I also tried to use "double duty" foods. I know that I can buy a HUGE bag of cut broccoli florettes at Costco for $3 - but I want to make sure they don't go bad. So, I made sure to use broccoli in at least 2 recipes - and then use the rest of them (if there is any left) to snack on with carrots, cucumbers and ranch.
The recipe for Cafe Rio Pork makes just an enormous amount of food. I usually make that when we are feeding a crowd - OR I make sure to use it in another meal during the week. That CR Pork never gets thrown out - but I built it's 'sister supper' into my calendar by planning to have "Pork Burritos" with all the same components we'll have left over from the salad just a few days before.
I already have bagels in the fridge - so I plan to use them this week for breakfast - but because I want to make sure we are eating everything we have and nothing will go to waste (I refuse to eat leftovers - almost exclusively - so that's a big problem in our house - food getting thrown out). I planned to make Tuna Puff Sandwiches and to use the bagels instead of hamburger buns for that meal.
One thing I've done for a while is to try to keep different components to a meal separate from each other in the beginning stages. Example: Last week, we had beef tacos for dinner. I serve a lot of my meals and (especially salads) like a salad bar. Then, all the components are kept separately and everyone can customize their dinner to their tastes. This makes clean up a snap - AND this is BIG TIME for you Mama - you already have ground beef for another meal. You also have diced tomatoes, diced onions, shredded cheese, etc. that can easily be pulled out for a fast lunch, snack or even dinner if you've got enough left or have enough of something else (beans, rice) to compensate to make a complete meal.
So, try to think of things that can make your life simpler - like those little tricks. Do you have any tricks you use??