This isn't so much about saving money (since going to the restaurant in the first place is a splurge) as about frugality in general - efforts to be less wasteful (which can save money).
Yesterday hubby and I went to our favorite restaurant (a thai restaurant).
I took my leftovers home, even though I'd eaten all of the "good stuff" out of the stir fry, and what was left was a huge pile of lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, and onion. Things I consider "seasonings" more than foods, not really something you'd want to make a "meal" out of, but I took it home anyway - and used it as the base for a crockpot meal for today.
Last night, I put the leftovers in the crockpot, added four frozen chicken thighs, and some pork bones (no real meat left on them) leftover from a previous crockpot meal (pork and sauerkraut). I added two Pho Ga (chicken soup bouillon) cubes and 2 Knorr cilantro cubes (the Pho cubes I bought in an asian grocery store, and the cilantro bouillon cubes I found at Big Lots), added in two sad carrots (still good, but wouldn't have been much longer in the fridge), and cooked it all on low for about 12 hours.
The flavor is fabulous. Initially I was expecting hubby and I would just eat the chicken meat, but the broth turned out so well, that instead, we removed the bones, and shred the chicken meat and returned it to the pot for soup. As chicken it would have made about 3 servings. (hubby would have 2 thighs, I would have 1 and there'd be one left over for one of us to eat at another meal).
As soup, though it will make a lot more meals (we may have to freeze some).
It was so good though, that it's going to be hard to duplicate the seasonings myself. Luckily, the restaurant owner and only cook (it's a small restaurant) is becoming a really good friend, and she's offered to help me learn how to make thai and hmong food.