Is ordering takeout a smart money move or a waste? Depends on what you do next.

If you’re the type to order heaps of Chinese food, enjoy it for one meal, then toss it a week later when you discover it wedged in the back of the fridge, you’re definitely not getting your money’s worth. (And you’re not alone: Americans throw away an average of $1,600 worth of a food a year.)

But armed with the right info and intentions, you can make some takeout last for days—potentially making it a good use of your monthly food budget and giving you a break from cooking. Just choose carefully.

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