In Praise of Clean Out the Fridge Night

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This is what’s for dinner tonight in the Shreeves’ house. Three pieces of leftover Sicilian pizza, baked ziti, three bean and sausage soup, and quesadillas filled with ground beef or beans, cheese and vegetables. I’ll throw a salad on the table, too.

I know, it sounds like an odd menu, but it’s mid-week clean out the fridge night. I’m going to put the leftovers from the previous four days on the table and let everyone pick what they want.

I love clean out the fridge, or leftover, night. It gives me a break from planning a meal. There’s a little work involved, but not as much as making an entire meal from scratch. Usually, everyone is happy with at least one thing on the table, so there isn’t much pouting. It keeps food from going to waste.

And, what I love most about it right now is that it’s like a free dinner. The money has already been spent. I don’t need to use new ingredients that cost money on leftover night.

Take a look inside your fridge right now. Is there an entire meal in leftovers, even if they aren’t foods that traditionally go together, waiting to be eaten? If you don’t pull them out and eat them in the next day or two, will you have to throw them away, wasting food and money?

Take a night off from cooking and try reheating instead. You’ll be really glad you did.