Oct 05 2007

If you have four frugal friends…


Something just occurred to me. If you have like 30 minutes a week to plan a menu and go grocery shopping, and not a lot of money…what about getting together with four of your most frugal friends and doing a dinner swap?

Here’s how it could work:

Each person makes one dinner per week. The dinner should be enough for five generous portions (or more, if you’re a group of families and not singles). And, there should be a maximum price each shopper/chef should pay for ingredients. Say, $5 or so.

Each chef will cook their chosen dish, divvy it out in five portions, and freeze.

This means you’ll have five people cooking things like chili, soups/stew, casseroles, and other hearty one-dish meals. Perhaps coordinate, so you’re not eating five day’s worth of chili.

Then, get all five of yunz* together. Each person will take one dish from each chef to thaw and reheat at their leisure throughout the week.

In theory, you could be eating $1 home-cooked dinners every night, while only cooking once.

Does anyone do something like this? Can it actually work?

Be sure to check for more Frugal Friday posts here.

*Yunz is Pittsburghese for “y’all” or “you guys.” Isn’t that funny? I don’t use it, since I have a very Midwestern accent and it would sound bizarre.



11 Responses to “If you have four frugal friends…”

  1. I brought this idea up to some friends but we didn’t do it because of the distance in which we live from one another. I think taht it’s great idea though. If I had the financial sense that you have a your age when I was your age I would be debt today instead of on my way.

  2. OMG! The first time I heard my hubby’s college roommate say yunz I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! Of course I’ve been told I have a Great Lakes accent, so I can’t laugh too hard…

  3. I know! Too funny. My favorite is probably downtown, or “dahntahn,” as it’s pronounced. Sometimes, I wonder if they’re serious, or if they’re making fun of themselves. I think mostly, it’s the real deal.

  4. This is such a good idea, too bad all my frugal friends are spread all over the country!

  5. Hi Kacie, Good idea on the frugal Friday tip! I see lots of good info on your blog that I’d like to read.

    I just left CVS too with 2 boxes of Advil Sinus and 2 Crest Prohealth toothpastes, spent $3.01 out of pocket and still got 7.50 EBs. I brought home the Extra Care booklet to compare with coupons I have so I can get those deals before the end of the month. With today’s EBS I’ve got about $32.00 more EBs to roll over!

    And where I am its Y’all. I’ve got the worst southern accent in the whole South. LOL

  6. Hi Jes-all my friends are scattered, too :( Oh well, maybe someday I can use my tip!

    Hi Debbie-Thanks for coming by! Glad to hear about your CVS trip. I’m still learning how to do it, so it’s great to see what others have done. Looks like you’re doing a great job!

    By the way, I buy the Sunday newspaper on Saturday here. For whatever reason, they publish an early edition, and it has all the ads. So, I’ll post about the upcoming week’s CVS deals tomorrow.

  7. That’s a fantastic idea, I love it! And a great way to get together with friends. Thanks for sharing, Kacie.

  8. I know some people who did this, but they didn’t freeze anything. It was just Susie was Monday, Mandy was Tuesday, Michelle was Wednesday, etc. On your night to cook, you cooked for 5 families and delivered the meals to their houses at 6:00. Weekends you were on your own. My friends said they saved a lot of money, because you can feed one meal to 5 families very cheaply, (its easier to use up bulk items that are cheap but that can spoil) less cheaply than feeding one family 5 meals over the course of a week. Plus you have dinner delivered 4 nights a week!

    The biggest issues they had, were that they were exclusive of different size families-all the families in the group had 5 families, out of fairness in preparation costs. And there were a few issues about being sure to only cook things every family liked & could eat–allergies, etc. They did this for at least an entire school year, I’ve since moved away but as far as I know they are still doing it.

  9. Jen-

    Whoa! That’s so cool that those families did/do that. Sounds like a lot of work one day a week, but what a deal for the rest of the time! Thanks for commenting.

  10. Kacie…WI cousin again. I’m pretty sure I’m the one with the midwestern accent…you’ve got some twang goin’ on! haha!

  11. I have no twang! You have an upper Midwest accent, I have a uh, lower Midwest one. Right?

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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