As the world’s leading expert in being NOT domestic, I struggle almost daily with making dinner. While I consider myself an organized planner with a type A personality, I just cannot master dinner. I get stuck on what to make, usually trying to think of something that is easy to prep because the kids will be harassing me while I make it. I also need something that is easily reheatable or will stay warm for a long time, since we never really know what time Daddy will make it home on week nights. My pantry is well stocked with ingredients, but I rarely remember to unthaw meat or get a marinade set up early in the day. I feel guilty feeding my family “boxed” dinners with their copious amounts of sodium (and who knows what other chemicals) too many nights a week. Sometimes I get so stressed that I don’t make anything at all, and the kids end up eating PB&J with apple slices while hubby and I spoon down cereal (I have mine with a side of guilt).
Then, I came across an article about supper swapping. “Ah-ha!” I thought. “I can do this.” supper swapping is a micro version of village-style dining. Two or more families of similar size work together on a rotating schedule to provide meals for one another, so that each family has to cook dinner fewer nights each week. For example, I recruited three mommy friends who have families of three or four and live nearby. The four of us rotate cooking one “swap” meal per week. So, in week one, Rebecca cooks and delivers a meal to the rest of us. In week two, Lucy cooks and delivers, and so on. Other supper swaps are set up so that each family cooks a meal on a set day of the week, meaning that each family only has to cook once per week. That’s one great thing about setting up a supper swap – you can customize it to be whatever the families in your group would like.
The huge and obvious benefit for me is that I have one less night per week to stress about dinner. In addition, it gives me more time to spend with the kids, and when Craig gets home, we can all sit down to a wonderful homemade dinner. We get to try a lot of new dishes we haven’t had before, and the kids seem to get a kick out of knowing that “David’s Mom” cooked our meal.
So, gather up a couple friends and give it a try. Here are links to a couple resources to get you started:
And, here’s another link to an article with 10 more ways to get food on the table: