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updated: 2/6/2013 10:07 AM

Frugal living: Leftover ideas galore

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Q. Any ideas for what to do with five frozen bananas? I usually do banana muffins, but I'm kind of sick of them.

Sarah, Massachusetts

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A. I'd make banana bread, cake, cookies, pancakes or smoothies. You can make a mock ice cream, too. Simply cut a frozen banana into four sections and blend with a splash of milk in your food processor until creamy. Then enjoy a frozen treat that's lower in fat than ice cream, but doesn't sacrifice taste.

Q. We have quite a bit of leftover fried chicken from dinner. Any ideas what to make with it?

B.N., Midwest

A. I eat it cold the following day. It can be used in wraps or chopped for chicken salad sandwiches. Add some to a salad, casserole or soup. Mix shredded chicken with barbecue sauce for sandwiches, use it as a pizza topping or to make chicken fettuccine Alfredo, fried rice, quesadillas, tacos or spaghetti.

Q. My son works at a pizza parlor and he brought me 12 containers of dough. Each one makes a 14-inch pizza. I wasn't sure about freezing them, but went ahead and did it anyway. My question is, can you use pizza dough to make potpies and regular pies?

F.N., Ohio

A. Freezing the dough is OK, but no, pizza dough isn't used to make potpies or regular pies. You can make breadsticks, flat bread, calzones, hot pretzels, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls or cinnamon sticks.

Pizza bites are tasty, too. Simply roll out the dough, cut it into small squares and place a piece of mozzarella cheese (you can cut string cheese into small pieces) and pepperoni in the center of each dough square. Roll the squares into balls, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on the top and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce. Spaghetti or marinara sauce works well, too.

• Sara Noel owns Frugal Village (frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. To send tips, comments or questions, write to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106, or email sara@frugalvillage.com.

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