Lets face it, most recipes yield more than one or two servings. A childfree folk or partnership is likely to end up with extras. You can halve all your recipes, you can only buy cookbooks designed for singles or couples, you can always eat out. But if you don’t do one of those things, you are going to have leftovers!
Mostly make things that can make new meals with the leftovers. Today I am enjoying a delicious meatloaf sandwich. Last night of course, I ate the meatloaf. Honestly, I think the sandwich is better! If you eat spinach salads, cook main meat dishes, and keep your sauces separate from your noodles, you can make the salad into cooked spinach, the main meat dishes into sandwiches, soups and casseroles, and the sauces can go onto a completely different type of meal the next day.
Freeze leftovers. As soon as you are finished making the dinner, estimate how much you are going to eat, and take the rest and begin cooling it and package it to go into the freezer. I recommend doing this before you eat dinner, because you are less tired at that point and less likely to forget.
Eat them for lunch the next day. Similarly to the freezing method, before you sit down to eat your dinner, package some of it up as a lunch. If it was burritos, make a few extra burritos and put them into a sandwich bag in the fridge. If do this while everything is still out and while you are preparing your dinner, it will be a lot more likely to have all the ingredients in it (before you run out of salsa and olives).
Get roommates. Having a roommate or two will ease the cost of your rent, and you can share your meals with them. You won’t have as many leftovers and you can take turns cooking.
Organize a left overs club at work. If most of the folks at work cook dinner at home too, you can trade left over lunches, that way you aren’t eating the same thing two days in a row, but your food gets appreciated. (I realize this is really unlikely to occur, but hey, brainstorming!)
Kids in China will cry, but you can just throw your left overs out. This is especially good if you hate eating left overs. And none of the other ideas work. Should you really feel guilty for throwing food out? My argument is “no.” If you had bought smaller quantities of food like a smaller brick of cheese, meat in individual containers, the smaller sour cream and milks, you end up spending near as much as the larger ones. Also, for the most part, food is cheap. You’ve already made the food and either you are going to eat it and waste it into the toilet, or you are going to throw it out. I think being healthy and happy is a better deal than saving a few cents on left over foods. Furthermore, making food at home will still be cheaper than eating out and way healthier, so if throwing out your left overs keeps you cooking at home, than I am all for it.