The Friday after Thanksgiving, you might be totally psyched to craft the perfect turkey sandwich. On Saturday you might be still happy snacking on secret spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. But come Sunday and — heaven forbid — Monday, you’ve probably had enough of those Thanksgiving leftovers, no matter how creative you’ve gotten with your recipes.
But even as you feel the dread of lifting yet another forkful of stuffing to your lips, the thought of throwing away Tupperware full of perfectly good food is pretty disheartening. I’m a firm believer in waste not, want not. But I also think even the biggest Thanksgiving enthusiast can reach their leftover limit. A girl can only have so many green beans and candied yams before she starts seriously craving a burrito. And yes, I even get sick of the pie.
But never fear. There are ways to reuse the remaining Thanksgiving scraps in your fridge that do not involve eating any of them. From beauty hacks, to good samaritan gestures to cleaning products, these foods can have more purposes than just consumption. So give these unusual uses a shot and make some room in your fridge — Christmas cookie season is fast upon us.
1. Create A Cranberry Facial Mask
Holidays are great but, let’s be honest, they’re also a little stressful. Give yourself a much-needed rejuvenation with a cranberry facial mask, like this one from Health.
2. Make A Mashed Potato Facial Mask
If you don’t have any leftover fresh cranberries because you used them all to make your sauce (or you bought canned cranberry sauce because it tastes amazing and Thanksgiving is already enough work), you can create Shape’s awesome mashed potato face mask.It’s fine if they’re seasoned or buttered - just spread the creamy tubers on damp skin for 15 minutes.
3. Use Potatoes To Clean Silverware
Ok, so this one requires some thinking in the middle of the hectic holiday hoopla, but it’s definitely worth it. After you boil your potatoes pre-mashing, keep the pot of water and put it off to the side. Put your silverware in the starchy water, and let it soak for about an hour. Afterwards, they’ll be so sparkly clean you can use them as a mirror.
4. Use Garlic To Soothe Ear Infections
It’s cold and flu season, and kids are susceptible to ear infections. Keep the garlic you didn’t use in your mashed potatoes to make Mind Body Green’s home remedy for your kids’ next earache.
5. Whip Up A Pumpkin Hair Mask
Finally feeling sick of pumpkin spice flavoring? Ready for peppermint and gingerbread? Use any leftover pumpkin you have to create a revitalizing hair mask, like this one in Allure.
6. Remove Wall Smudges With Bread
If your holiday involved kids running around with their cousins until they fell asleep standing up, you might find some unwanted fingerprints on the lower quadrant of your walls. Don’t worry — Huffington Post has a way to remove those marks with semi-stale bread (which your rolls definitely are at this point.)
7. Use Bread To Cure Corns & Calluses
Feet in pain from Black Friday shopping? Lifehacker has a way to use stale bread to cure corns and calluses.
8. Remove Scratches From Furniture With Walnuts
Walnuts not only taste amazing, but they also double as furniture polish. According to Good Housekeeping, you just have to rub a shelled walnut on any scuffs or scratches you find on your wooden furniture, and leave it looking like new.
9. Make Stamps Out Of Potatoes
After being home with kids for four days straight, you might be looking for fun activities you can do as a family. Here’s a fun idea from HGTV: take any of the potatoes you didn’t use, and make a homemade stamp.
10. Blend A Pumpkin Facial Mask
PopSugar has a pumpkin face mask that wards off wrinkles and age spots, while utilizing flavor of the season.
11. Use Potato Slices To Rid Dark Circles From Under Eyes
The holiday season usually leads to a lot less sleep. Slice some chilled potatoes and place them over your eyes for 15 minutes to reduce any dark circles you may have. They work just as well as cucumbers, and help you get one step closer to riding the house of leftovers!