Join Real Plans today!

5 Benefits of Eating Leftovers

Contrary to popular belief, there are many benefits of eating leftovers. Some people stay clear of leftovers because they think it’s bad for your health. Others cook so much they forget they even have them. Regardless of which side you’re on, there’s one thing that is certain – the pros of eating leftovers far outweigh the cons.

A woman preparing foods to go with leftovers.

Is it healthy to eat leftovers?

One of the most asked questions about leftovers involves safety. Here’s the simple truth… leftovers do have an expiration date. In other words, most meals can be kept an average of 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator and up to four months when kept in freezer. The key is to eat them within that timeframe. The primary issue that leftover foods run into is the loss of moisture, flavor, and freshness.

When preparing to keep leftovers, consider investing in some leftover-proof containers like these:

Now that we know leftovers are completely safe and talked about a few storage solutions, let’s look at the benefits on hanging on to your next batch of extra cooked food.


5 Benefits of Eating Leftovers

5 benefits of eating leftovers.

Eating leftovers makes meal planning easier.

You may be familiar with the saying “cook once, eat twice.” This saying came from the very foundation of planning for leftovers. If you plan to eat leftovers, your meal planning gets much easier. Imagine cooking a dinner that can be enjoyed the next day for lunch. This cuts out having to plan every single meal for every single day.

Having leftovers helps decrease your grocery bill.

This is a given, but it’s often not considered. When you plan to have leftovers, not only is it one less meal you’re cooking, but it’s also less groceries you’re buying. Saving money in the grocery department means more money to do other things, like enjoy a nice meal out or a family date to the movies. Not to mention, less trips to the grocery store means saving money on gas!

Leftovers reduce your time in the kitchen.

Going hand-in-hand with meal prepping, having leftovers decreases the time you are spending in the kitchen. Instead of spending hours preparing the meal, cooking it, and serving it – whipping out the leftovers saves time in all of the above. The most you’ll need to do is pull them out of the refrigerator (or freezer) and heat them up using your preferred reheating method.

Leftover meals are versatile.

At first thought, dinner’s leftovers sound perfect for tomorrow’s lunches; however, they can be enjoyed any time of the day. Think of the restaurants that offer steak and eggs for breakfast. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy your leftover. In some cases, your leftovers can be used to create entirely new meals, especially if you’re trying to clear out your fridge or pantry.

Eating leftovers means no skipped meals.

How many times do you skip a meal because you don’t feel like cooking? If you’re cooking for more than yourself, then chances are your skipped meals turn into a fast food run. Both of these can be avoided when you plan to eat you leftovers instead.


Fall in Love with Eating Leftovers

If you’re looking to save time, money, and energy, then it’s time to start planning for leftovers. Our meal planning solutions offer something that no one else does – the ability to schedule in your leftovers. All it takes is a little planning to make your meals go a long way. While making your meal plan, go for meals that yield bigger portions or servings. Also keep in mind that you can double (or even triple) your recipes to ensure there will be some remaining. Plug these into your meal plan ahead of time so you don’t overcook or purchase too many groceries.

And that’s it! You’ll instantly notice a change in how long it takes you to plan, cook, and prepare meals for later!

We’d love to hear from you! Do you eat leftovers? Do you have a system set in place to make sure you’re not throwing away more food than you’re cooking? Let us know in the comments below!

Emily Montes

About Emily Montes

Emily Montes is the co-founder and CEO of She's also an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine, a published author, a wife, and a mom of two. Emily hopes to make meal planning easier and inspire families to share more meals around the table.

Ready to Sign Up?
Join Real Plans

Plans start at just $6 per month!

Get Started

Let us make your life easier
Meal plan like a boss from home or on the go with any device.

10 day money back guarantee