Monday, March 26, 2012

meal swap

a little bits & bobs love for one of my biggest life savers - meal swap!  for over a year and a half i've been swapping meals every week with some sweet friends.  what started as an "experiment" has turned into a lifestyle.  here's how it works!


me and 3 friends (total of 4 families) each pick a day of the week where we shop for, prepare and deliver a home cooked meal for each other.  so on mondays, i prepare dinner for my family and the 3 others.  i pack it up and then drop it off at the 3 friends' homes.  and then on tuesday, wednesday and thursday one of these friends delivers their delicious entrees to my house.

this means when i plan dinners for the week and ingredient shop i only have to think of 1 meal and then whatever we want to eat on the weekends which ususally includes take-out or eating out at least once. 1 meal people...amazing!

i cannot tell you how this has simplified my week.  the meal / idea thinking and planning - simplified!  the grocery list writing and shopping - simplified!  the not having to run to the grocery store 3-4 times as week to pick-up something i forgot to get for dinner - simplified!  the dinner prep kitchen clean-up - simplified!

i love the community and friend aspect of it too.  there is something personal about preparing and enjoying one another's meals.  i love the little moments of catching-up on the door step during meal drop-offs.  ella even loves to help pack-up and deliver the meals. 


and oh how i love, love, love coming home after a long day at work, or late afternoon at the playground to a dinner that is already prepared and ready to go. amazing. yummy. exciting. will-never-go-back!

do the kids always eat what is prepared? no - but that's okay.  we use google calendar  to post what we are making, and what time we plan to drop-off.  so if i happen to see something that i don't think my kids will enjoy, then i simply whip up something different for them.  easy peasy. 

we try to make it as low stress as we can.  when we first started we were preparing way way way more than we needed too.  like preparing almost entire casserole dishes for each family.  it got pretty overwhelming, pretty quick.  and the amount of leftovers was gross.  but now - we are thinking serving size portions.  so one larger casserole, or larger pot of soup is the perfect amount to divide amongst the 4 families.  the idea is not to have left overs - because in this scenario we really don't need leftovers. it's also not a big deal if someone has to take the week off, or switch days either. it just works.

a big shout out to my dear swappers - my little lifesavers (and some pretty great cooks too!).  happy meal swapping...go start one, you'll never go back...never ever!


10 comments:

  1. That is such a neat idea! Love how you make it work and reduce the stress for everyone involved. That's wonderful.

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  2. What a great idea!! I wish I had a group of families I could do this with!!

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  3. Love this idea! I have tried this in one of the many neighborhoods we've moved to over the years with no luck. People just don't cook anymore! Love seeing someone that has made it work. Hooray!!

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  4. what a great idea! my kids would never go for this - they are so picky!

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  5. That is a really neat concept. Makes me wish I I knew my neighbors a lot better (as all my friends live a bit too far away to just drop off a meal). But hey, maybe this would be an excuse to get to know them. :-) I also like this concept because it introduces you to new foods, dishes that you might not have otherwise thought to make. Thanks for sharing!!

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  6. I've been hearing more and more of this! Glad it works out so wonderfully!

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  7. That's such a clever idea!...and I must add that I love my everyday food magazines! So handy :)

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  8. Don't forget the cooler aspect -- that we literally leave coolers out if we're not home to receive the meals -- super easy and low-stress!

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  9. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! I love the community aspect of this as well! I look forward to reading your blog!

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  10. How fantastic is this??! It really is win/win! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea! xoxo

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