they’re affording it.

    1. Not only how are they affording it… but how are they staying healthy?! Most takeout is way too fattening for an every day habit.
      I need to try this Paprika business.

  6. I typically make two large pots of food every weekend and eat it all week. It lets me make really tasty food and relax while doing it (I love to cook), instead of coming home ravenous at the end of the day and trying to throw something together before my stomach devours itself. Some people think I’m nuts for eating the same thing on multiple days, but 1) I will often freeze some of the leftovers, so I can swap in other things from the freezer for variety and 2) I’m a boring person who doesn’t really mind eating the same thing multiple times. I love leftovers.

  7. 1. As STEVEARK points out, some foods are best when they are a day or two old. Pasta – good. Day old pasta – better. Day old mac and cheese that has been reheated until bubbly – freaking fantastic!
    2. I never understood people who liked the food the first time but don’t like leftovers. It’s the SAME FOOD. The only reason it would taste different is if a) the flavors had time to meld together (yum! even better!) or b) you don’t wrap/contain your food properly and it takes on gross random refrigerator smells. In which case, even the really good vacuum-sealed glassware is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying lunch every day!
    3. I bring my food to work every day. Some of my coworkers buy lunch every day. Strangely, even the higher ranking ones who are paid more “can’t” afford to save money because life is so expensive. 1 + 1 =/= 2 for these folks.

    And now for a funny story!

    Once upon a time, I had a roommate who absolutely insisted on always saving leftovers, but never ever under any circumstances would she eat the leftovers. I should also mention that however much food she was given, she would leave some so that she could have leftovers later. And then not eat them. The fridge had on average a dozen containers of leftovers that would never ever be eaten.

    She was not a particularly bright person.

    One day I had a bunch of friends over for dinner and regaled them with tales of said roommate’s eating habits. When she arrived home and claimed she was “starving,” one of my friends joked about giving her a tiny serving to see if she would only eat half. I decided to test it out. I gave her ten strands of spaghetti and half a meatball. She ate….half of that. “Saved the rest for later.”

    On another occasion, she came home from dinner at a Mexican restaurant with a fullsize styrofoam container of – no kidding – one tablespoon of refried beans, half a piece of lettuce, and about a quarter cup of rice. After sitting in the fridge for 7 days, I threw it out. Oh, the storm I created! She screamed at me for daring to interfere with her intent to eat said leftovers. This was over a year into our living together and many, many instances of me having to clean out the fridge from her stacks of styrofoam boxes.

    Some people’s children.

  8. I’m a big fan of pot pie. If we have a bunch of odds and ends of leftover meats or vegetables or whatever, make a pie shell and throw all that stuff in there! My roommate is balky about leftovers sometimes but if we do something to slightly *alter* the food she’s usually OK with it. Favorites besides pie are soup (obvs), and rice bowls. Dump those leftovers over some steamed rice, maybe add some sauce. Also, if you add a little corn starch or flour could that soup become a gravy or a pasta sauce?

    1. Also, for at least some of our most leftover leftovers, we have a worm bin. They can’t eat everything but they do a good job with stems and stalks and peels and shells. It makes me feel better to feed the worms that to send food to rot in a landfill.

  9. Best trick with leftovers is to plan to skip a night before you eat that same meal a second time. That way you are not depressingly eating the same food two days in a row.

    Makes all the difference to your anticipation of enjoying that great meal without having to prepare it.

  10. One of my facebook friends just posted about leftovers and how long people would eat them for. These wasteful ingrates were talking about 2 days. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the one honest person who admitted to eating leftovers until they started to sprout or spoil. My philosophy is that if it’s edible, I’mma eat it.
    Oh, and what time is dinner at your place? Can I trade nights with Chad? Also you are absolutely right that seasoning is white people’s kryptonite. I don’t know how they eat all of that unseasoned chicken.

