I love soup! I love making it; I love eating it; I love sharing it. But my problem with soup is that I always make too much and while I love to eat soup the next day for leftovers, I don’t like to eat the same soup for several days. That’s where friends come in and someone else’s leftovers become someone’s easy lunch.
I first have to tell you that I am a food sharer by nature. Taking the time to make and share food is one of the ways I let people know I care about them. It is not uncommon for me to surprise someone with a plate of cookies or make an extra loaf of bread for a friend. And you know what, I have never once had someone turn down my gift of food. They seem happy I thought to share with them and I am happy that I made them happy.
But I diverge. What I wanted to share with you is an arrangement I have with a friend where we share leftovers. We have both been trying to eat clean, which means lots of whole grains and foods that take some time to prepare. It doesn’t take much longer to make the meal a little bit bigger and the gift of a free meal saves the other person some time.
In the case of my soup obsession (which is generally a very healthy way to make a balanced and filling meal in one pot), I am going to have leftovers anyway and do not like to eat more than one day of leftovers, so if I share them with a friend I will not let the food go to waste. In return, she gives me her “leftovers” and I eat them for lunch and often learn about new recipes and food combinations that I enjoy.
It’s win-win for both of us. We are not wasting money on food that spoils before it is enjoyed and we save money and time preparing a meal or two every week. Someone else’s leftovers are my new meal.
This arrangement works for us because we are both foodies. We love food! And the way we choose to nourish our body is very similar. Plus, we both grant each other the same common courtesy of returning meals with regular frequency. This probably won’t work if you have very different tastes in food or choices in types of food or if one is quite picky (we are not; we love most any food.) But if you can find a friend to do this with, you too might find it as a way to extend your palate and save some money and time. This would also work as a meal share where you make a meal for the whole family and swap meals. You could do this with just one person or make a co-op of people to share meals with each other (not unlike a cookie exchange, which I do during Christmas time with a group of friends.)
Some of my favorite slow cooker soup recipes that I have shared include:
- Minestrone Soup
- Chicken Vegetable Barley Soup for a Crowd
- Lentil and Spinach Soup
- Slow Cooker White Chili
What do you think? Have you ever done a meal swap?
Excellent ideas. I have wanted to join a co/op since I read about one a few years ago in the Country Woman Magazine. I’ve even written an article on the subject on Examiner.com Ann Arbor Frugal Living article. I’d love for you to hop on over and read it. I really would love to have this meal swap agreement with someone in my area ot a full swing co/op. It would be awesome!
Do you have a link to the article?
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I will check it out!
My mom shared -started sharing in the 1950’s- she canned jellies,jams, all kinds of fruit-was always handing someone something- years later my dad owned a restaurant and sent home leftovers with every waitress-I share with friends- we call it -drive bys-(pack up what we know is too much to feed family) too much fruit-dinner- desserts and send husband /son to delivery. Friend does the same and husband will bring back- One time I sent ripe banas and my friend sent me back a few that would take 3/4 days to ripen. Another thing we did was to musical Sunday dinner- Three families were involved in hs group that had activities on Sundays-We all attended and were always rushed to do dinner – We talked it over and took turns cooking for the group /missing the activity and it worked so well we did this for over 2 years-Fun for husbands-kids and only one crazy day of cooking on Sunday a month-(odd Sunday we did subs/pizza/ easy dinner. )We learned so much-and are still friends.
That is a great idea to remember when my kids are older and involved in even more activities. It does sound like a great way to develop camraderie as well.