November 25, 2008

Dinner Exchange Group

I realized I haven't blogged about the dinner exchange group that I belong to on this blog so I thought I'd take a minute and post about it.

I set it up with 3 other friends, we all live really close so it makes it really easy.  Each family takes a night and cooks dinner for all 4 families and delivers the meals to everyone by 5:00.  On the nights I have to cook it can be a bit stressfull but it is so nice to cook one night and have dinner brought to us 3 nights.  We have it set up for Monday-Thursday, though I would really like to add one more person for Friday.

I get asked a lot if it saves us money.  There are times when I've spent way too much on a meal to make it worth it but it's a learning process and I'll just save those dinners for the weekend.  Other than that, I really think we are saving money. It also helps on those night when I just don't feel like cooking and would normally go get fast food.

I have another blog where I post our weekly menu and recipes. You can check it out at Mama M's Cucina

Some suggestions if you decide it might work for you.

  • Set up the exchange with close friends who are willing to hear criticism about their food if the meal they make isn't a hit. We've been lucky that everyone has enjoyed all of the meals, but we have an understanding that we can tell each other if something might not be worth having again.  
  • Be organized.  We meet once every 2 months and plan out the meals. This way we can all agree on a meal up front. It also gives us a chance to catch things when they're on sale.  Organization is key on the day I cook and I don't always do a good job. It's hard for me to judged how much time I need to cook for 16 people and there has been a few times I've had to call and say dinner was going to be late. My kitchen is usually trashed on the days I cook.  I could definitely use some organization skills on the day I cook.
  • Be flexible. There have been times where someone has had to switch their menu because life happened and they didn't have time to cook what was planned.  I also keep a stash of frozen dinners for the kids just in case they don't like something that is brought over.
  • Relax. It was kind of odd for me at first to be able to do other things besides cooking on my days off.


Christine November 26, 2008 at 12:07 AM  

That is such a fantastic idea! I had heard about doing that before, but it slipped off my radar. Now if I could just find people to do meals with.