  11. Poor Chad. Is he also responsible for stealing the Tupperware?

    My awesome leftovers solution when I worked in an office that “didn’t believe” in getting a microwave was to buy a medium size lunch thermos of better than average quality. It was perfect for soup, stews, chilis, and did a good job on saucier casseroles that could be spooned into the thermos shape after being heated up in the morning. Nope, I didn’t really save time by having to heat and repackage in the morning but I did save money on my lunches (even considering the cost of the thermos, which wasn’t that bad) and I got to be smug in winter with my piping hot turkey soup when everyone else had their cold lunches.

  12. “(Or just season and salt the everloving hell out of your food. White people hate that.) Don’t like the taste of leftovers? Can’t help you there, other than to suggest you try making better food the first time around.”

    Bless you, if this ain’t the truth; very few (like only a handful I’ve ever encountered- such as deep fried) dishes taste bad next day if you just learn how to actually cook in the first place- and cook dishes that store / age well to begin with. In other words: Make delicious, well seasoned food the first time round and it won’t taste like “bland, boring mush” when you eat it the next day. It ain’t hard!

  13. I am the ghost of Christmas future – the one who can show you what life is like if you don’t change your ways! I am way older than you (mid 50’s). And I figure that I have saved, conservatively, $20,000 by bringing leftovers to work around 4 out of 5 days a week during the last 25 years. And have probably saved much more.

    I think it can be hard to stay the course on frugality sometimes, but hopefully your readers will see that IT ADDS UP. I had amazing role models; my parents could win some sort of frugality award. Leftovers were a major staple in my family of origin – and my folks both retired (from not-high-paying jobs) in their 50’s. I don’t think this is a coincidence!

    Nowadays, sites like yours can function as the wonderful example that most people didn’t have during their formative years. I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately as part of my path to retirement, and was so happy to discover this one! Thanks for existing.

  14. “Don’t like the taste of leftovers? Can’t help you there, other than to suggest you try making better food the first time around.” Bahahahaha, this is perfect!

    We had so much effin’ food left after our wedding that we went and bought some cheap tupperware containers and drove around to divide it between our guests the next day. Much to our surprise – many of these containers came back, so now we have even more containers for our ever growing leftover empire!

    It always baffled me that some people just… don’t eat all their food. Like, a lot of energy went into making that food, and then you spent a fair share of your precious, hard earned life-energy-in-the-shape-of-money on said food – and then you’re just going to… not eat it?

    Although I will, in all honesty, disclose that there have been kitchen failures so epic that I refused to let anyone else suffer the leftovers. They were consumed, but not as happily as usual.

    1. In Poland they actually have a second day of the wedding where everyone gathers for lunch to eat the leftovers from the day before.

  15. “Leftovers save time” No they don’t they make people like me who work and make good money feel like a peasant. If you have a job and make good money there is no need to make leftovers for dinner. Just give them to the poor, or toss them. Leftovers save food waste no they don’t because you’re forcing yourself to eat something that doesn’t taste good and you should give it the soup kitchen. My point is why eat leftovers for dinner when you make good money and have a good job. Leftovers are eaten only by the poor, and people I know never eat leftovers for dinner. Its just disgusting

    1. So your argument isn’t actually that they don’t save time (they do) or money (they do)… It’s that you don’t think you should eat leftovers because “you’re rich and they make you feel like a peasant”… And your solution to “they taste gross and make me feel like a peasant” is “just give them to the poor so they have to eat them instead”…

      Yeah, ok “Abraham”.

      ![alt text](https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7aCPHhf75P3xPTnW/giphy.gif “If You Say So”)

      1. You know what your problem is? You think leftovers are fine but here’s a thing they are not, they are a waste of space and they are bland. You’re either a cheapskate or goodie goodie who believes that they should be low, rich people don’t eat leftovers for dinner.

      2. Here’s a story people who eat leftovers for dinner are cheapskates and lazy. They don’t want to give their children a better life, they want their children to be poor, and live like they did. Especially someone like you.

    2. My dude. You need to learn to cook better. Leftovers are manna from heaven. Literally, I think God inspired us to create the refrigerator so we could enjoy the bliss that is day-old mac and cheese, reheated and bubbly and perfect, perhaps with some day-old chili on the side for perfectly melded flavor balance.

