Meal Planning That Saves Time And Money

When it comes to thinking about preparing meals for the week and all that it involves, many people have a reaction to the point that almost makes their skin start crawling. Between finding recipes you’re interested in making, writing a grocery list, navigating the grocery store, making the meal and cleaning up afterwards, there can be a lot of steps involved. Eek! When you already have a busy schedule, this is often the last thing you want to add to your to-do list. It’s so much easier to eat out or pick up food on your way home from work.

But it can create a bit of an internal struggle because we want to eat a healthier diet and know that preparing our own food will help accomplish that. So how do we get motivated to actually make it happen? Recently two of my friends and I came up with a great solution! We have started a monthly meal swap. Here’s how it works:

  • We each find two recipes that serve six people and can be stored in the freezer
  • We grocery shop for the two recipes and make them in the comfort of our own kitchens
  • We get together on a weekend and exchange the meals we have made
  • If we have any left over ingredients we don’t see ourselves using, we exchange those as well so someone else can use them in order to reduce food waste

There are so many great benefits from sharing meals, including:

  • Variety: We each walked away with two servings of six different meals, leaving us with a total of 12 pre-prepared meals we can pull from the freezer for the month.
  • Saving money: We each spent around $50, which works out to be just over $4 per meal. What a bargain!
  • Saving time: On average it took each of us about 1 ½-2 hours to prepare and cook the two meals we each made. It may seem like a lot up front but when you break that down by meal it ends up working out to be 10 minutes each.   Pretty amazing, right?

As you can see, not only did we reduce food waste, we saved time and money. The great part is that a meal swap can also be done at work with co-workers, in addition to friends or family.


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