There are only a few more sleeps till Christmas day, the rush is coming to a close and I finally have everything planned for the big day, well almost…

Just before I put my feet up and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a warm festive glow, it's time to turn to planning what to do with any leftovers. Let’s face it no matter how hard we try, there are always pots of turkey, sprouts, cranberry sauce, dips, and there is only so much Bubble and Squeak any family can handle! .....So I have put together a handy guide for what to do with leftovers on the big day, to save money and waste less. After all there’s no point me telling you what to do with them after Christmas when it’s too late!:)

1) Plan ahead

Clean out your freezer before you get your Christmas plans in order. Make space, incorporate long lost icy items into your mid-December meal plan and create room for Christmas leftovers and bulk bought mince pies.

2) Freeze your leftovers

We’re supporting #FestiveFreeze this year and my top tip would be to make the best use of your freezer over the festive period. There are plenty of freezer tips on the Love Food Hate Waste website – what works for the rest of the year works now too. If you and your family hate leftovers the next day, pop them in the freezer and they'll keep for up to 3 months.

3) What to do with Christmas pudding

If you're about to serve up the Christmas pud and it comes out like a solid lump, don't despair. Put the heavy pudding into a larger bowl and cut it up so that you get a lot of air into it. Crumble it if you can. Replace it into the original bowl. Microwave it. It heats up very quickly because the fruit conducts the microwave energy quicker than you might think. What might have been a solid lump will now be the lightest Christmas pudding you have ever eaten. Don't forget to add a tablespoon of brandy over the piping hot pud and the same goes for the hot custard sauce. Enjoy.

4) Ready, steady, store

Get the leftovers into the fridge, in a sealed container, within two hours if you can. They will stay ok in the fridge for up to 2 days.

5) Belated stock

Want to make stock but don't have time? Freeze the turkey/chicken carcass and make stock at some later point.

6) Leftover turkey?

Make some turkey mince (or any other meat you’re having such as ham or beef) for the new year - whizz up in the food processor and freeze.

7) Can't finish the cheese board?

Don’t forget, hard cheese and leftover cream can also be frozen. It's a good idea to whip cream a little beforehand.

8) Lettuce not waste salad

If you have leftover salad or lettuce leaves, put a piece of kitchen roll in the bottom of a pot, add the leaves and then seal. This will keep fresh for much longer than leaving in the bag.

9) Keeping chestnuts fresh

Chestnuts are highly perishable because of their low fat content. To keep them fresh enough to use for a week or so, put them in a plastic bag in the salad drawer of the fridge. Freeze those you don’t wish to eat over Christmas.

10) And the brandy butter...?

Finally, don't throw away the brandy butter! Save and use it in sweet shortcrust pastry. Weigh and use the label to calculate how much butter is contained in what you have left. Make up to what you need using fresh butter or marg. Don't add any more sugar unless you need to. Use as usual. Baking times may be less than normal because of the sugar. Very good for fruit pies.

More leftover tips and recipes can be found at

Have a great Christmas!

By Em, at Love Food Hate Waste

Thanks, it's last year's.

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