      If you’re having leftover problems I feel bad for you son
      I got ninety nine problems but this ain’t one

      1. I once tossed my leftovers to the poor and they enjoyed them.

        Just kidding – I eat them all myself like a big boy!

      2. No they are not, I’d rather be in a concentration camp and die of typhoid fever than eat leftovers for dinner. Leftovers are not made from heaven they are sin you like leftovers because you are a cheapskate

      3. Leftovers are not manna from Heaven they are a sin and they symbolize poor people and third world shitholes like Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya

    3. Eating leftovers is one of the reasons that my family has wealth. It’s a discipline elder generations mastered during the Great Depression, and we continue it today because truly wealthy people flaunt their conscientiousness and generosity while disguising their luxuries. The food you eat is in no way indicative or even tangentally related to your wealth. The world’s richest person eats McDonalds for breakfast every morning – and usually orders the cheaper stuff on the menu. Do you want to tell Warren Buffett he should feel like a peasant?

      1. Leftovers should be a thing of the past because people deserve better and people get f****ing tired of eating the same meal of every week. They should either give their leftover food to the homeless because the homeless would eat anything.

        1. Homeless? Why don’t you tell us about that beautiful home you just purchased while you rake in all of that money from your psychology major. Sorry man. You asked for that. A college student gaslighting people who cook their own food and pay for it themselves. Abraham:. Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life

          1. Funny, the stupid remark came from you because the homeless will eat anything and I rent my own place fyi with roommates and I have a job so bite me.

    4. My man, Bro Bronas, I had leftovers for lunch today. It was fucking delightful. I spent zero time this morning thinking about what I was going to make for lunch. I spent zero dollars. I’m gonna get hella rich from saving all that money that you apparently spend on takeout.

      You clearly are unfamiliar with the magic that is leftovers that taste EVEN BETTER the second day after the flavors have had a chance to meld. And that is the only explanation I can think of to explain your irrational anger towards leftovers. I’m sorry you’ve been deprived of that, Broceratops. And I’m even more sorry because if you had ever had that magic in your life, brocarbonate of soda, it’s quite possible you’d spend your small, petty life in a more productive way than thinking perfectly good food is for The Poors (ew).

      1. No you like leftovers because you’re a cheapskate and you’re a sad case of goodie goodie. I’m a person who believes that if you have a job and make good money then you don’t need leftovers for dinner because leftovers are a sin

        1. How is that career developing you magnanimous bastard! Hahaha!
          I’ve got some left over pork rinds for your delicate figure! It’s an old Leftover salty snack made for heathens like you! You degenerate bigoted weasel.

      1. Took the words right out of my leftover eating mouth. “Entitled” has haunted me ever since his first inane post. Oh, and “doofus.”

        1. Nope not entitled just stating my opinion and people like you are entitled because leftovers are only eaten by people who are dirt poor and who live in third world countries like Somalia

      2. I have been thinking “entitled” ever since his first post. “Doofus” comes to mind, too. I know some folks who grew up in poor families with no excess of anything. Most are very grateful when they are able to make a secure living & put food on the table. Brings the old TV series to mind, The Jeffersons, …”Fish don’t fry on the grill,” cuz they has “moved on up to the east side!”

        1. Wrong answer becaue I believed as a kid leftovers where a thing of the past or things that only the poor ate yet parents still made them. My mother and father made me and my siblings eat leftovers for dinner when I was a child because they were cheapskates and they didn’t want their kids to have a better life even though they had good jobs and made good money. The only reason why people eat leftovers for dinner is because they have no choice and they are dirt poor.

          1. I cannot believe how easy of a time you are having , gaslighting these people. Are you really that bored? Or are you an actual plastic minded sociopath? So insecure you project your shortcomings in the guise of monetary wealth to make others feel as useless as yourself? I hope you are having a good joke but if not I pity you.

        2. Wrong answer but thanks for being arrogant. I’m just pointing out facts, people don’t have to eat leftovers for dinner because it isn’t their first choice especially if they have a job, so shut the hell up about calling me a doofus. At least I have a job

          1. Maybe one day you will rise above simply paying income tax and join the property owners who fund the schools you cannot seem to wean yourself off of! Come on Mr. Pacino, you can do better!

