Families more focused on eating at home and utilizing leftovers, says survey

Families are attempting to conserve expenses by eating more leftovers Consumers looking to consolidate debt and save money have taken to cooking more meals at home and eating more leftovers instead of throwing them out, according to a new survey from the American Chemistry Council.

According to the survey, 80 percent of Americans said their families had re-prioritized somewhat and now made more of a point to save leftovers and eat them as follow-up meals than they had before the recession.

It also found that 72 percent of respondents regularly packed lunches for themselves and their children during the week instead of resorting to spending more money by going out to lunch. Women were more likely than men to plan their meals out for the week and use leftovers as meals instead of throwing them out.

"Times are tougher so Americans are taking home leftovers from restaurants and cooking more meals themselves. Proper storage of fresh food and leftovers goes a long way to helping ensure consumers get the most out of every meal," said Steve Russell, vice president of the Plastics Division for the American Chemistry Council.

Consumers also seemed to be getting more than just financial incentives out of being more frugal with their food costs. Ninety-four percent of Americans surveyed said they felt good when they were able to store and reuse food instead of throwing it away.