Mar 1, 2012

Dinner Group!

This brilliant idea can really save you some MONEY plus your TIME.  It's also a lot of fun!

A few years ago my friend, Karie, came to me with the idea of starting a dinner group. Here's the quick run down.  Everyone in the group cooks the same meal for every other family in the group.  So, if I was making Chopped Pizza I would make enough for my family and also for the three other families.  Yes, it's more work that one day but then less work during the week.  Then you trade meals and come home with 3 other ready to go meals. This gives you 4 meals for the week all done in one day.  We would eat the leftovers or something super easy like pancakes the rest of the week.  I went from cooking almost everyday to ONCE a week.  Karie had done a dinner group in the place she had lived previously and loved it.  She convince me and two other friends to join by telling us all the benefits here's a list of a few of them;

 * Saves MONEY, because you can buy in bulk and less ingredients.  I also found I went to the store  less and therefore didn't spend as much filling my cart with things I thought we needed.
 * Saves TIME, because you cook ONCE a week instead of 5 to 7 times.
 * Adds VARIETY to your monthly meals because you get to try other's recipes.
 * No more asking yourself "what's for dinner tonight?"  Who doesn't get tried of this?
 * We ate healthier because we ate less easy frozen stuff and ate out less.
 * You get to see your friends a little more :)

To get started you'll need find a couple of friends who want to join you.  We had four families in our group which worked out well.  You'll want to find people who;

* Have a similar size of family as you
* Are dependable
* Are a decent cook, it helps if they like to cook.
* Are honest and you can be honest with them.  You need to be able to tell the person if your family didn't like a particular meal or else you might be wasting food, which is not the point.
* Has similar eating style.  For example if you love meat you might not want to invite your vegetarian friend to join.
* Are willing to eat leftovers.  A lot of meals can be completely done so you just reheat and serve.

Once your group is assembled you'll need to have a meeting.  We met once every 2 to 3 months to plan meals.  We would fill in a calendar with what we were going to be making and receiving.  This helps you be more organized.  When deciding what to make we would make sure the other families thought it sounded good and that we didn't make similar meals in the same week.  You don't want Baked Pasta 3 times in one week.

We used Glad Ovenware for all our meals.  We liked them because they stack well in the car, cupboards and fridge.  They are both oven and freezer safe and the lids come with them.  They also aren't too heavy or expensive.  Because we used them so much they didn't last forever.  It seemed like once a year we had to buy a few new ones to replace the few that were a little beat up.  I found they still came in handy even if they got kicked out of dinner group.  Go here for more ideas on that.
You might think that using these handy dandy dishes might limit what you can make.  We didn't think so.  We exchanged everything from normal casseroles to soups, salads, crock pot meals and pizzas.  Most of the recipes in the main dish section on this blog have been part of our dinner group.

Once you have your meals planned out just decide on a time and place to exchange every week.  We found Tuesdays worked well for us so we could shop and cook on Mondays.  When you exchange it's good to mark the dishes with what is inside and instructions for cooking or reheating.  

Then go home and enjoy looking at your fridge full of  yummy already prepared meals.  You are now set for the week!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008 Customized and Installed by Custom Blog Designs

Back to TOP