Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cooking Co-Op - Works for Me!

Today I am joining a blog carnival over at "rocks in my dryer." I will share with you a tip that "works for me." You can then go over to the carnival host here to find other tips. (My tip will be there - #106).

My tip is cooking co-op. I got together with 3 friends with like-sized families. We each submitted 6-8 meal plans and voted on 4 of our favorites from each person. Then we made a monthly menu and ta-da, we were rolling. Monday is my cooking day, and I cook for all 4 families, and deliver the meals ready to be re-heated. We deliver at 2:30ish because thats the time the worked well for us and didn't interfere with the actual dinner time. Tuesday friend #1 cooks & delivers. Wednesday we either have dinner at church or leftovers. Thursday friend #2 cooks & delivers, and Friday friend #3 cooks & delivers. We usually have leftovers for Saturday, and Sunday I can cook or get take-out.

I am averaging cooking just 1 day a week! That leaves so much free time for me to blog, bible study, exercise, spend time with the kids, do laundry...or relax on the sofa. Not that I'd ever do that. (wink, wink). Your grocery bill goes down because you buy in bulk, and you also have less impulse dinner purchases ("I didn't defrost anything, let's order pizza.")

Cooking Co-Op does start out scary ("What if they don't like my cooking?"). But quickly you get into a pattern, your cooking improves because let's face it, we want to impress our friends and their husbands and you feel so good when you get the voicemail that "my husband went bonkers over your banana bread pudding."
We've never eaten so well, my husband is thrilled, my kids are trying new foods and I am only cooking one day a week! This works for me!

Thanks for visiting. Come back Friday for a chance to win a 1 (one) year subscription to the Proverbs 31 Woman magazine. (Visit to read a sample.) I'll select a random winner from everyone who leaves a comment on Friday (May 2nd) and announce it via blog on Monday.


The Patterson 5 said...

Thanks for the tip! My sister-in-law (the one with four children) also is in a cooking co-op and she LOVES it. They also meet once a month for a fun girls night fellowship and menu planning.

Llama Momma said...

I love this idea.

How did you find friends who also ate the same kinds of things as your family? This is what holds me back the most.

We don't do a lot of casseroles and keep things really fresh and healthy...unfortunately many of my friends open up a can of cream of something, mix it with noodles, and call it supper!

Chatty Mom said...

Llama momma - we were lucky. I am in a Mothers Of Preschoolers group and 16 of us decided to try co-op. We were randomly put into groups of 4.

My group agreed to use healthy, low fat options when possible, and to only have dessert once a week.

We do sometimes have a casserole, but because we are voting on the meals, not many. I'll be happy to email you our menus as an idea, if you send me your email address.

Happy Cooking! (or as I like to think Happy NOT Cooking 6 days a week!)

Julie Stiles Mills said...

ooooo! I LOVE this! I'm going to start looking for friends who might want to do this.

You actually implemented another idea that works for you on this post. You noted the NUMBER on your link over at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm snappin up that idea too! (I'm number 156)

Thanks for the visit and the comment!

Alyce said...

I have never heard of such before. Glad it works for on the other hand, I'd go crazy if I only cooked once a week.. ( I love to cook..its theraputic)