Penny Pinching Tip #11: Leftovers Make-Over

I hear it all the time that people don’t like to eat leftovers. They ate it the day before, they’re bored of it, they want something new. So the poor leftovers sit in the fridge until they are green and fuzzy, then end up in the trash.

Well, penny pinchers–you wouldn’t believe how much money you waste each month in moldy leftovers.

Penny Pinching Tip #11: Give your leftovers a make-over so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating the same thing too many days in a row.

True, some leftovers are easier to make-over than others, but when it comes to protein, I always have luck incorporating it into a salad. Some veggies, fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar, and chopped chicken, salmon, tofu, or steak can be absolutely delicious.

Here, I used some leftover baked salmon that I had rubbed with garam masala, garlic powder, salt, and pepper the night before (served with brown basmati rice and roasted brussel sprouts).

This was a bit of a pantry raid as well, using some random ingredients like my garlic & tarragon pickled beets, but I think the hodge-podge of flavors and textures turned out just right. And it’s a totally new meal!

Hide the Leftover Salmon Salad

2 cups lettuce
10 grape tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, chopped
6 basil leaves, chopped
4 pickled beet matchsticks, chopped
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 4-6 oz. piece of cooked salmon, cubed


  1. Toss all ingredients and enjoy.

The cost (if they are not leftovers):
lettuce: 1.99
tomatoes: 1.99
scallion: .29
basil: 1.99
salmon: 3.99

Grand total: $10.25 (Serves 2, plus ingredients to make 2 salads)

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1 Comment

  1. I love making leftovers of certain things on purpose, so I can reuse them in another meal. Usually the second meal is a cinch to throw together that way. The difficult leftovers are those that are harder to repurpose – like meatloaf. (of course, I don’t mind eating leftover meatload “as is”!)

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