Friday, February 13, 2009

Fruitful Friday - Meal Exchange Group

Hello Ladies! Today I want to share a crazy new thing I did this week...(for those of you who know me, you are rolling your eyes saying, "What now?"

I joined a Meal Exchange Group. Here's a breakdown of how this group works:

  • The group of consists of 10 ladies.
  • Each lady prepares ONE Main Protein Dish, 10 times.
  • The Dish needs to feed 6 adults.
  • On the 2nd Thursdays of the month, we meet at one of the ladies house and away 9 of our meals (keeping one for ourselves).
  • Food is fully prepared. If can be cooked or just ready to throw in the oven or crock pot to cook.
  • If there is any "companion" to the main dish, try to include it; i.e. for Sweet and Sour Pork, you should provide some rice that would naturally go with it;Sloppy Joe meat needs Rolls or Buns, etc.
  • Meals need to be in disposable containers and able to be frozen.
  • Meals can arrive frozen or cooked that day (meaning you can fit food prep into any day during the month if you have room to freeze them).
  • Instructions on how to serve or complete preparation need to be attached to the dish. A recipe would be nice too!
  • Each lady is asked to spend $80 total on all 10 Meals. If you end up getting the protein for less, you can throw in a side like a loaf of bread, can of beans or some other pantry item.
  • For this group, no one cooks with fish or mushrooms (other groups can ask for specific exclusions depending on dietary needs).
  • We have an email loop to communicate who is fixing what, so that there won't be any repeats.
I am excited to do this. For the season I am in right now, pre-prepared food is a plus and to have 10 Main Dishes for $80 goes great with my budget! All I have to do is add the sides. I participated for the first time this month and look at the meals I got: Mandarin Orange Pork, Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole, Honey Garlic Chicken, Enchiladas, Beef Curry, Macaroni Chicken Bake, Herb Chicken with Soup, Sweet and Sour Pork Chops, Spaghetti and Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Now, once the fast is over, I'll be all set! I'll let you know how they ended up tasting and if this is something I'll do long term. Have any of you joined groups like this?


Susan said...

This is such a great idea! I wish I would've thought of this when my kids were younger. It sure would've made my life easier.

GatewayKaren said...

I can say week one was a success. I had two nights this week with meetings and busy days. I even shared half of one of the dishes with my neighbor who also had a busy day.

I felt so good having a meal ready to go, rather than running to fast food or falling back on sandwich dinner.

So far so good!