Save Food, Save Money: Cook Those Leftovers!

With food waste on the rise in the United States, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating all of the edible food in your fridge. But how do you make leftovers appetizing again? Below are some helpful tips and tricks for making the most out of your food – over and over again.

Cook Those Leftovers

The average American dumps 3.5 pounds of leftovers a week, but it can be hard to make week-old food appetizing again. Our solution? Dump the microwave! The secret to making old food tasty is to cook it with care, using the stove, oven, and even the grill. Here are some creative recipes for ingredients past their prime.

All of us are guilty of shoving leftover ingredients to the back of the fridge in favor of fresher, exciting food, but these tips from Save the Food can help revive that perfectly good food into a totally new entree. You’ll find creative recipes from falafel to browned-banana bread! Save the Food also offers simple ways to revive meals gone awry, whether burned, stale, or overcooked.

leftover recipies

Afraid of reheating pasta or rice to dried-out oblivion? Check out these tips for pasta with and without sauce, and perfectly fluffy rice! And these leftover recipes from BBC Good Food help you reuse everything from wilted salads to stale bread.

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference in the fight against food waste. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food, and they are leaders in recycling and composting. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!


Save Food, Save Money: Meal Planning

Food waste in the United States has reached unimaginable levels. The Guardian estimates that half of all perfectly good produce is thrown away, both “upstream” at the farms and “downstream” in groceries, restaurants, and households. Reducing your personal food waste will not only help address this epidemic, but can also save you time and money! This series will provide some simple tips and tools to reduce your food waste.

save food what gets tossed

Plan Your Meals

Ready to save money and the environment? Meal planning has been proven to help you save money at the grocery store, eat healthier, and throw out less food; but how do you go from eating out every night to type-A planner? Here are a couple tools to help out:

Introducing the Guestimator! This handy tool will help you calculate how much food you need to feed any party, including those voracious teenagers and picky in-laws. With their measurements, you’ll reduce the amount of leftover ingredients that tend to rot in the back of the fridge. Plus, you’ll save money by buying only as much as you need!

For smaller family meals, you might enjoy this Meal Kit Catalog from Handpick, which makes both grocery shopping and cooking a breeze! Each kit contains a selection of yummy recipes that share basic ingredients. Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and meal preparation and try some yummy new recipes at the same time!

meal catalog

If you like these tips for reducing personal food waste, consider getting involved in your local community effort to save edible food. Whether you’re interested in gleaning overlooked produce from local farms, starting a community composting movement, or signing a petition to ask grocery stores to redistribute leftover produce, there are plenty of ways to help!

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

co ops commit

Co-ops are leaders in sustainable practices like recycling and composting, and are committed to reducing carbon output through local food distributors. Plus, many co-ops offer discounts or monthly dividends for member-owners, so you can get money back on your groceries!

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!

Veggin’ Out at SALSA Fest

The MVFC vegged out at SALSA Fest, but not like couch potatoes! Several fruits and vegetables were in attendance at last week’s SALSA Fest in Lawrence, MA, and they were all excited to talk co-ops.


The partly-cloudy weather held as Merrimack Valley Food Co-op volunteers and members handed out delicious Equal Exchange fruit bars and chatted about the benefits of a food co-op in Essex County, MA. “Despacito” played across the beautiful South Common Park, and gleeful kids ran from table to table to play games and grab goodies. We had a blast playing the “Fruits and Vegetable Game”!

suzanne with kids

New and familiar faces stopped by the tent to hear more about our upcoming events, like the upcoming Savor Series featuring the Kennedy Hill Farm, and our vision for the first food co-op in the county. We signed up 19 new people to our email list, each of whom were entered in a raffle for natural cleaning products. We are also so excited to announce a new member family. Please welcome Kendrys Vasquez and his family to the co-op!

New members to the co-op family!

New members to the co-op family!

SALSA Fest highlighted local organizations committed to community health and wellness: the perfect place to talk co-ops. Food co-ops encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by providing far more fresh, local, and organic produce options than regular grocery stores. Many food co-ops offer classes on healthy eating and nutrition, because co-ops are dedicated to the community that supports and runs them. Supporting your local food co-op not only saves you money on your healthy groceries, but uplifts and educates your community!

