Clearing and Reusing Party Leftovers

The guests have left and the party was successful. Now what should you do with all of the leftover food and party supplies? Instead of tossing them in the trash, discover some useful tips for reusing, recycling and saving party items.

Tips for Saving Leftover Food

  • Party Favors: Provide excess cake and desserts to guests as party favors. Purchase decorative boxes and place leftovers in them with small thank-you notes so guests can take them as they’re leaving.
  • Cleanup Party: Invite friends over the next day to help with cleanup, and serve leftovers!
  • Freeze for Later: Place leftover items like pot stickers, dips, spreads, sauces and breads in the freezer to enjoy at a later date. Date and store in airtight containers.
  • Reimagined Recipes: Use foods like chicken wings, fish, sauces, shrimp, meats and cheeses in other recipes during the week after the party. Think breakfast omelets, casseroles and tacos.
  • Flavored Ice Cubes: Freeze leftover wine and sweet drinks in ice cube trays, then use them as needed to cool down warm wine or flavor water.
  • Cake Pops: Crumbled cake is a main ingredient in cake pop recipes, so whip up a batch and put them in family lunch bags as an extra special treat.

Tips for Repurposing Party Decorations and Supplies

  • Confetti: Shred streamers, bag them, then use as confetti and table decorations at a future party.
  • Pom-Poms: Save extra tissue paper and twist ties to make cheerful party pom-poms.
  • Cupcake Toppers: Cut napkins into small flags and glue them around the top third of toothpicks to make mini flags. They’ll make perfect cupcake toppers at your next gathering.
  • New Party Hats: Cover party hats with decorative cardstock or paint and reuse the updated versions again at your next party.
  • Lettered Banners: Detach the letters, then rearrange and assemble to spell out a different message.
  • Wine Corks: Drill small holes in the bottom of leftover wine corks, place them on top of bamboo skewers. Write plant names on the corks with a permanent marker and place them in the dirt of an herb garden.
  • Plastic Bottles: Cut two-liter bottles in half, cut small drainage holes in the bottoms, and use them as seed starters.