Oh, how I used to dread Tuesdays. Trash day was Wednesday, and every Tuesday evening, after dinner, I would rummage through the fridge shelf by shelf, pulling mystery containers, bits of leftovers, and forgotten treats. I would sort through the produce and cheese drawers, looking for anything that might not get used right away or last until the next trash day. There was nothing hard about this task, but it always seemed to remind me that I should have used that hamburger in a soup, or planned my meals better so that taco night would have used up the burger, lettuce, AND sour cream. Throwing food away grated at my inner frugal woman, and it reminded me that I could do better.

One of the benefits of the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that caught my attention early on was the simple reduction of waste. Maybe my inner frugal woman could come to peace with my inadequate meal planning!

Last week, as I dug through our fridge, I didn’t feel that animosity. Instead, I found myself challenged to get everything out, assess what could still be used right away, and then load the freeze dryer trays with anything that needed longer term storage. I felt happiness that I was using every single thing in there. NOTHING went into the trash bin.

various foods in covered bowls

I have come to love what I call Leftover Runs in my freeze dryer. These are the loads that are a hodge-podge of things. Yes, there are many times that I intentionally cook large batches with the intention of putting something away for later. And yes, that saves me time and money. But the real benefit is when I fill those freeze dryer trays with bits of leftover rotisserie chicken, spaghetti sauce, taco meat, vegetable soup, and that last handful of blackberries that I left for hubby, and he missed. 

freeze dried food in a jar

I don’t generally store these Leftover Runs in mylar for long term, nor do I expect them to feed my whole family. Instead, I put these small bits of food into food-saver bags, seal, and throw them in a basket on the counter. When hubby is rummaging for a quick meal, or I get home late and need something fast, those single servings are the perfect solution. I keep a jar on the counter where I deposit bits of vegetables, meats, pastas, and grains, and when I need a quick batch of soup, I just shake the jar, dump, and add broth or a cream base for an instant hot meal.

Being able to put my favorite foods away for hard times is a great reason to own a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. Being able to send food to my family in the aftermath of a hurricane is invaluable. But sometimes, just the little things make it all worthwhile. Turning a dreaded chore into a pleasurable experience is priceless, and knowing that I did my part to keep our home running smoothly puts a smile on my face every time.


Some very good ideas in this story. My HR FD just arrived. I will be using some of these ideas. Thank you for sharing.

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