Thanks again to Moderno Appliance and Equal Exchange for their generous donations, and to Groundwork Lawrence for another successful SALSA Fest.

We hope to see all of you at the last Savor Series before summer, June 24th from 4-6 PM!

Congratulations, Stephanie


Congratulations, Stephanie our Raffle winner and co-op member! She won the tickets to A Christmas Carol as part of our recent membership campaign. We hope you enjoyed the show and are so glad that you are part of our Merrimack Valley Food Co-op community.

How you can win a chance for FREE tickets to A Christmas Carol


Raffle for Free tickets 

Yes, that is correct, we have 4 tickets to a performance of the North Shore Music Theater performance of “A Christmas Carol” for this December, thanks to our friends at The River 92.5 FM. You have a chance to win them! All you need to do is to click on our “MVFood Co-op Member Agreement” and “PayPal” links to fill out your new membership for the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op. It is that easy.

All memberships purchased for $150 before the end of the day November 30, 2016 will be entered into the raffle for this terrific set of theater tickets.

In case you need a little more incentive, the tickets have a face value of $260 (and you could get them FREE). The one time and you own the co-op membership is full of lifetime benefits at a bargain for $150! How can you pass up this opportunity?

Any questions, please email us here: MVFood Co-op

Welcome to the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op!

June is Membership Month

Screen Shot June Mini

Our membership goal for June is to sell 35 new memberships. A co-op membership means that the person buying a membership owns one share in our start-up cooperative grocery store.  Any one person can own only one share. That is why it is so important that many people buy shares so our community will own and make decisions about this local business together.

MVFC shares cost a one time amount of $150. We also accept payment plans of $25 each month the six months.

Bonus during “Help Us Grow the Co-op” membership month is the first 35 people to pay for their membership in full will get a free MVFC t-shirt.

Click here for a MVFC Membership Agreement

You can mail the completed form with a check for $150 made payable to Merrimack Valley Food Co-op. We are working on easier ways for you to join.

Questions? Email

Let’s grow the co-op together.

Why would a cooperative grocery store be good for Haverhill?


Economic Benefits-

Co-ops help the local economy by supporting and selling local food, produce, and products, thus keeping money in the local economy. MVFC, like many co-ops, plans on paying a living wage that will make it possible for employees to support themselves and their families.


Our co-op plans to carry fresh, local and sustainable food whenever possible.


We will support our co-op members and the community by creating a place where everyone can share information & learn about food, health and good eating habits.

Community building

Share your opinion! Unlike traditional grocery stores, co-ops give every member a voice in how a co-op is run. Every member gets a right to vote when they join a coop & buy a “share”.

Support your community by food shopping! Food co-op profits are re-invested in the community; which can create additional jobs and greater economic activity. MFVC plans to operate in an environmentally friendly manner, including donating unsold items, composting, and recycling.

Quick FAQs

MVFood logo radish

What is a co-op?

A co-op is a business that is legally incorporated to meet the needs of its members and is controlled by those members. Unlike other businesses, co-ops put their members and communities first.

Where are we located?
We are in the start up phase and do not have an actual location yet. Please join us so we can make this happen sooner than later.
When is it opening?
We will open after we sell enough member shares, conduct a feasibility study, raise capital, select a location, hire a General Manager, you get the idea… It can take a couple more years and that is why we need to get the word out and need your support.

Are you a 501 (c) 3?

No, the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is incorporated in the State of MA as a cooperative business.

What is the mission of the MVFC?

Our mission is to build a community-owned, cooperative grocery store offering fresh, local and sustainable food, to engage the community through outreach, education and a place to meet and empower members to support the local economy.

Who can become a member?

Food co-op membership is open to anyone that would like to join and purchase a share.

What is a member share?

A member share is your investment in the co-op, this money is used to cover many of the co-op’s start-up costs and other expenses once the co-op is running. Members who relocate can sell their shares back to the co-op.

MVFC share price has been set at $150.

Why be a member?

By becoming a member you are helping to support the co-op in your community. Membership also gives you the right to vote for the Board of Directors and co-op policies. Many co-ops also give members patronage refunds in years when the co-op is profitable, this is a specific amount of money members get back that is based on how much they spend.

Do I have to be a member?

No, you do not have to be a member to participate in co-op events, like the co-op or shop at the co-op once we open.