Thursday, March 29, 2012

Frugal Friday: Helping Your Family Enjoy Leftovers

"One day a lady invited me in for dinner with her family. She said, 'We're having Musgoes.' I had to ask, 'What are Musgoes?' She answered, 'I just go to the refrigerator and point', saying, 'This musgo, that musgo!'" (from The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery)

Wednesday night at our house is always "Musgoes". We save quite a bit of money by preparing one less meal per week and using food we already have. If we don't have any "Musgoes" in our refrigerator, then we turn to our freezer and there's always something. On the odd weeks when you don't have any (which very rarely happens in our family), you can look in your pantry and see what foods are expiring soon and work up a meal with those.

A few tips to remember for successful "Musgo" nights:

1. Pick your "Musgo" night carefully! We've chosen ours for the middle of the week when it's most likely that there will be plenty of "musgoes" in the fridge. I also pick it on my busiest day - when I really don't have much time to cook dinner. I love having one day where meals are easy!

2. Consistency is the key - your family will get used to having a consistent "musgo" night planned into the menu. Be persistent. Make the meals you cook the other nights of the week really good, so one night of "musgoes" aren't a problem for them.

3. Dress them up. If your kids don't like "leftovers", dress up the musgoes or disguise them as something else. Serve them with fancy dishes, a pretty tablecloth, etc. You can make "musgo" night fun for everyone!

One of the things that we work hard to teach our children is to be grateful for what we have and to not waste. I think this principle is so important for a healthy family to live by. It is economical, prudent and wise. I believe that teaching your family to eat leftovers is an important step to creating a healthy family.

With that being said, I can't pretend to be perfect at this. There are still many very unsuccessful "Musgoes" nights at our house - I call them unsuccessful when the "Musgoes" sit there spite of all my efforts.
But I did have some success with this a few weeks ago when we had unexpected guests arrive for lunch and all I had were leftovers. The day before was spent all day at a chess tournament for my son and I didn't have time to prepare anything. I reheated the pasta bake, cut the leftover pizza in bite-sized pieces, added some fruit and vegetable bowls and served the spread on nice dishes. Dessert was frozen bread sticks, reheated and drizzled with butter and cinnamon sugar with leftover warm frosting spread over the top. And I must say, it was a success, in spite of my initial feelings of embarrassment about it.

How is your family doing with this? I'd love to hear about your successes and failures. I hope that by sharing ideas with each other, we can all have success!

Linked to: Frugal Friday, Thrifty Thursday, Finer Things Friday


Anna @ Feminine Adventures said...

LOVE the name. :) We usually have "musgoes" for lunch because my husband doesn't care for leftovers as much as I do.

Often, I'll "repurpose" leftover rice into another dish, freeze leftover veggies to make into soup or fried rice, etc.

Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday.

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

I love the idea of re-purposing food from one dish for another - those make some of the best Musgoes nights!

Jenn said...

Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday! It's funny because I never understood why people threw away their leftovers. We always just grew up eating them! Thank you for sharing how to get our kids to share our enthusiasm for leftovers too :)

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