If you've taken my Meal Planning and Freezer cooking class, then you know about about meal swapping.
Meal swapping is: Say there are 4 ladies in your group, including you. And you make lasagna. You make 4 of them. You keep one for yourself and bring the other 3 to the swap. You end up with 1 lasagna and 3 other frozen meals in your freezer.
My friend Danielle just participated in her neighborhood meal swap and tells all about it on her blog here. Here are some tips she shares if you are interested in organizing a meal swap:
1. Each gal was assigned a type of food (Danielle's was Hispanic), and each chose an appropriate freezer friendly recipe and cooked four portions - one to keep, and three to share with the other ladies.
This was the at-home version of what Danielle made for the swap, black bean and chicken enchilada:
2. Danielles' group uses Glad black plastic oven/microwave-safe containers with clear lids. There are 2 sizes available, 3 in a pack at the grocery store. She advises that you make sure everyone has enough of those so your meals are stackable, swappable, and identical (make sure all use the same size). This also mean less foil, ziploc bags, etc. These Glad containers should last about 6 months before they need to be replaced.
3. Also, Danielle's group laid out ground rules at the beginning, like "we don't do pork" or "no peanuts" or whatever.
4. They also created categories like Asian/Indian/Breakfast, Mexican, American, Italian, Soup. That way all the ladies know there won't be repetition and they don't have to send out a new schedule each week or month (however often you are going to do the swap), because they know their name will just move down the list to the next category.
So who is up for it?? Who might want to try meal swapping?
Looks like a great way to cut down on food cost, preparation time, and stress. Just pop a frozen swapped meal in the oven and dinner's done! Ah, another way to simplify life. Also looks like a great way to try something new for dinner and build relationships. I'd be interested in joining together with 3 of you.
It's worth a try. . just one time. . to see if it works. . to see if you like it.
I am currently reading The Great American Supper Swap: Solving the Busy Woman's Family Dinnertime Dilemma by Trish Berg. The book has step-by-step instructions on how to start your own meal swapping group and lots of lists like what to decide at your first meeting. Lots of recipes in her book too. She also has a blog that is worth checking out.