Wasting food not only wastes hard-earned money, but time as well. And, Trim Healthy Mamas, our ingredients are precious! Keep track of what you have to use up in the fridge with this handy, free, printable leftover tracker to save time, money, and make the most of those valuable and healthy THM ingredients.
Do you cringe when you have to throw away leftover food?
I try very hard not to waste food in general, but I’m even more vigilant about my precious THM ingredients!
One Trash Day Morning I Decided To Clean Out The fridge Before The Truck Came. What an eye-opener!
As I tossed out shriveled up avocados, forgotten-about organic green onions, and a variety of UFOs (Unidentified Food Objects), I got increasingly angry – with myself.
I spent money on those things, money my husband works hard to earn. Not to mention the time I spent to go get them and prepare them.
Then I remembered that a couple of years ago, I had designed a form to help me keep track of the leftovers and minimize waste.
Obviously, I had quit using it. Painfully obvious!
A Tool Only Works If You Use It, Right?
My Leftover Tracker is very helpful, but only if you actually use it!
If you’re an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person like me, then you know what happens once that container of leftovers goes into the fridge. Once the door shuts, unless it’s right there in front it probably gets forgotten!
And turns into some horrific science experiment. But we’re homeschoolers so I guess it’s kind of OK?
So, writing it down somewhere you’ll see it helps you remember to use it up before it goes bad.
Waste not, want not 😉
How To Use My Free Printable Leftover Tracker.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
- When putting leftovers in the fridge, simply jot down a short description of the food (THMs include the Fuel Type, too) and approximate amount or number of servings.
- Include the date you’re putting it in the refrigerator.
- Cross them off the list when you eat them.
The hardest part of using the Leftover Tracker might be training your family members to use it.
But, teach your kiddos and significant other to write things down and cross them off and it will make life easier!
Stress to your partner the money-saving aspect and they’ll most likely be glad to help out as well.
TIP: designate a highlighter color for “OK to eat without asking” for the rest of the household! Or if needed, also a color that means “Don’t touch this or else…” That way anyone looking in the fridge for a snack or quick meal knows what’s fine to eat and what is being planned for another meal.
Use The Leftover Tracker To Plan Meals And Save Money.
Using the Leftover Tracker to plan meals around the food that needs to be used – before it goes bad – saves you money at the grocery store.
It also saves you time! Since the food just needs reheated, there’s not a lot of time involved in prep and cooking.
Need Some Inspiration For Using Up Leftovers?
Many of my recipes are great for using up leftovers. Simply replace the meat and/or veggies with what you have on hand that will work well with the flavors in the recipe.
- Swiss Chard Hash with Turkey and Fennel (great for using up non-starchy veggies and leftover meat)
- Low Carb Turkey Hash
- Easy Cabbage And Sausage Stew (works with any kind of meats and extra veggies are always great)
- Creamy Berry Quinoa Bowl (use up those fresh berries or other fruits before they go bad!)
- No Mayo Turkey Salad (could work with leftover chicken as well)
- Low Carb Breakfast Pizza (so many ways to customize this!)
- Low Carb Taco Frittata (frittatas are perfect for using up leftover bits of this and that!)
Keep The Leftover Tracker Where You’ll Use It (And Keep A Writing Utensil Nearby).
Print out this leftover tracker and stick it right on your fridge. To further save money and resources, put it in a clear plastic sheet protector. Use a magnetic fine point dry erase marker and you’ll always have a writing utensil handy.
Or, if you use a household binder to manage all the things put it in there.
How To Get Your Free Printable Leftover Tracker:
It’s super easy, just click on the graphic below…
If you don’t see a graphic, then CLICK HERE. Either way, a separate window will open up with the PDF in it and you can print it or save to your computer.
If you’ve been looking for a solution to how to reduce food waste in the home, this is one way to do that! I hope you find it helpful.
Using the leftover tracker? Post a photo on Instagram, tag me @ohsweetmercy, and use the hashtag #OSMleftovertracker! I want to see how this simple solution helps you and your family be good stewards of your resources.