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Free Tool that Finds Recipes for Leftovers

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We came across a fabulous tool called Recipe Matcher that allows you to find free printable recipes to use the leftovers in your refrigerator!  This thrifty tool is a must have for all frugal homemakers who want to minimize food waste by using the foods they already have.  My absolute favorite way to use this is to design a menu plan using up what is in the pantry.   

Here’s how it works: Recipe Matcher is like a search engine for food, and it allows you to search by a list of ingredients, a type of food or dish, or even by a main ingredient.  Once you put in the items you want to search by, you are returned with a list of free printable recipes that match your choices.

As an example, let’s say that you made tacos for dinner last night.  You want to find out what you can make for dinner tonight to use the leftover taco ingredients.  So you would go to the Recipe Matcher tool, and in the ingredients box type in:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Ground beef
  • Lettuce

…and then hit search.  5 pages of printable recipes are returned with meals you can make using those ingredients!

Using Recipe Matcher to Make a Menu Plan

Let’s say you have a busy week and don’t have time to shop for any new groceries.  You have to design your menu around the food in your pantry, and you need recipes that are designed to go in the crock pot for every dinner this week.  This task should be a snap using the Recipe Matcher.  You simply type in the list of foods you have, move to the next section (Cuisines) and check off the box for crock pot recipes, then hit search.  Within seconds, you’ll have a list of crockpot recipes to choose from using ingredients you already have in your kitchen!

We’ll be reminding all of our frugal homemakers of this tool in our weekly printable meal planners, the Take and Make Menu Plans, to help you use up all your leftover ingredients.  Fantastic!

Love kitchen tips? Check out Kitchen Tip Tuesday and Homemaker Mondays at 11th Heaven.

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Danelle Ice is an entrepreneur in Los Angeles and mom of 3. She is the creator of and Danelle is also known as internet personality SimDanelle, the first virtual person. Danelle is a beauty guru on YouTube, vlogger, blogger, and new media darling. She is a current brand ambassador for for Keurig and previous AMD Tech Mom, Kraft Foods Delicious Byte brand ambassador, and Purex Insider.


  1. Sherry
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:01:42

    Cool! This would be great when I need to think of what to do with leftover items.


  2. Katie
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 12:34:23

    This is awesome, I am going to add this to my last post so I can remember where to find it and so share it with all my blogging buddies. Maybe I won’t have little bits and pieces of things like half a green pepper go to waste anymore!


  3. Jerri
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 19:21:36

    Sounds pretty neat. Thanks for sharing!


  4. mub
    Feb 24, 2009 @ 12:57:08

    I’ve come across a few websites that do this, but this one looks a little more promising than some of the others! Thanks for sharing the link =)


  5. Home Ever After
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 13:10:24

    @Katie – Good plan. I created a shortcut to it so I can use it regularly. I’m trying to do a better job of not having any food in the refrigerator go bad; it just pains me to throw away food! Thanks for sharing it :)



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