Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close

How I saved over £500 per year by using up leftovers

By Penny Golightly Tuesday 03 December 2013

In this series by guest contributor Penny Golightly, we discover how she made real day-to-day savings at home and how you can follow her footsteps and save too! This week, she we're making the most out of leftovers...you know, like they used to in the good 'ol days!

Leftovers

Leftovers are wonderful things. They can save you extra preparation and cooking time, you benefit from savings if you’re buying in bulk, and some meals simply taste better the next day. I regularly plan for leftovers on purpose, but I’m always happy to use up any accidental ones too.

Before reliable freezers and refrigerators became widespread, there was a grand tradition of using up any and all uneaten cooked food. For example, you’d have a roast chicken, potatoes and greens for your Sunday dinner. On Monday you might have cold cuts of chicken, served with bubble and squeak made from the greens and potatoes. Then on the Tuesday, there would be chicken and vegetable soup made by cooking down the carcass. Nothing was wasted.

Nowadays we tend to shop more frequently and like more variety in our eating patterns, but leftovers can still fit our modern lifestyles. For example, freeze that extra portion of lasagne today and you’ll have an easy homemade microwave meal next Friday, when you come home tired after work.

You don’t have to stick to reheating the same dish. Add a different flavour kick by using garden herbs, spice blends and pastes, chilli, or mustard. Change the texture by pureeing or chopping, or add a crunchy topping, some sauce or some melted cheese. Turn other leftovers into fillings for sandwiches, pita breads or pasties.

Food safety

  • Cool cooked leftovers as quickly as possible, then put in the fridge or freezer.
  • Make sure containers are tightly sealed.
  • If keeping leftovers in the fridge, keep the temperature below 5C and use within two days.
  • Defrost frozen leftovers safely by leaving them overnight in the fridge.
  • Only reheat cooked leftovers once. This is the golden safety rule.
  • Make sure food is piping hot and cooked through before serving if you’re reheating it.

More ideas for leftovers

  • Stale bread can be turned into croutons, bread pudding or breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs freeze well and can be used for crunchy toppings or coatings, or as a thickener for sauces or stuffing.
  • Leftover cooked vegetables are great in omelettes, pies, quiches, veggie burgers, soups, stews, pizza toppings and more.
  • Leftover rice can be used in salads, vegetable rissoles or egg fried rice dishes. You can also push it down into a pie dish and bake for a few minutes, brushed with a little oil or egg white, to make a gluten-free crust that’s a bit like a pastry base.
  • Many leftovers, especially cold cuts of meat, work really well in a tortilla wrap or flatbread with some salad and relish or hot sauce.
  • Leftover chilli, stew, bean bake, or casserole makes an easy, hearty baked potato filling.
  • In the unlikely event of having leftover wine, you can freeze it into ice cube trays to add to stews and sauces.

If you’re looking for more leftovers inspiration, the BBC Good Food website has some good recipe ideas.

Share this article

Ready to switch?

Simply enter your postcode and see how much you can save

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.

 

1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.

Pay Monthly unit rates

PAYG unit rates

Read more Read less