          2. How is the rent treating you these days? I forgot to add, quite a while back, that , according to your definition, you are one of the lowly poor. I don’t have a rent or mortgage payment. I own my house outright. I pay property taxes that maintain a n infrastructure that folks like you enjoy every day!
            So much for your smug opinions regarding folks who enjoy leftovers.

            But in all seriousness, you are really having fun gaslighting people or you need therapy.

  16. Has anyone here ever “engineered” leftovers? It’s easy! Just put one or two servings into one or two containers and hide them in the fridge or freezer BEFORE putting the food out.

    Otherwise, your household might eat *all* the chili, pasta or whatever and that’s that. Or you might eat it all by yourself, if you don’t have roommates/spouse/kids.

    And: You now have one or two lunches all ready to go to work, or dinners ready to be heated up on nights you’re too pooped to cook. #themoreyouknow

  17. I love bringing Tupperware lunches to work – recent lunches have included leftover spaghetti, leftover chili, leftover braised chicken, leftover jambalaya, leftover cocque au vin, leftover penne and scallops carbonara, leftover short ribs on mashed ‘taters, and leftover homemade pizza. Most of these dishes usually end up tasting better after sitting in refrigeration for 1-3 days and being reheated.

  18. I 100% agree! I grew up eating leftovers, so it’s nothing new for me, and I’ve tried to carry it into my adult life.

    Key word: TRIED. The thing is, what used to feed me and my kids for several meals? Doesn’t anymore. My 3 kids have hit the teen years, so they (especially my son) easily eat 2 or 3 helpings at dinnertime, especially when I make one of their favorites, like my chicken and rice. On top of that, my boyfriend of 3 and a half years is also a hefty eater and works evenings (depending on the day of the week, getting off work at either 10 or midnight when his store closes), so most of the time, anything that’s left over from dinner? Is gone by morning. Which means no leftovers for me to take to work for lunch. 🙁

    On the plus side, the food is being eaten, so it’s not going to waste! On the downside, my chicken and rice (as an example) is a GINORMOUS fucking pot’s worth of food, so it’s a little disheartening that there’s none left for a second meal.

  19. I want to do this more but I have serious difficulty. For one: I live alone. Cooking for one can be difficult when recipes are for 2+ people and even finding recipes for just two people that I like is difficult enough. I’m a picky eater. Not by choice. I have a lot of health problems and it literally takes me from ‘this doesn’t taste good’ to within a second it’s forcing me to vomit; or it triggers a fibro flare leaving me in tones of pain; or it triggers my IBS, et cetera. So I have to alter recipes already and that’s before even trying to par it down for two servings or 1 if I can manage it. Paring recipes down would be far easier but most ingredients end up only coming in sizes that would be 2+ servings. I also can’t stand for long(ish) periods of time so cooking can just — be difficult. *sighs loudly* I’m trying to find ways to get around this. Disabilities complicate everything.

    1. Disabilities do suck. May I make a suggestion, though? On the “unable to stand for long periods”…years ago, my mom bought a tall, barstool-type chair that has a full back and turns around on its base. It resides in her kitchen, and she makes good use of that chair! Being able to sit while keeping an eye on your food cooking/chopping up ingredients for prep would probably be extremely helpful for you in that regard. No idea how much it cost, but it might be worth checking out!

  20. I don’t eat leftovers because I know how to cook portions properly and there aren’t leftovers. What a bunch of judgmental a-holes you people are.

  21. No thanks, come raid my fridge if you want…..oh wait you can’t, I make just enough so all will be eaten. I want fresh food everyday so I cook it like that. Also I have the way The microwave changes the flavor of prepared food, sorry, get better taste buds if you disagree.

  22. I am just now finding this article and, as a single working mom, leftovers are LIFE. I intentionally meal plan so that I only have to cook four nights a week; the other three nights are leftover/fend for yourself night so that I have more time to spend with my kiddos (well, a teen and young adult, so more time to spend listening to their music through the walls while they ignore me in their bedrooms?). I take leftovers for lunch, as well (yes, sometimes I’ll eat the same meal three times in two days – I make good food).
    Bonus – this has brought my grocery budget to under $300 for three people and two cats per month. I occasionally challenge myself to only spend $250 a month and can often make that happen.

