Plan a Meal Swap {Day 4}

31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero. Freeze your spending. Change Your Life. Awesome way to reset your spending patterns or kick-start your budget!

This is the fourth day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day One here or or visit the Overview Page.

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Now that you are (hopefully) bursting with meal ideas, it is time to do a little proactive meal preparation.  It is both cheaper and easier to double, triple, or quadruple the SAME recipe than it is to make four different meals.  We are going to take advantage of this fact!

Today your assignment is to call, email, or Facebook a few of your friends & make a plan to trade a meal or two this month.  You can either make freezer friendly meals that can be frozen and served at any time, or you can each take a different night and then deliver the meals to each other on your designated day, or do it any other way that makes sense for your family.  You could even make a plan to host each other in your own homes one night.

Here are 7 more ideas & articles to help you get started:

Meal Swap Guide from Twin City Swappers

5 Steps to a Successful Dinner Swap from Real Simple

Organizing Your Own Freezer Meal Swap from Frugal Living NW

How to set up a Meal Swap from Bargain Babe

How to Start a Neighborhood Meal Swap from MomLogic

How to Start a Meal Exchange from The Simple Dollar

Kitchen Sisters Club from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


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Have you ever done a meal swap with friends or family?  Do you have any tips to share?

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{Go to Day 5}


  1. Amanda
    October 4 at 09:01AM

    FUN! It just keeps getting better and better! Thanks Ruth!!!!

    • Ruth
      October 6 at 07:41AM

      You’re welcome Amanda! 🙂

  2. Sally
    October 4 at 09:12AM

    I have participated in these types of swaps in the past and they are a great way to try something new. Our group participated in an ingredient swap towards the end of the month long spending freeze because we were all out of that “one” ingredient that would make the meal complete. It was a great way to swap out those canned vegetables or other items that you thought you would use (but didn’t) before they expire and go to waste as well as making space for the stockpiles that you will use when the freeze is over. To keep the kids busy all month, we also did a craft swap since most of us didn’t plan correctly for the amount of busy time needed and ran out of essential craft items (paper, glitter, stickers, popsicle sticks, etc.)
    Enjoy reading the daily posts for the challenge!

    • Ruth
      October 6 at 07:41AM

      Thanks Sally! I’m glad you are enjoying it! 🙂

  3. Kate
    October 4 at 07:40PM

    Even though we’re not participating in this to a T, we are starting to stock pile on good deals & I’m reading your posts daily. One thing is for sure, you have made a difference in our family spending & I THANK YOU for that!

    • Ruth
      October 6 at 07:42AM

      Aw that’s awesome Kate. Thanks so much for sharing that with me! 🙂

  4. GREAT idea!! I am not sure I will be able to keep up with this challenge AND meal swap but The Husband and I are brainstorming! Such a good idea! (as always!)
    Thanks Ruth!

    • Ruth
      October 6 at 07:42AM

      Thanks Claire! You can always tuck the idea away for next month. 🙂

  5. Heidi
    April 30 at 11:03PM

    I have been doing this for 5+ years. Plus my parents did it when I was a kid in the 70s. I cook a meal for my family + 2 others once a week, and deliver it hot, to their door, at dinnertime. Twice a week, a hot, homecooked meal arrives at MY door at dinnertime….so that covers 3 nights. Yes, it is wonderful. One night for leftovers + one night for takeout, and you have five days of meals for one afternoon in the kitchen…weekends are up in the air!

  6. Melissa
    October 3 at 04:00PM

    Since we are super new to our area I can not do the meal swap 🙁 there isn’t anyone for us to swap with so instead I am using the day to can foods from our garden and get a jump start on my homemade Christmas gift baskets!
    I love the idea of the meal swap though and I will have to keep it in mind once we get to know some people.

  7. B
    October 4 at 12:18PM

    Although this seems like fun I unfortunately can’t participate in today’s swap:( Instead I’ll be swapping recipes & host a dinner. It’s only my husband & I . And I’m the only cook in my circle of friends. So swapping is a negative. Thanks!

    • Ruth Soukup
      October 5 at 07:31AM

      I like your alternative! 🙂

  8. alexis
    November 10 at 10:09AM

    Eh….. I don’t know about this. With snow in the forecast. Maybe some day when the neighbors are closer and/or more trust worthy… and we have more then a tiny freezer… I’m full of excuses today haha. But honestly I can’t think of a way to make this play out..

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