What to do with holiday party leftovers


‘Tis the season and we are in full swing. This time of the year is hectic for many: You may be finishing up end-of-the-year projects, shopping, taking vacation time, or planning to host a holiday party or two.

When hosting a party, there’s always going to be leftover food and drink. Of course, you don’t want to just throw everything out – what a waste of money!

If you don’t want to live off of party food for the next week, or you don’t want everything taking up valuable refrigerator space, here are some suggestions to save those leftovers so they won’t go to waste.

Pro tip

Make sure you have plenty of storage containers and zip lock freezer baggies before the party. It makes cleaning up and storing easier.

Send some home with guests

Use zip lock bags and disposable containers to send leftovers home with guests.

Leftovers for quick meals

Think quiches, wraps, tacos, omelets, scrambled eggs with diced up turkey or ham in it. These can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Freeze in small portions for quicker defrost.

Share with a shut-in

If you have a neighbor, friend or relative who can’t get out, plan on taking them a plate before or after the meal. It’s a good idea to send them enough to make a couple of meals for themselves.

Some creative repurposing

  • Club Soda

Don’t throw out flat club soda; instead, use it to hydrate houseplants. The phosphate in it is good for growth and root development.

  • Wine

You can freeze cubes of leftover wine for later use in recipes. Red and white wine are especially good for Italian sauces.

  • Candy Canes

Use candy canes as drink stirrers, or crush them to make peppermint sugar, which can be used throughout the year.

  • Bread

Make bread crumbs or seasoned croutons.

  • Cheese

Hard cheese can be grated and frozen. Soft cheese is great for making sauces and grilled cheese sandwiches. Cheese based soups and fondues are also a good option.

There’s no reason to let leftovers go to waste. Armed with some knowledge, a little creativity and plenty of storage containers, there’s no reason to throw out much.

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