A FREEZER MEAL SWAP CLUB? TELL ME MORE!
A freezer meal swap club is a great way to share your dinner workload with friends. You will all save time, save money, and get a chance to socialize. Sounds like a no-brainer, eh? So, gather up some kitchen besties (who may include your neighbors, co-workers, bible study group, book club, mom's club, exercise class, etc.)....and start your own club!
The way a meal “SWAP” works is that each group member picks one recipe and makes enough of that recipe for everyone in the group on their own time and then you all get together once a month (or however often you decide) and swap meals. It’s easier to duplicate one recipe multiple times (and cheaper) than making a bunch of different recipes yourself.
You can also host a freezer meal PREP PARTY, instead of a swap/exchange, where you all get together and prep/cook in one kitchen. However, I personally find the swaps more efficient! Don’t get me wrong though, prepping together can be fun on occasion for a girls night out, especially if you have a large kitchen OR a small close-knit group, or perhaps want to do a “themed” party like a salad-in-a-jar or a wrap n’ roll party where you plan to make a ton of breakfast and lunch burritos together. Do what works best for you and your group!
Here are the basics of a swap (your group size may vary but I'm using 8 people as an example of how it would work in general):
Here are some additional tips:
Decide if you want the exchange to be a social gathering or just a quick drop, grab, and go. The exchange can be quick – where everyone is in and out the door within 15-20 minutes. Or you can get together for an evening girls-night-out meetup with some wine and appetizers or a morning swap with coffee and pastries. Or make it a potluck dinner!
Groups of 4-8 people (including yourself) works best. If you are using The Freezer Meal Club monthly bundle, you can have each person pick one recipe (assuming you have 7 people plus yourself) and then make 8 each of that one recipe.
You don't have to limit yourself to only the monthly bundle recipes (feel free to add in some of your own personal/past favorites).
If you can only gather up 3 friends (plus yourself), you can still make a swap work! If you have 4 people in your group, you can each pick 2 recipes and make 4 of each so you still all get 8 meals. Make sense?
Or if you have 6 people, everyone could double their recipe and make a total of 12 each of the recipe (so everyone will get 12 meals but there will be doubles of each meal….ex. 2 lasagnas, 2 chicken stir fry, 2 sliders, etc). Or if you have 5 people, you could each pick 2 different recipes, make 5 of each for 10 meals total per person (if using the monthly freezer meal bundle, you would just have to add in 2 additional recipes that are personal favorites or past bundle recipes).
Make sure to labels meals including the name, date prepared, who prepared it (in case someone has questions), and cooking directions.
Since you will be buying in bulk, a Costco or Sam’s club membership may be useful.
Decide on how often to meet (monthly or maybe every 6 weeks works better for everyone?), decide how many meals/recipes everyone will be making, decide how many servings each meal will be (all 4 servings, or all 6 servings, etc), decide what are your agreed upon food values (kid-friendly, meals with all whole ingredients, low cost, etc), set a cost range, and decide how you will create your menu and communicate.
Speaking of communication, I suggest creating a private Facebook group for your club (and come up with a fun club name like fabulous freezer chics). This is a great way to communicate and coordinate menus, swap dates & times, confirm who is making what recipe, etc.
Decide how you want to handle costs. Obviously a pot roast recipe will be more expensive than a ground beef recipe. You could elect do a meat theme each month (example, prep all chicken recipes one month or all ground beef or all pork roast recipes another month) so that the recipe costs are more equal. Or you could have a group treasurer, ask everyone to bring their grocery receipts to the swap, calculate how much everyone owes or is owed, and use Venmo.
You can use the club as a way to gift meals to others (maybe a new mom in the group, friend in need, etc) – everyone just has to agree make one extra meal. What a great way to pay it forward.
Does this get you excited to start your own freezer meal swap club? Please feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) if you have any questions!