    1. The only reason you make leftovers for dinner is to make your children’s lives miserable. You never wanted what’s best for you children, parents would do what’s best for their children. My father and his siblings grew up dirt poor. Yet he was able to work hard and get good grades and go to college get a job and make money and so did my mother yet they still forced me and my brothers into a life of living like a poor person. All my friends at school their parents gave them everything: they went out for dinner, got the best clothes, toys, etc I got nothing or less than. I also had to eat leftovers for dinner because my mother lied to me because she said she was tired which she wasn’t

      1. Maybe you should invest some of that wealth into a good therapist! Boo -hoo. Poor baby did Not Go Hungry and received an education. My heart cries out for you as I take an excellent venison stew from my freezer and bake a fresh loaf of home made bread. When I was earning my degree in archaeology, I met some crazy people not unlike yourself. Education and success are not synonymous with the desire to not waste excellent food.

        1. Funny: btw I’m not a “baby” I happen to be an adult with a job so you can shut your filthy mouth. I happen to make my own food and have my own place. So you can go chase yourself into a wood chipper

  23. I only eat leftovers if I want food poisoning. I doesn’t matter if I cooked it or someone else did. I’ve never contemplated saving takeout food for later either. The most delicious meals I’ve made get me sick if eaten more than 24 hours after I made it. So no thank you, I’ll pass on the leftovers!

    1. Do you… not have a refrigerator? Is it not set to the proper temperature of between 30-40 degrees F? Otherwise what you’re saying is literally impossible. This is the most bizarre thread of comments – do people not actually refrigerate their “leftovers”? What on earth are people doing? I regularly cook enough food to last several days, eat the food for 3 days, and have done so (with my parents) since I was a small child, so that’s 47 years of eating leftovers at least 3-4 times per week and not once has that caused any “food poisoning.”

  24. Okay so I love to cook and also have a household of 2, but it’s very rare that I eat left overs. I’ve been that way my entire life, I just don’t like to eat something two days in a row. I also don’t like food to be wasted so I will share the food with my neighbors or friends so nothing ever goes to waste at my house. There is nothing wrong with not liking left overs and it by no means makes me a bad person!!

    1. Sounds like if you’re giving the food to others rather than throwing it away, you’re not wasting food! That’s great! That’s my entire point, made with hyperbole for comedic effect: don’t fucking waste food.

  25. I once watched a friend’s cat while he was away. He had made a batch of spaghetti and after dining on it prior to my arrival, left the rest of it (sauce, noodles and all) in an iron pot I’m the fridge.

    That spaghetti sustained me for the three days he was gone.

    Leftovers are good.

  26. Frequently, I have eaten my famous spaghetti two or three days in a row. I love spaghetti and appreciate that it’s there in the fridge waiting for me. That & a salad and dinner is made! Note: Spaghetti is not a leftover if it is just cooked pasta noodles with a variety of tasty sauces awaiting my tastbuds: marinara with shrooms, onions, garlic, peppers, or my homemade pesto, or Alfredo. No need to be al-fraid-o of sauce! I hear the groans…

  27. People with sensory issues exist. That’s why I dont like leftovers – sensory issues, which are a result of having autism.
    But go on, be ableist in the name of “class.”

    Shitty post.

    1. Yeah, love BGR, but the phrasing of this article is a little disappointing. Everyone in my house hold has autism, and two of us also have other mental and physical disabilities. I and one other can eat leftovers, I actually adore leftovers, because I don’t mind the taste of microwave reheated food, and one of my big AutismsTM is that I like eating the same thing over and over and over for months on end. However, the other two can NOT eat leftovers. BGR didn’t even acknowledge that the taste and texture of food absolutely 100% changes when reheating food, no matter how you do it. On top of that, one of the two also has ARFID so if one of his safe foods changes texture or flavor, that can easily turn into a danger food that he is not physically capable of eating without throwing it up.

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