So...with cold weather approaching Ive decided now is the perfect time to get a group of women together and start a Freezer Meals Swap. Ive been looking online for tip and tricks to make this run smoothly and here is what Ive come up with!
How it Works:
-Once a month you will choose your swap dish. Now this does NOT have to be the entire meal, just the main course! Adding a few fresh sides will complete the meal. However if it is a 1 dish meal...FABULOUS! Just not a requirement!
- about a week before SD (Swap day) we will have a participant deadline. This is so we know who all is planning on participating that month.
-You will make enough to feed a family of 4, and will make 1 dish for each family. (Example: if 5 women sign up you will make your recipe 5 times (1 is saved for you, and 4 will be swapped)
- Each month we will designate a meet up spot (still working on the best way to do this since its getting cold)
- Bring all of your dishes in a cooler if possible. Makes for easy transport.
-We will all meet up at designated spot, pop our trunks and all swap our meals.
- I'm still working on making a list so that we can sign off when we receive each meal. That way we know no one is going home with duplicates of a meal ( a common thing I see when I look into other swap groups)
Its easy as that. They say the average prep for making 10 meals is about 4 hours, and then when you swap you come home with 9 meals! That's awesome!
Things to consider:
- Are their any allergies in your family? If so please list them on our FB page when you sign up
-Do you have any dietary restrictions? No Pork, Vegetarian etc
-make sure to keep an eye on our FB page. If you miss the sign up date, you will not be able to participate that month. This is because the number of ppl that sign up tells us how many meals to make! if you just show up, there may not be any meals for you to take home!
These are a few things Ive read in other Swap groups that may help you!
-Keep in mind that you only need a few swap dishes, if this month you make a soup and next month is a broccoli chicken casserole, the next month you could easily make the same soup again! You don't need a TON Of recipes! Just a few of your favs! Your top 4 should work!
-We will try to keep the swaps to the same time every month (at least the same week) so keep a look out for items as they go on sale throughout the month!
-One of the hardest parts of an exchange is..what do you exchange meals in? You definitely don't want to use your best Pyrex, as you may never see it again! The suggestion is for soups, or meals you dump in the crock pot, to use either freezer bags or food saver bags. For casserole you just take out of the freezer and put in the oven, to use the disposable aluminum pans form the dollar store. After your meal is over if they can be salvaged, keep them and reuse them. (if anyone has any tips on cutting down the waste of ziplocs and pans let me know!)
- when your meals are ready make sure to label the bag/pan etc with the Date and whats inside. Its also nice to put on the bag how to reheat (example: 10/10/12, taco soup, place in large pot on stove top, cook on medium heat until thawed and warmed through, serve with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream) That way no one has to keep up a card telling them how to cook/reheat!
If you think of any other tips/tricks please leave a message here or post to our FB page!