For my newer readers, I try to do a weekly post about garbage. Yes, garbage. Well, trying to use up food so that it doesn’t become garbage. Throwing food away is just like throwing money away. Tuesday is our garbage day, so on Mondays & Tuesdays I try to use up what will go bad, and together with my readers collaborate on ideas on how to use it.
This week I want to focus on lunch meat. And here, it’s lunch meat, not cold cuts. We’re lunch meat snobs. I know that with coupons and catalina deals, I could get much of the prepackaged stuff much cheaper than what I purchase. But we just don’t care for it. We prefer the D&W, Boar’s Head and other premium brands. And since I’m already buying into the philosophy of bringing our lunches to work instead of eating out, I’m saving money. But a few weeks ago, on garbage day, I realized I was tossing a few slices of this, a few pieces of that……..and it can quickly add up to $10 or more. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to toss a $10 bill into the trash every week.
So here’s how I started saving money on lunchmeat-first step, buy less. Instead of purchasing a whole pound, I cut back to 3/4 of a lb. If we run out, we take PB&J or leftovers or something else. I’m saving money two ways, not only am I not throwing out a few pieces each week, I’m not spending the money in the first place. Instead of spending $10 on a lb of something, I’m only spending $7 or $8 and my weekly grocery bill is less.
In the event I do have a few pieces left over, here are some ideas that I use for Monday or Tuesday night dinners.
Hot sandwiches: I use the lunch meat to make a hot/grilled sandwich and we have it for dinner. A hot sandwich is inherently fancier than a cold sandwich. Grilled cheese & tomato, hot ham & cheese, grilled turkey-add in some swiss, some sun dried tomatoes, some pesto….and it’s much better than the usual turkey sandwich.
Omelettes: Uses up eggs too. Take whatever lunchmeat and cheese you have, dice it up and toss it into an omelette.
Fritatta/Quiche: same as above, just as a whole dish instead of one serving. A quiche has a crust, a frittatta does not.
Dogs: When my lunch meat is a bit older, not completely rotten, but a day or two past when I would eat it, I give it to the dogs. I have one dog who takes 12 pills a day and I am always looking for creative ways to get her to take them, so I often use lunch meat. No, I don’t feed my dogs rotten food and they’ve never, ever gotten sick. Just like, cheese that is maybe a bit dry around the edges, moreso than what we would eat.